Race, Ethnicity and Hate Crimes: The Gunning Down of Arizona Congresswoman Giffords

I write about Oaxaca.  What does Oaxaca have to do with Arizona and the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords today?  I am supposed to be writing about travel, culture, weaving and textiles, the wonderful people of Teotitlan del Valle, archeological sites, and the sublime mole prepared by Pilar Cabrera at La Olla.

Read this New York Time article about how an English course in Latino studies has been ruled illegal by the State of Arizona.  It is important to read the last paragraph.  The politicians of Arizona are  creating an inflammatory environment that encourages the kind of violent behavior that was perpetrated on Congresswoman Giffords today.  I consider this a “hate crime” and this has an impact on all of us.  What is happening in Arizona should have the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice.  As the Justice Department moved into Alabama in the 1960’s to support the Civil Rights Movement, there should be a call to action for the same in Arizona now.

Is this blog a place for politics?

P.S.  Gabrielle Giffords is considered a centrist, an environmentalist, and was targeted by Sarah Palin in her “crosshairs map” of representatives to be defeated.  The image is what you sight through a rifle scope.  Her opponent in last November’s election was a Tea Party candidate; she won by a 1% margin.  Giffords supported immigration reform AND stronger border protection.  She voted for health care reform.  Paul Krugman in the NY Times today predicts that the war of words around health care reform will turn to more violence in the months and years ahead.  I believe we have  lost our senses as a nation.

Politicians are culpable in this crime.  Words are powerful and incite fear, hatred, anger and fury.  Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Fox News and the Tea Party speak about inciting violence, revolution and the taking-up of arms against the government they do not like.  This is provocative and must stop.

4 Responses to Race, Ethnicity and Hate Crimes: The Gunning Down of Arizona Congresswoman Giffords

  1. Yes, Norma, there is room for politics on this blog, because we share compassion for our Hispanic neighbors and wish to see justice carried out in all states, in all departments, including education.

    I don’t think Arizona would attempt to outlaw Black studies. Hispanic studies are no different. Both foster appreciation for cultural values and both broaden our perspective of others.

    Peace and justice will prevail, but it will first take voices speaking out against hate crimes.

    Kathleen

  2. Bless you, Norma, for publishing this. We desperately need to amass many many strong voices to bring action against what I call the horror of Arizona government.
    I hope to meet you one day when I am in my chosen city of Oaxaca and its environs.
    Best,
    Nancy Hirsch

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