Bobby Parker

Winged Victory has turned its back

Filed By Bobby Parker | April 30, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Arizona, immigration reform, Jan Brewster, LGBT community, MALDEF, NILC, Phoenix

This new law in Arizona is especially onerous to the gay community because according to Immigration Equality executive director Rachel Tiven on "Forty percent of LGBT binational couples in the United States include a Latino family member. For them, and their loved ones, Arizona is now the most dangerous place in America."

winged_victory.jpgI attended the press conference yesterday morning at the Capitol Mall in Phoenix where the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), ACLU, and National Immigration Law Center (NILC) announced a legal challenge to the Arizona racial profiling law. In a city that turned out over 100,000 Latinos to fight discrimination in years past, it could barely muster a few thousands last Sunday, and only the media today. There is much fear in the community about any kind of gatherings of Hispanics. There is a lot of misinformation and fear spreading in the Latino community regarding this law.

It seems apropos that the 'Winged Victory" statue on top of the Capitol dome was blown so that its back was turned to the proceedings in the mall below.

Civil Rights leaders Dolores Huerta, who worked with Cesar Chavez, and Richard Chavez were in attendance along with Linda Ronstadt. Each spoke against the law.

linda_ronstadt.jpg"What we are witnessing today is the blatant targeting of an entire American population, Latinos," stated civil rights leader, Dolores Huerta. "We must not give one inch in Arizona's effort to blame our community for all of the ills of the state and their efforts to run us out. We have worked this land, built and maintain these buildings and sacrificed as much as any other. We must put an end to SB1070."

Linda Rondstadt said, "My family, of both German and Mexican heritage, has a long history in Arizona. It has been our diverse and shared history in this state that unites us and makes us stronger." "What Governor Brewer signed into law last week is a piece of legislation that threatens the very heart of his great state. We must come together and stop SB1070 from pitting neighbor against neighbor to the detriment of us all."

"This law will only make the rampant racial profiling of Latinos that is already going on in Arizona much worse," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. "What the implementation of this law will mean is that to avoid arrest, citizens will effectively have to carry 'their papers' at all times. This is un-American and the kind of practice that we abhor in nondemocratic countries."

Linton Joaquin, General Counsel of NILC, added "This unconstitutional law sends a strong message to all immigrants to have no contact with any law enforcement officer. The inevitable result is not only to make immigrants more vulnerable to crime and exploitation, but also to make the entire community less safe, by aggressively discouraging witnesses and victims from reporting crimes."

There are a number of serious constitutional problems with the law, the groups say. It violates the supremacy clause by interfering with federal immigration power and authority. The law also unlawfully invites racial profiling against Latinos and other people of color. In effect, the implementation of the new law means that to avoid arrest, citizens will effectively have to carry their 'papers' at all times and will undoubtedly increase racial profiling and discrimination against Latinos and anyone who might appear to be an immigrant."

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Certainly a tragic turn of events. I imagine that the Latino community is getting paranoid and that is exactly what some people want. Fewer Latinos at the poles, fewer wanting to gather and go to events.
Sounds like the plan. I agree that the winged one shouldn't want to see what has transpired.

It sounds like the situation has Arizona's Hispanics too afraid to protest - which is entirely understandable.

Would the Arizona gay/trans community be willing protest on their behalf? It would be a fairly major statement IMO - and would work to both our benefits.

I am a member of Arizona Stonewall Democrats and we have been solidly with our Latino friends in all of this. We are careful to let them take the lead, but support them in every way we can. We are all the rallies and while there we hand out our Equal Means Equal stickers, which they love. We have given out 20,000 over the past year and I've just ordered another 10,000 for the coming days. Our goal is to eventually put an Equal Means Equal issue on the ballot.

For those Arizonans who read this, you can sign up to help at We aren't so interested in your money as we are your body and mind and spirit and energy.

We also created an Arizona LGBT Political Coalition out of HRC Arizona, Equality Arizona, Log Cabin Republicans and the Stonewall Dems. Receive information at [email protected]

Bobby, I used to live in Arizona and I was appalled at what happened. I did a video that alternated between seems of Nazi Germany and the Latino population being arrested by the police. I gotten the most comments from white people on how horrible the 93 sec video is. It wasn't meant to be nice, and it's pissing off the very people I figured it would. However, Leslie Feinberg liked it, as did many others.

I'm proud of you and the AZ LGBT organizations who are fighting this. I have two Latina daughter-in-laws and other relatives of Latino background. Yet, I'm getting the most grief from my brother who has an Asian wife and three half-Latino sons from a previous marriage. He thinks that as long as you are "legal," you have nothing to worry about. I told him the Tea Cup ride waits for him.

It's a shame that this law is being twisted like this. It's a good law and has been even enforced more today to make sure racial profiling is strictly prohibit...see here:

Governor Jan Brewer As the rhetoric on illegal immigration continues to grow out of control, it’s more important than ever to share the facts on Arizona’s new law. The reality is that Arizona’s new law mirrors federal law, which the federal government is not enforcing. As I stated when I signed the law, racial profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated in Arizona. The bottom line is that the federal government must secure our borders and I think Arizona finally got their attention.

This is a great law that all American GLBT's should support. AZ has 460,000 people who are illiegal aliens crimnals who bring crime with them. They broke the law to get here and need to be humanly sent back to their country of origin and that country billed for services.

Thanks for being our local correspondent for this atrocious law, Bobby.