Get Out! Arizona and America Join Joe Arpaio in Rushing to Inquire: Are Your Papers in Order?

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton, celebrated suffragette and rum obsessionist, viewed alcohol as an immigrant issue: "Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a democracy, who never read the Declaration of Independence."

Understanding that this sort of drivel always has been a part of the national fabric is not to excuse it. We must not tolerate the midway we've been invited into, where barkers with badges play whack-a-Mexican for the delight of gap-toothed voters.

But it is useful to understand that politicians are not going to rectify the situation. Splenetic officials who fan the fever of common boobery must be kicked to the curb. Remember, too, the fair-weather moderates when they come calling for your campaign contribution.

And we also must stand up individually.

To the pious constitutional scholars who yelp, "What part of 'illegal' don't you understand?" there is but one answer:

Why, none of it, sir. None of it at all.

If you live in Phoenix, you will be asked by out-of-state Nellies why you don't move out of a state whose legislature notoriously canceled the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Because the fight is in Arizona; I would not be anywhere else.

My hand to Mexicans, and my fist to crackers.

Daniel Magos agreed to the use of his name in this article, but some others requested anonymity out of a sense of caution. Our subjects came courtesy of the ACLU and other activist concerns. We are indebted to Daniel Okrent's exemplary Last Call for references to Jordan and Stanton.

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Michael Lacey is the executive editor of Village Voice Media, a group of 15 metropolitan newsweeklies that stretch from Miami to San Francisco. He writes frequently for Phoenix New Times, which he co-founded in 1970. In 1997, he co-founded New Times Broward-Palm Beach, and since then, the paper has seen circulation increase nearly ten-fold. Lacey’s work has been recognized in the following journalism competitions: Unity Awards in Media, Mencken Awards, Heywood Broun Awards, Golden Quill Awards, Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, Nixon Newspaper National Journalism Writing Awards, John Bartlow Martin Awards, Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards, Best of the West Awards, Maggie Awards, and the Arizona Press Club’s Don Schellie Award for Feature Column Writing.
Contact: Michael Lacey