Tuesday, April 27, 2010

But Isn't Conservatism About Preserving Freedom?

Smart quote from Eugene Robinson's editorial in the Washington Post on Arizona's new racist anti-Hispanic law.

"Isn’t the whole premise of the Tea Party movement that overreaching government poses a grave threat to individual freedom? It seems to me that a law allowing individuals to be detained and interrogated on a whim — and requiring legal residents to carry identification documents, as in a police state — would send the Tea Partyers into apoplexy. Or is there some kind of exception if the people whose freedoms are being taken away happen to have brown skin and might speak Spanish?"

And though I don't like former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) very much (he voted to impeach Pres. Clinton which is unforgivable to me), he is 100% right about his characterization of what Arizona has done:

"It does offend me when one out of every three citizens in the state of Arizona are Hispanics, and you have now put a target on the back of one out of three citizens, who, if they're walking their dog around a neighborhood, if they're walking their child to school, and they're an American citizen, or a legal, legal immigrant -- to now put a target on their back, and make them think that every time they walk out of their door they may have to prove something. I will tell you, that is un-American. It is unacceptable and it is un-American."

And it's amazing to me that a state that can't afford to keep its own state house (they tried to sell it in 2009) can afford all of the additional police required to enforce its "breathing while brown" law and afford to defend itself from the thousands of law suits that will be coming their way for passing such a blatantly unconstitutional law.

Arizona, you will remember, refused to honor Martin Luther King Day as a holiday for more than a decade. The state does seem to have issues with non-whites.

Scarborough is correct. This new law in Arizona is un-American.

UPDATE: Even conservative wonder-boy Marco Rubio has "issues" with the law: "I think aspects of the law, especially that dealing with 'reasonable suspicion,' are going to put our law enforcement officers in an incredibly difficult position. It could also unreasonably single out people who are here legally, including many American citizens."

UPDATE 2: Right wing hero Karl Rove has come out against the AZ bill. "I think there is going to be some constitutional problems with the bill. I wished they hadn’t passed it, in a way."

14 comments:

T. Paine said...

If I were to go to Italy, the customs agent would ask to see my passport when I entered the country.

If, for some reason I gave probable cause that I was doing something I shouldn't while there, the police would probably ascertain fairly quickly that I was not a native citizen and thus ask to see my passport also.

I do not consider this racist at all.

Same thing in Arizona... the EXISTING police (none more are to be hired is my understanding) should they notice a person doing something suspicious and have probable cause that they may not be an American citizen can now request to see identification proving otherwise. How the hell is this racist?

If I am pulled over by a cop for speeding in Phoenix, he can ask to see my identification. Prior to this law, he could not ask an illegal alien to produce a similar piece of identification that would indicate he was there legally.

This is not a violation of anyone's legal rights. I wish people would quit with the hyper-political correctness crap.

Dave Splash said...

Your example is way off point. Discrimination is not political correctness, as you claim.

Police in Arizona have had the ability to ask for identification, this new law gives the police the ability to detain anyone based solely on "suspicion" of being illegal.

It's detention. Jail.

My concern is not with illegals, but with legal immigrants and US citizens.

The fact that you claim to care so much about freedom and rights, yet so cavalierly dismiss the rights of US citizens who are Hispanic is shocking. Do only white people get rights?

How can you tolerate a law that makes one group of people a target of police harassment and intimidation, yet allows others (based 100% on skin color) to go about living their lives as if nothing has changed.

Plain and simple, this law says the police can stop and apprehend any Hispanic person at any time, whether or not they have done anything wrong. It effects illegals and US citizens.

As an American, you should be offended that one state has made it pretty much against the law to be Latino.

Americans with brown skin have the same rights as white people, Paine. Maybe Limbaugh and Fox News have an issue with that, but the Constitution does not.

T. Paine said...

You are letting knee-jerk emotionalism that has been stoked by the left get the better part of you, Splash.

The law most certainly does NOT say "the police can stop and apprehend any Hispanic person at any time, whether or not they have done anything wrong". If such were actually the case, I would be in 100% agreement with you.

It doesn't single out any race or ethnicity whatsoever.

If a Latvian foreign student attending the University of Arizona was stopped by the police for speeding, the police could ask him to show his student visa to make sure he hasn't over-stayed and is still in the country legally.

Probable cause must be present, Dave.

T. Paine said...

By the way, 70% of Arizonans favor this new law. Are you telling me that 70% of that state's population is racist?

I think the real reason for this outrage on the left is the fear that other states will follow suit and this will go national.

If that happens and people actually have to provide ID, particularly at polling places for voting, that surely hurts the Democrats by reducing voter fraud.

Dave Splash said...

Who cares if 70% of Arizonans support the bill if it's Unconstitutional. Interesting, though, that when 75% of all Americans want Wall St reform, and the Republicans filibuster to deny the ability of the Senate to even debate the idea, you don't apply the same logic. Why do Republicans oppose something 75% of Americans want?

By the way, the law in Arizona defines probable cause to be a "reasonable suspicion" that an individual is illegal. There is no other criteria other than that suspicion. What is reasonable? No white person will ever fall under that level of reasonableness.

I get it that you don't want to see the real consequences of a draconian law like this, but you can't avoid the facts. Even in 2010, there are a number of places (Arizona included) where being black or brown is "reasonable suspicion" enough for harassment. That should appall all Americans, yet some still look for reasons to deny that this happens or to justify it.

Lisa said...

I guess Dave never had someone break in his house while his family was asleep.

One time my husband was delivering something in the South Bronx NY and got pulled over by a cop because they said he must of been looking for drugs being in that neighborhood. In other words he looked suspicious for being white.
Can't wait for the spin..........

Dave Splash said...

I guess Dave never had someone break in his house while his family was asleep.

Right because all Latinos are criminals, eh Lisa?

T. Paine said...

Dave, I think far more than 75% of REPUBLICANS want "Wall Street" reform, but they want it to be real reform. They want some comprimises in the bill where "Too Big To Fail" is not even possible.

The left is protecting their buddies at Obama/Goldman Sachs again is what that comes down to in essence.

Lisa said...

No but that happens alot at homes along the AZ border . I guess it must be those white Tea Party people.
The only criminal are people who enter her illegally Dave. You know never mind you know what I mean so just stop pretending because you lose creditability when you play dumb.

Dave Splash said...

"you lose creditability"

I have a near perfect credit score, Lisa. Once again, I have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

And what is it about right-wingers and spelling (Paine not included). Is spell check some communist plot?

Anonymous said...

spell check communal?
naw, it's definitely social.
These NeoBirchers don't feel any more need to spell than the old ones did.

Anonymous said...

Oh and last I checked, this is the good old FREE US of A, not Socialist Italy home of Fascism.

Snave said...

GREAT quote by Robinson. Good to see that guys like Scarborough and even one of the Tea Party Messiahs don't think it's such a great idea.

BTW, kudos to Charlie Crist for running for the FL US Senate seat as an "Independent". If more people have the same kind of determination to take back the GOP from the kookballs, it will improve our national political situation. If he can get enough votes away from Rubio that the Dem can win that seat, I will be eternally grateful. The Senate doesn't need a bunch of people like Rubio trying to run things. I don't think Crist is doing what he is doing to be selfish... I believe he is doing it to save the US Senate from getting infected. He may not have a shot at winning, but I like what he is doing.

Dave Splash said...

Funny thing about Crist is that when I lived in Florida in the early 2000s, he was the AG. He was viewed as very far to the right, while Jeb Bush was considered a "moderate" governor. My how times have changed.