I have a question for you: Do I look "illegal?"
I'm probably not going to get pulled over and questioned about my citizenship while driving in Arizona. I'm probably not going to have to carry my birth certificate in my car to prove I was born in the United States. And let's be honest: The only reason this is true is because I am not a Latino.
It's disgraceful that Latinos have to worry about this in any state in the union in 2010.
Brave New's Cuéntame project has been at the forefront of the fight against Arizona's racist anti-immigrant law, which allows the targeting of anyone a police officer "reasonably suspects" is in the country without documentation. (Reasonableness in the state that just threatened the jobs of teachers with accents is, of course, in the eye of the beholder.) We've tracked this issue in a series of short videos and launched a Facebook drive for an economic boycott targeting this unjust law.
A couple of days ago, though, we had a real breakthrough in our activism online. We let our supporters on Facebook vote for a slogan for a t-shirt to protest the racist law, and we got an avalanche of comments. "Do I Look 'Illegal?'" came out on top, and within hours we had hundreds of orders for t-shirts bearing this slogan. Shortly after, the phrase was in use on the major Latino groups on Facebook.
Clearly, there's a hunger out there for ways to push back against the racism insinuating itself into state policies and the wider national discourse.
I have a second question for you: Do you look "illegal?"