Incoming attorney general Tom Horne has chosen as his first official target in combatting crime in our state the dangerous Mexican-American studies classes in Tucson schools. This would be laughable if it were not part of the larger social tapestry in Arizona. In the recent past, political honchos in Arizona — Pearce’s SB 1070, Arpaio’s crime suppression sweeps — have undertaken efforts that are, in fact, ethnically focused on the Latino community in our state.
Horne’s decision to foolishly spend our law enforcement resources on such silliness lays bare their true motivation. The reigning political conservatives in state government clearly feel embittered and culturally embattled by demographic and social shifts in our state, which they adjudge a danger to our historical American legacy. They are not alone. It appears that a majority of Arizonans — at least those being sampled in recent polls — share this concern. Our state leaders are poised to continue their backward-leaning efforts, be they true believers or cynical opportunists.
Tragically, the unintended consequence is a heavy smog of ethnic intolerance and racial bigotry which floats over our state. Arizona needs leaders who will follow Utah’s business, education and religious leaders and sign a compact of civil discourse and call on all to stop the ethnic/culture sniping. Even the Mormon Church in Utah — no liberal organization — has asked its members to subscribe to the principles of this compact. Where are our compassionate leaders? Where is our Arizona compact? Enough is enough!
Robert Decker, Tempe