I am typically not a big fan of economic boycotts. The last one that I participated in was Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers-led boycott of California lettuce in the mid-1970s, which is kind of ironic since it is Chavez's brothers and sisters who are in the cross hairs of Arizona's new minted bill legislating a police state apparatus to go after anyone not suspected of being a true-blue American.
The UFW boycott worked, while I have little doubt that a boycott of anything having to do with Arizona will be ineffectual even if big players like Mexico, the state's largest trading partner, get and stay on board. Arizona's neo-Nazis, supremacists and nativists have the state's Republican Party by the short and curlies, and there will be no turning back.
But that is not the point, so I will not be flying into Phoenix to see an old friend this summer and making damned sure that I don't buy anything made in Arizona at the stupormarket.
It comes as no surprise that the movers and shakers behind the racial profiling law are as vile as they come. Nor that the state government has the chutzpah to ask Washington to help fund the 15,000 officers tasked with stopping people simply because they have brown skins.
The federal response, of course, should be a polite "fuck you" and a lawsuit, while the law is bound to have one long-term consequence that its knuckle-dragging supporters did not contemplate. Arizona Latinos are overwhelmingly Republican. Now you can make that were. There also is an outside chance of a short-term consequence: The Democrat running against the Republican U.S. Senate nominee -- either incumbent John McCain or wackadoodle challenger J.D. Hayworth -- could squeak by with an upset win.
The people in the cross hairs do indeed include illegal immigrants, some 460,000 in all, but also Latinos whose forebears settled in Arizona long before white man arrived. How ironic. And sad.
Photograph by Newscom