Tag Archives: sb-1070

‘Los Suns’ Dominate!

My brother and I were in the nose-bleed seats last night – did you catch us in the crowd? Probably not. But you definitely should have caught the outrageous fandemonium at the second game of  the Suns-Spurs playoffs matchup last night. It was the most intensely energized crowd, with seas of orange shirts, ear-shattering boos at the Spurs, and creative noisemakers to add to the fiesta. And a fiesta it was – in honor of Cinco de Mayo, the team dressed in their Los Suns jerseys. The game itself was fierce – we were neck and neck with  the Spurs all night. We tied it at a halftime, and surprisingly had a very strong second half of the game, but there were no solid leads the entire game, and no guarantees. But Los Suns really got it together, and we won 110-102, bringing the tally to 2-0 in our run against the notorious Spurs. I can’t tell you enough about how fun the game was.

Earlier in the day, I heard that Steve Nash and Steve Kerr had made their stance against SB-1070, Arizona’s new controversial, muchly-debated immigration bill.  They added that they were also wearing the Los Suns jerseys as protest of the bill. Amar’e Stoudemire also took to his twitter to protest against the bill. Here’s a snippet of what they said:

Nash: “I think the law is very misguided. I think it is unfortunately to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties and I think it is very important for us to stand up for things we believe in.”

Kerr: “We want to celebrate the diversity that exists in our state and exists in the NBA. We know what’s going on and we don’t agree with the law itself.”

Amar’e (in a tweet): We support the Latin community. They are part of the 12 tribes of Israel. It 1 nation under YAH (god). Let’s come together. Shalom! 1love”

Now, I can see both sides of this situation – they are in fact exercising their freedom of speech. They have every right to do so, and I applaud them for standing up for Latinos.

The flipside, however, is that people rely on sports entertainment as an escape from the everyday politics and strife of our society. Thus, the team should’ve just stuck to the game, and not the politics.

However, consider this. The Suns weren’t the ones who let politics infiltrate sports – they are responding to national endeavors to boycott Arizona and everything associated with it. The Suns were standing up against this in their own way – their team shouldn’t be boycotted solely because of their state’s offensive legislature. They’re standing up against  the bill and standing up for Arizona – there are dissenting voices in this state, and lumping everyone into one racist group is unfair.

As much as I’m conflicted about this bill, I don’t think boycotting the state is the answer. It’s a very strong message, yes, but it pains me because I live here, and I don’t want my state to suffer on account of this bill.

What do YOU think about all of this?

Proof of Racist Roots of SB 1070

The argument that I keep hearing in defense of SB 1070 is that it’s simply targeting illegal immigration, and that there’s no racist undertones intended. It’s an opinion that I respect, but also respectfully disagree with.  This bill did not originate solely from the desire to eradicate illegal acts and ensure the safety of our country.

Check out this enlightening clip from The Rachel Maddow show on information on the people who spawned this law: Russell Pearce, The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and more.  As always, I welcome constructive comments and rebuttal!

Revisiting the ‘Colossus’

As I plan a trip to introduce my loving boyfriend to my neck of the woods – New Jersey/New York City, I’m reminded of why I love the tri-state area.

My family immigrated from the USSR when I was three years old. I had the privilege of growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey – mere miles away from all of the action. While my grandparents, uncles, and cousins lived within a square mile of our apartment, all of our extended family lived across toll lines. Every couple of weeks, we’d pile up in my dad’s Chevy Celebrity and trek through tunnels and bridges effortlessly. In many ways, I took those places for granted. From my ten-story view, I could see The Twin Towers, The Verrazano Bridge, and on fogless days, even The Statue of Liberty.

My fourth grade class went to Ellis Island – so much history, and yet so little realization of what it all meant. Nowadays, whenever I visit (which I try to do at least twice a year), I feel completely at home in Times Square and on NJ Transit buses (which my dad operated for years). I don’t know the streets and roads by heart, but I know who I am when I’m there. Crazy as it sounds, I feel safe within the crowd. My obsession with 24 should tell me otherwise — but I can’t help it.

So this year, my boyfriend’s coming with me, and we’re *hopefully* going to be full-on tourists. We’ll stay with my grandparents and meet up with friends, but for the majority of the time, we’ll be at the Natural History Museum, the Met, the MoMA (aren’t I a trendster), and the Empire State Building. We’ll catch an off-broadway play, and we’ll get to go to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island. (Disclaimer: I’ve received an immunity deal from the Evil Eye on any excitement on impending trip mentioned herein).

The last two spots seem particularly timely; amid Arizona’s turmoil with a misguided (to borrow a wise man’s words) anti-illegal immigration bill, it’s sad to think of how our country began and how it presents itself today. As an immigrant myself, I feel so lucky to have been given a chance to grow up in the United States. I’m lucky to be part of the millions of people who’ve been sheltered in these states. Yes, the shelter happened to be acquired legally, but as a child, all you know is that you’re safe, and you’re in good hands. I don’t condone illegal activities, but I don’t think anything is as black and white as Arizona’s legislature is making it out to be. I’ve read SB-1070, or at least I’ve tried to, and it’s very confusing.

I’m trying very hard not to simply jump on the bandwagon. I’ve really tried to think this through, and I wonder how many others have as well. What does this bill really mean – and does it resonate with this country’s long history of sheltering the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses? I think you’ll agree with me that it doesn’t. Not simply because it’s a partisan bill, or a “Republican” and an “Old West” bill – but because it doesn’t feel right. It’s not ethical. It doesn’t highlight the best of our country. There must be a better way to secure our borders without resorting to this. Perhaps the solution is for the State government to slow down and collaborate, and to do so with a more active Federal government. The latter is getting flack for not doing enough to combat illegal immigration – but it had it’s plate full, wouldn’t you agree?

It’s hard to feel like you can make a difference when people in our state government act without consideration for human rights. It’s exhausting, to be honest. I feel so drained just thinking about it. And I’m not even the one directly targeted in this bill (though I’m sure it’ll affect my loved ones and me).  I worry. I worry that crime against non-whites will increase. I worry that suspicion and backstabbing will increase. I worry that people who really, truly need shelter won’t get it. I worry that racism has gotten the seal of approval from the likes of Jan Brewer and Russell Pearce.

But, I’m hopeful that with activism, with enough votes, this can be reversed somehow. If not, I feel almost compelled to apologize to the Statue of Liberty and all that it stands for.