The year was 2009. President Obama was sworn in as the first black president of the United States of America. This was not good for Arizona or immigrants.
He took away the last Democratic Governor we will probably have in a generation; Janet Napolitano. This would unleash a fury of anti-immigration legislation that would bring the likes of Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce to national prominence to compete with our top anti-Mexican, Sheriff Arpaio. Oh, and sadly the new Department of Homeland Security Security Janet Napolitano would use her brain, unlike Arpaio’s appeal to gut feelings, to efficiently deport more immigrants than all previous administrations combined.
White Supremacy would also become more mainstream in Arizona, with SB1070 being written by Kansan Kris Kobach, someone identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hater affiliated with hate groups.
Minutemen and border militia were hunting Mexicans for sport out in the desert, and National Socialist Movement member JT Ready, former president of the Mesa Community College Republican Party Club and precinct committeeman for the Maricopa County, would become a familiar figure in all these hate rallies.
JT Ready never got arrested since his godfather, Russell Pearce, baptized him into the Mormon Church.
However, Ready is no longer with us since he went on a shooting spree and killed his Mexican girlfriend, her mother, and the child they had together who he called “half-ugly” before killing himself.
We all knew he was dangerous, but people in power protected him, or at least looked the other way, with al these armed white supremacists and did nothing to intervene until it was too late. Three generations of Mexican women were wiped out by him in one day.
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When Brisenia woke up after hearing the gun shots, she asked them why they killed her papa. They responded by putting the gun to her head and blasting her frail body across the room.
Immigrant children started living like Anne Frank, afraid anytime their father would leave the house if he would ever return.
Police were now meant to be feared, not welcomed, and women would even take a beating, not reporting domestic violence, because any police involvement meant a break-up of the sacred family, something Republicans cherish but have no problem breaking up.
Yes, “illegal is illegal” but if laws lead to MILLIONS of broken families, maybe those laws are fucked up.
In 2010, after Arizona Republicans realized how popular racism and xenophobia were (Jan Brewer was way behind in the polls in March, then after SB1070 and HB2281, which banned Ethnic Studies, the polls reversed), the neo-Nazis had a march in Phoenix. Counter-protesters showed up, and guess who got the beat down from the police?
The cops even allowed the Nazis to move forward of their police line to taunt protesters as bait, and when they came they would unleash their gas. Something about Nazis and the police state using gas in a papers-please, book-banning state that should have rung alarm bells and yet was allowed to continue with the help of police.
Video from that day is below, and now we have not only seen anti-immigrant laws spread across the nation but in Charlottesville today we see what has been happening Arizona since the beginning of the decade when Arizona became the new epicenter of the Civil Rights movement.
Also published on Medium.