Arizona was not about to wait for President Obama to address this federal issue. Arizona wants to be as bad-ass as secessionist threatening Texas, although the Zonies themselves are smart enough to not want to actually spend time in Texas, preferring to use their get out of hell card to hang out on a California beach during the summer. Arizona’s approach to comprehensive immigration reform in all of its reducto ad absurdum is a mere two words- racial profiling. Keep it classy, Arizona!
Racial profiling is as American as apple pie and throughout the history of this great country of ours, has encompassed Native Americans, African-Americans, the Irish, the Chinese, the Japanese or anybody who sorta looked Japanese- sorry Koreans!, the Italians, the Eastern Europeans, Jews, and of course African-Americans.
Since we are such a melting pot, it has expanded to include Muslims, and people who have beards and look like Muslims. And African-Americans. We even imagine racial profiling into the future- watch Blade Runner! Mexican-Americans and Mexicans who would like to be Americans- Welcome to the Land of Opportunity for racial profiling! But I bet you already knew that.
Racial profiling is old news, but our very own congressman Brian Bilbray presents Racial Profiling Made Easy. In his interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball, Bilbray was asked “to give a ‘non-ethnic’ example of how Arizona cops will be able to identify undocumented immigrants once the state’s controversial …Act is signed into law.”
“They will look at the kind of dress you wear, there’s different type of attire, there’s different type of…right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes.”
No kidding. Racial profiling will be based on our shoes. Our clothes. Quick- tell me what you wearing. Are you REALLY an American? Ok, I want to be “fair and balanced.” Bilbray also added that this sartorial assessment would be expanded to include “behaviors that professionals are trained in across the board.”
So it goes like this- in my imagination of course. I travel across town on a couple of buses until I arrive in Ocean Beach. I’m hungry and ask a couple of people if there is a Pho restaurant because I eat Pho. They just shrug.
I walk down to the seawall and sit in the sun and look at that big ocean that I don’t have where I live.… And the Police comes up to me and asks me for “my papers.”
“Hey,” I say. “I don’t roll my own,” and pull out a pack of Marlboro’s. Lights.
“Please show an ID that you are here legally.” I look up and down the sea wall. All those people sitting there. And then I realize that they are wearing flipflops. They are wearing tennis shoes. I look down at my black rubber boots with the big white stars on them. Shit. Even worse, I didn’t take off the Nordstrom Rack sticker that says $20.00 on the sole and which also has the big red dot that means half off. I am escorted back to a bus that takes me back to my inner city community, the epicenter of Pho eating behavior, where I sit down and write this.
And so the Republican Party, the Party of No goes bilingual. It is now the Party of Nada.
My fellow Americans, take a few moments and tell Congressman Bilbray what you are wearing.