Rachel Maddow discusses the snowballing campaign to boycott the State of Arizona over its radical new racial profiling law. The law, which takes effect this summer, would allow a police officers to pull people over and demand proof that they are in the county legally. In order to legally do such a thing, the police would need "reasonable suspicion" that a person is undocumented. Yet neither Gov. Jan Brewer nor anyone else has been able to explain what "undocumented" looks like.
Brewer says we just have to "trust [Arizona] law enforcement" not to interpret "undocumented-looking" as "Hispanic looking." Yeah, right. Good thing four major civil rights groups have joined forces to launch the first legal challenge. Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, Arizona says he won't enforce the law, calling it "racist" and "unconstitutional." (Update: Dupnik sort of backtracked on that one. Now he says he'll only enforce the law if he's "forced" to.)
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) is a leading proponent of the boycott:
"We're asking organizations," he told Olbermann, "civic, religious, labor, Latino, organizations of color to refrain from using Arizona as a convention site, to refrain from spending their dollars in the state of Arizona until Arizona turns the clock forward instead of backwards and joins the rest of the union."
It's working. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors wants to terminate all city contracts with Arizona. SF mayor Gavin Newsom has already canceled city business travel to Arizona. Across the bay, Oakland is considering a city-wide boycott. In Minnesota, St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman is ordering city officials to stay away from conferences in Arizona. In Colorado, Denver's public schools are banning work-related travel to Arizona to spare their employees from being harassed under the color of law. A grassroots campaigns is afoot to boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, at home and on the road.
Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney writes:
The question isn't whether to start an economic boycott to pressure Arizona to repeal its new immigration law. For me, that's a given.
McCartney favors a Diamondbacks boycott. He also suggests Arizona lettuce as a potential target.
NB: State senator Craig Johnson (D-NY) is reminding consumers not to boycott the AriZona Beverage Company in their rush to reject the wayward southwestern state. AriZona is a Brooklyn-based firm that is in no way tainted by racial profiling. They make lousy iced tea, but they'll sell it to anyone.
Photo credit: Flickr user The Wide Wide World, licensed under Creative Commons.