Arizona: A Time and Decade of Betrayal

When people the world over think of Arizona, nowadays, they generally think of Gov. Jan Brewer, Sheriff Joe Arapio or state rep. Russell Pearce – the poster children of the state’s move toward legalized discrimination and racial profiling. If they are closely following the politics of the sun state, they also think of state superintendent of schools, Tom Horne, the architect of the state’s move to abolish Ethnic/Raza Studies.

Here, we think of the human toll.

Combined, these Arizona measures are becoming the modern version of Indian Removal and the colonial policy of “reducciones” – a policy aimed at civilizing the “savages.”

To those outside of this insane asylum – this state is being described as the New South. It may indeed be that, including a laboratory for setting the stage for apartheid governance in a part of the country that is browning daily. Politically, this is all about the clash of civilizations; one civilization Indigenous to this continent, the other, seemingly hell-bent on continuing the policies of manifest destiny.

Yet there is something more taking place here. In a sense, to understand Arizona, read “Brown Tide Rising” by Otto Santa Ana. In it, the author poignantly observes that in this society: “Only humans have human rights.” There can be no doubt that the red-brown peoples of this state are being treated as less than human.

Also, read “A Decade of Betrayal” by Francisco Balderrama and Raymond Rodriguez. In it, they write about this nation’s obsession with targeting Mexicans during times of economic crises, going back to the period between 1910-1920. And yet, what they point out is that the numerous campaigns that deported hundreds of thousands and even millions of Mexicans, including U.S. citizens, were not indiscriminate, particularly the one conducted in the 1930s, but rather, targeted. Who were targeted were not criminals, but rather, anyone resembling a leader, in particular, community, educational and labor organizers.

In Arizona, there are numerous policies and programs in place (Operation Streamline) to criminalize migrants – which not coincidentally line the pockets of the private prison industry. But beyond that, an array of law enforcement agencies, continue to become extensions of the U.S. Border Patrol – operating as though SB 1070 was already the law of the land.

In Tucson, these draconian measures have now begun to affect the parents of our top students and top student organizers. In the summer, the father of a young high school activist DREAM Student, was picked up by a Sheriff’s deputy while a passenger in a truck. Even though SB 1070 was not in effect, as happens regularly, he was handed over to the Border Patrol. This happened during the middle of the annual Raza Studies Transformative Education Conference this summer.

As a community, we rallied to the support of the family, successfully getting him out on bail. I’ve written about her previously as she has publicly identified herself, long before several DREAM Students identified themselves publicly while occupying the offices of Sen. John McCain this past summer. As a proud community organizer, she publicly identifies herself, but I don’t identify her, not even identifying her school, because I still feel the government has the potential to target their families.

For example, this past weekend, the father of one of our top students at the University of Arizona, Michelle Rascon – who is an incredible poet, a Raza Studies alumni, a U.S. citizen and a prospective law student – was picked up at his own home in what appears to have been an elaborate ruse by the FBI. After luring Jesus Gilberto Rascon outside, they proceeded to call the U.S. Border Patrol. As we speak, he is undergoing criminal proceedings that may keep him incarcerated for at least several months – until his final disposition — which could result in a lengthy prison sentence. Of course, there are legal details involved, which will be litigated in court, but suffice to say, that cases such as these point to the absurdity of what the government is doing to divide up families; neither are criminals in any sense of the word.

The federal government claims to no longer be targeting students or their families and that its policies are designed instead to primarily go after “criminal aliens.” The draconian enforcement measures seen around the country, especially in Arizona, belie this so-called new policy. Apparently, if the nation criminalizes non-violent migrants through its various operations and 287(g) agreements, including Secure Communities, then once criminalized, they now become “criminal aliens,” thus primary targets. Circular logic at its best.

We appear to be in the midst of another decade of betrayal.

Roberto Rodriguez, a professor at the University of Arizona, can be reached at: Read other articles by Roberto.

12 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. hayate said on October 28th, 2010 at 11:02am #

    “this state is being described as the New South. It may indeed be that, including a laboratory for setting the stage for apartheid governance in a part of the country that is browning daily.”

    Looks like israeli apartheid policies are slowly being imposed on the usa by their zionist minions (10 to 1 that every one of these arizona politicos have zionist puppetmasters – in the usa as a whole, it’s like 95% zionist quisling). Anew “clash of cultures” for these bigots to sell with their media.

  2. jayn0t said on October 28th, 2010 at 7:45pm #

    @hayate – it’s ridiculous to compare Arizona with Israel. Arizona’s tough policies on illegal immigration, though wrong, don’t amount to ethnic cleansing. Yet there is more support in America for a boycott of Arizona than Israel.

    Attempting to merge Zionism with white supremacy, and oppose the former as though it is an instance of the latter, have been unsuccessful. It’s time to say Western societies in general have moved away from overt racial discrimination. Israel, not.

  3. shabnam said on October 28th, 2010 at 8:24pm #

    The petty servant of Israel, Hillary Clinton, has recently has received instructions from Jewish lobby how to create more division between Iran and the Arab puppet head of states. She has been directed to change the name of the Persian Gulf to insult Iranians and please judeofascists.

    Bill Clinton during his entire presidency never used anything except PERSIAN GULF, its real name, so Bush and Obama who has done the same up to now. She hit the bottom of the trash can when followed the instruction of the 5th column, the zionist lobby and changed the name to create a divisive tool between Arabs and Iranians.
    Shame on petty people who do anything to stay in power. Down with petty people, black and white.

    Tell Secretary Clinton: Referring to Persian Gulf as “Arabian Gulf” Only Fuels Ethnic Tensions
    (source: NIAC)
    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Playing with ethnic tensions is not a strategy for stability in the Middle East.

    But last week, the State Department broke longstanding protocol and used the politically and ethnically charged term “Arabian Gulf” instead of “Persian Gulf”.

    The term was used in prepared remarks announcing a $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia intended to “stabilize the region.”

    But such an inaccurate, ethnically divisive term will only fuel regional tensions and increase instability.

    Tell Secretary Clinton that the Persian Gulf is not the “Arabian Gulf” and playing with ethnic tensions is not a strategy for stability.

    The Persian Gulf has been known by that name for over 2,500 years. It’s been recognized by the United Nations and the US State Department as the correct name for decades.

    The term “Arabian Gulf” first appeared fifty years ago as Pan-Arabism propaganda aimed at unifying Arabs against Iranians, Israelis, and other non-Arabs in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein later co-opted the term to exploit ethnic rivalries in support of his regional ambitions. Later, Osama Bin Laden adopted the term in an attempt to boost his appeal.

    The use of such an ethnically divisive term by the State Department during the announcement of one of the largest arm sales in history sends the wrong message.

    Yesterday, NIAC sent a letter to Secretary Clinton, urging her to correct the record and reiterate that the “Persian Gulf” is the appropriate name.

    Join us in calling on Secretary Clinton to correct the record and to instruct the State Department to uphold longstanding protocol when discussing the Persian Gulf >>

  4. JoeJ said on October 28th, 2010 at 10:26pm #

    This is not a matter of race – it is a matter of nationality — there too many Mexican nationals in the state of Arizona.

    Selling this as a race problem – is a leftwing lie!

  5. hayate said on October 28th, 2010 at 10:39pm #


    White supremacy in the usa has been supported and and continued by zionist, along with the other fascist lowlife who get their marching orders from these bigots. Both israel and zionism are all about white supremacy and pitching cultural clashes designed to benefit zionazi inc. You keep the ignorants (which you create and encourage) fighting against each other over crumbs, while keeping them ignoring you. That’s how zionism operates. Seems to have done a thorough number on you, as well. The things key into the latent bigotries of their “marks”, and then add in steroids. All of these racist freakshows in the usa are promoted/sponsored by zionazi, inc. This is what has kept the shite going since the 70’s. These were all dead and dying movements then, but were propped up and injected with massive amounts of cash and “marketing advice” to keep them a factor, mostly by zionist money bags and their assorted bumplugs.

    And I’ll repeat, every one of those arizonaian bigoted politicos pushing this racist nonsense is under the thumb of zionazi, inc. That’s how politics work in your sacred usa. None of this racist shite would still be happening without zionist manipulation and control of the american political scene.

  6. hayate said on October 28th, 2010 at 10:50pm #

    Incidentally, this racist crap going on in arizona makes an excellent distraction. Those people working to boycott arizona bigotry are being distracted away from boycotting israeli/zionist bigotry. They are also being distracted from many other issues. All of this favours zionazi, inc. and their ongoing rubbish. Put the attention on somebody else when the heat intensifies on yours truly. Right out of the ziofascist propaganda bible. It’s another “abortion debate” to keep the plebes occupied with side issues that DO NOT affect the ziofascist status quo in any way.

  7. hayate said on October 29th, 2010 at 12:30am #

    What would america do without their ziofascist politicians and media?

    Thu Oct 28, 11:43 am ET
    Report: 25 states considering Arizona-style immigration laws
    By Liz Goodwin

    n immigrant-rights group has released a report (PDF) predicting that 25 states may try next year to pass anti-illegal-immigration laws similar to Arizona’s controversial legislation.

    The number of states considering legislation modeled after SB1070, the bill that Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law this spring, is apparently growing: Earlier, pro-enforcement groups said 22 states were considering the bill, the Washington Independent’s Elise Foley notes.

    The new efforts are going forward even after a federal judge ruled key parts of the Arizona law unconstitutional and enjoined its enforcement in Arizona in July. That decision is now under appeal before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court.

    [Rewind: Mexican government slams Arizona immigration law]

    Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina are most likely to pass a similar law next year, the new report says. Tennessee, Utah, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri, Idaho and Kansas made the report’s “maybe” list. In Maryland, Nevada, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio and Rhode Island, the legislation is seen as less likely to pass.

    The report notes that from 2006 to 2008, municipalities passed a host of local laws and statutes cracking down on employers hiring illegal immigrants.

    This next wave of legislation, the report says, will be aimed at getting local law enforcement to check immigration status in routine police stops, as SB1070 mandates.

    Lawmakers may be influenced by how the Ninth Circuit rules on SB1070, and how the Supreme Court rules on the state’s 2007 employer-sanction law passed. Finances may also influence local politicians’ decisions, as more immigration-related arrests and court battles end up costing cities and counties that adopt such rules.

    [Rewind: Baseball alarmed by Arizona’s policy]

    One industry stands to benefit from such laws. In Arizona’s case, the private prison industry helped guide the process that made SB1070 law and even gave the legislation its name while working with legislators, NPR reports. Thirty of the cosponsors to SB1070 later received money from the private prison industry or its lobbyists.

    (Photo of Colorado students protesting Arizona’s law in April: AP)

    The goatbuggers will have WW3 in Southwest Asia, but god forbid they allow a Mexican in the usa without a goodly amount of baksheesh.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain said on October 29th, 2010 at 12:52am #

    I have to agree with hayate. Israel is a global centre for disseminating race hatred and xenophobia, and the Zionazi propaganda apparatus pushes ‘Clash of Civilizations’ style hatred throughout the Western world. We must never forget that for the Zionazis, all the goyim are merely insects, destined to serve their Holy betters. Fomenting hatred amongst groups is long established Zionazi practice. I remember reading in Chomsky’s ‘Fateful Triangle’ of UN peacekeepers noting how assiduously the Zionazis pushed hatred and internecine violence in Lebanon, as they do to this day. In Iraq, Turkey and Syria they control Kurdish elements who do their dirty work destabilising these countries, and Israel itself is a global centre for subversive groups seeking to undermine governments from Sudan to China, Zionazism’s greatest enemy for the future. Some of these groups have real grievances, but the Zionazis would never dream of seeking peaceful solutions,and will betray them any time they see it as being in the Master Race’s interests to do so.. What they crave is chaos and the power to make and break countries, to their profit, quaintly enough just the practises that they have been accused of for centuries. I would bet that somewhere, as US apartheid and the purge of ‘brown’ Hispanics is planned, that Zionazis, Israeli corporations and Zionazi controlled chauvinistic US politicians are all being closely co-ordinated. I mean, who has more experience keeping vast populations of sub-human insects under the cosh for generations than the Zionazis? They have already lent their unrivalled experience to both the US in Iraq and the Indians in Kashmir, and have their paws saturated with blood from Latin America, doing the Yanks dirty work against ‘Hispanics’ for decades.

  9. jayn0t said on October 29th, 2010 at 8:47am #

    @hayate and Mulga – I’m talking about tactics for opposing America’s unconditional support for Israel. This involves separating American and Israeli interests, and throwing out Noam Chomsky’s efforts to make them look the same. This involves saying American patriotism, Christianity and so on, lead to opposing subordination to Zionism. Traditional left-wing anti-racism has failed to do this. BTW, Zionist groups tend to be in favor of immigration in America, but against it in Israel. They are not ‘Zio-fascist’ – they are liberal when it suits them.

  10. bozh said on October 29th, 2010 at 10:15am #

    Caveat for new readers: never use the words like zionism, capitalism, fascism, socialism unless u first divulge all of their salient traits and what these traits do for us or against us.
    And don’t be deceived by ‘jews’, such as atzmon who never ever reveals the principle why he criticizes solely or largely ‘jews’. We need the elucidation for such assiduous criticism.
    If u ask him why he wld not tell u! This is what chomky does. He has won over mns of people and yet never revealed why he wrote what he wrote.

    Such ‘jews’ have been severely hurt by other ‘jews’ and soon as ‘jews’ beg his forgiveness [such as chomsky’s] his ‘jewishness’ wld return to him instantly.
    However, this malady appears pandemic and not just ‘jewish’.

  11. hayate said on October 30th, 2010 at 12:07am #

    jayn0t said on October 29th, 2010 at 8:47am

    You can try and play the liberal vs conservative card regarding zionism, but it don’t apply. A liberal zionist is the same thing as a conservative zionist and both are very similar to non-zionist reactionaries. There is a difference between rightwing and leftwing opposition to zionism. The former is upset about their loss of prominence, the latter wants to see off both capitalism and zionism. Capitalism and zionism are digits on the same hand, while the left political/economic spectrum is a different hand altogether.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain said on November 2nd, 2010 at 6:49am #

    jaynot, ‘liberals’ are fascists-in-waiting. Just threaten their ‘property’, their privileges or their insufferable condescension and delusions of superiority, and see what happens.