I challenge Sarah Palin to debate me on Arizona and immigration reform.
Communities across America have been asking whether leading Republicans would choose racism or reform in the debate over Arizona's new racial profiling immigration law. This weekend, we got the answer when Sarah Palin endorsed the Arizona law, a placebo solution focused on racialized police targeting. They're choosing racism.
Palin also took the odd step of making it personal; she told her supporters to personally email me. Many took the opportunity to send me racist and hateful messages. Though I'm an American citizen, several said they wanted me to leave "their" country. The tone reminded me of Sen. John McCain's recent advertisement where he's praised by a white sheriff's deputy as "one of us." The message of the advertisement and Sarah Palin's supporters is clear: America belongs to white people and us colored folks ought to just get out.
She's picked her side; now let's have a debate. America deserves a full airing of the issue, and I'll gladly debate the former VP candidate anytime and anywhere. Let's have a complete airing on whether the Arizona law is the right solution to our broken immigration system.
I contend that the misguided Arizona law stems from the intense desire Americans have for our leaders to do "something." Sarah Palin apparently thinks that serious immigration reform entails asking brown people to produce their papers on demand. In my view, the law is un-American and does nothing to address the serious problems with the current immigration system. We need to enforce laws against unscrupulous employers and provide a path to legalization that enables qualified families currently here to become fully integrated members of our communities.
This comprehensive approach is what experts and leading members of both parties have endorsed. Well, they did until recently when Republicans like Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham and John McCain decided it would be far better for their careers to politicize it. That's the rub really, people like Sarah Palin don't seem to really want to have a serious debate about practical solutions to immigration because if they did, they wouldn't be able to rile up the most extreme and hate mongering members of their party.
But I'm willing to be proven wrong. If Sarah Palin wants to have respectful and real debate on immigration reform, I am waiting.
P.S. Want to text Sarah Palin and tell her to engage in a real debate on immigration reform?
Text PALIN to 69866
Follow Deepak Bhargava on Twitter: www.twitter.com/changenation