Friday, 14 May 2010

Can I Get Durham To Boycott Devon?

Garathon just tipped me off about this Independent article, which details a planned economic boycott of Arizona by Los Angeles.

I'm sure others more informed can offer suggestions, but as far as I'm aware the idea of a city boycotting another region inside the same country must be pretty rare. I'm not sure I've heard of it happening before (I dimly recall some scuffle regarding Quebec a while back; all details have long since fled my mind, though). One would like to think this action might lead to Jan Brewer and her cronies pausing for thought over the whole ridiculous idea, but I'm not holding my breath. After all, there's probably nothing a reactionary GOP lawmaker wants to tell their constituents more than "California thinks we're all dicks". They probably print that crap on Arizona bumper stickers. Hey, there's an idea! Immigrants in Arizona! Can't get a passport? Put some bullshit redneck sticker on the back of your car! Who's gonna stop you then? The ACLU? Those pussies?

In fairness, I'm not sure the law is quite as bad as the article states. As I understand it, police aren't required to stop anyone they think isn't in the country legally, they're required to check the citizenship of anyone "reasonably suspicious" who they've already stopped. On the other hand, I think the man quoted in the article is bang on; essentially requiring someone to carry their passport in their own country to avoid being arrested is pretty unambiguously "not American", or as anyone from outside the US would call it: "Entirely shitty." This is to say nothing of the recent Daily Show segment on all this, which featured a video of a GOP politician (either Russell Pearce or Tom Tancredo, I can't remember which and the vid isn't available anymore) in favour of this law being asked whether the police have to take your word on the subject of your legal status, and who essentially replied with "Well, if so, the officer can just find some other reason to arrest you". One would have hoped it's axiomatic that a law that requires police to make shit up in order for it to work properly is probably something that shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the statute books. Apparently not.

In other words, go LA. Maybe you can make them rethink banning ethics studies in schools while you're at it. I mean, this may not be the winning argument or nothing, but aside from the fact I'm 99.9% sure those classes aren't being used to ferment rebellion and insurrection, I'd say any state that's terrified of being brought to its knees by angry high-school students pretty much deserves to get itself overthrown.

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