Monday, May 24, 2010

Editorial: Boycotts aren't a mature tactic

The unnamed Courier editor characterizes the call for boycotts of Arizona in defense of civil rights as immature. I have to wonder what the editor would consider a mature tactic other than the sort of approach one takes in a dinner conversation with someone of a different political persuasion: don't talk about it.

Of course, for the editor there's nothing at stake. He believes that an open season on brown-skinned people for lawnforcement is a perfectly reasonable response to unsightly men seeking marginal work on a certain street corner. Why fight about it?

For those of us who understand the fragility of civil rights and the lessons of history, however, the law is a breathtakingly large hole in the wall of legal protections against official abuse. Sure, it's popular here, as was Jim Crow in its day and segregation in its. But growing outrage in the better educated parts of the country brought it down. That will happen for Arizona as well, and far faster, I expect, as the courts have more practice at this now.

The editor can't avoid this fight by wishing it away -- a truly immature tactic. Whatever you think of the specifics of the law, it's clearly on the wrong side of history.

And what's the big "no" sign supposed to mean, editor? Could it be the new logo of your preferred political party?

Update, Tuesday: “Abominations such as apartheid do not start with an entire population suddenly becoming inhumane. They start here. They start with generalizing unwanted characteristics across an entire segment of a population. A solution that degrades innocent people, or that makes anyone with broken English a suspect, is not a solution.” -- Desmond Tutu, today

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