SB1070 Update: Brewer’s Audacity of Hurt

by David Safier

Someone in Dallas created a caricature of the Accidental Guv as Hitler's daughter. Most people, including me, have focused on her lie about her father's role in World War II. No one has really focused on this part of her quote:

"It hurts. It's ugliness beyond anything I've ever experienced."

The statement is the height of gall, and a display or Brewer's utter lack of empathy for anyone who isn't a member of her immediate circle.

Think about the situation that has caused Brewer all this "hurt."

The Governor stands at the political apex of Arizona's Pinnacle Peak. She is arguably the most powerful person in the state.

Some powerless person in Dallas expressed his/her anger at Brewer by drawing an over-the-top cartoon.

And Brewer has the gall to say how hurtful that was.

Brewer has signed a law which means everyone with brown skin is presumed to be in the country illegally until they can prove otherwise. She has codified second class citizenship for Hispanics, something which was supposed to be ended in this country nearly 60 years ago by the Civil Rights law. (While it couldn't end personal racism, it was supposed to end institutionalized racism.)

If SB1070 goes into effect, every police officer will be required to look suspiciously at every "could be a Mexican" face, causing that person a certain amount of pain and humiliation. People who are already in a position of minimal power in our society will be moved one rung lower.

Paraphrasing Brewer, someone affected by SB1070 might say:

"The insinuation that I'm in this country illegally, it's awful. Knowing that my father went to Europe as a member of the U.S. Army to fight the Nazis, that he died there so that I could live in a free country . . . and then to have every police officer required to treat me as if I don't have a right to be here. It hurts. It's a law that increases the kind of the racist ugliness that, unfortunately, I have encountered my whole life."

Whose hurt is more genuine, the 65 year old white person who has the power of the state of Arizona at her disposal or the 65 year old Hispanic person who has nothing in the way of power but his/her dignity, and that is soon to be eroded by SB1070?

Or, to continue the thought: whose hurt is more genuine, Brewer's, or the Hispanic people in Prescott who have heard racial slurs shouted out of car windows because of a mural being painted that depicts a Hispanic child at its center — knowing that the slurs are a direct result of comments made by their elected Prescott city councilman Steve Blair and the indirect result of the anti-immigrant climate created by Brewer and the rest of the "Racism wins elections" Republican crowd that passes laws like SB1070?

Let's talk about genuine hurt inflicted by people in power, not Public Relations "hurt" generated to win Brewer a little bit of undeserved sympathy.

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