I don't get the new slogan -- We Are All Arizona.
I am seeing that on t-shirts at immigration rallies. That seems to have become the rallying cry for immigration groups fighting SB 1070 in Arizona. But what does it mean? How can a slogan like Boycott Arizona and We Are All Arizona both share t-shirt space in the same rally?
We are all Arizona. Really?
A Rasmussen poll claims 70 percent of Arizonans supported SB 1070.
A new poll from CBS News/New York Times says 51% of all Americans support the law Arizona has enacted. One in two believe it will lead to police detaining members of certain ethnic groups more frequently. But they still support it.
Jan Brewer has increased her lead over her opponents in the race to be governor. That's if "America's toughest sheriff" Joe Arpaio stays out.
In light of those numbers "We Are All Arizona" sounds more like a chilling omen of the future, rather than a "We Shall Overcome" kinda stand against discrimination.
Wouldn't We are All Undocumented or We Are All Immigrants make more sense? When a rock was thrown through a bedroom window displaying a menorah in Billings, Montana, the townspeople, Jews and non-Jews, put menorahs in their windows. That makes a statement, standing up for a minority, wearing its colors, lighting its candles. They didn't put up signs that said "We are all Billings."
I wonder why the groups that came up with that slogan didn't just stand up for the real targets of this legislation - immigrants? Is that too much of a hot potato to wear on your American apparel?
Meanwhile news outlets are seizing on the Pakistani American man accused of trying to blow up an SUV in Times Square to say our naturalization procedures are too lax. Was Route to Citizenship Too Easy for Shahzad? asks one headline.
Immigrant rights groups can point to Citizen Shahzad to say while the government went after Mexican dishwashers and gardeners, the real terrorists (with legal documents) were parking bomb-rigged SUVs in Times Square. But it's a dangerous game of pin the blame on the immigrant because now all immigrants, with papers and without, have come under a shadow. Between Arizona and Times Square, the needle has been pushed way to the right. So that even an enforcement-heavy immigration bill will appear "moderate" in comparison to Arizona.
The Obama administration appears to be punting immigration reform to next year.
As a patchwork of states emboldened by Arizona, contemplate their own Arizona-like laws, will we be launching a new line of t-shirts?
We are all South Carolina.
We are all Oklahoma.
We are all Utah.
I hope we will get to immigration reform before we have to make the "We are all America" t-shirt.