Arizona's Racial Profiling Law: The Backlash

The state's racist immigration bill has pissed off a lot of people, and some, like Al Sharpton, are calling for an economic boycott. But will it succeed in changing state law? It has before.

City officials in San Francisco are urging an official boycott. According to The Guardian, Al Sharpton said yesterday: "We will go to Arizona when this bill goes into effect and walk the streets with people who refuse to give identification and force arrest." Some truck drivers are saying they will refuse to drive through Arizona now. And while no major boycott has yet gathered steam, some businesses are already feeling the backlash from the new bill. So who should stay clear of Arizona, you know, besides illegal immigrants? Anyone with a suntan. From the Times:

At the Arizona Inn in Tucson, the manager, Will Conroy, said that over the weekend 12 customers canceled reservations or said they would not return to the state because of the law.

"This is a very scary situation that the police can now just come up to you for no reason and ask for papers," Joy Mann, a prospective guest who had previously stayed at the inn, wrote him in an e-mail message. "My son is a construction worker and is very suntanned. I cannot ask him to join us there now, as I would fear for him."

The largest Spanish-language newspaper in the US, La Opinión, said in an editorial that people should "say 'no' to Arizona":

We express our outrage in the face of this abuse of power. We call for a boycott of all goods and services from Arizona and pledge to avoid tourism in the state as well. Let's send a signal of our disgust with an arrogant state government that asserts powers it does not have in order to persecute a minority population.

Arizona has been slapped with a boycott before, when the state refused to observe Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. After a tourist boycott and a Public Enemy song, in 1992 the state reluctantly made it a holiday. Good luck, Arizona!

[Image via]