I used to be a proud Arizonan. The Wild West, gun slingers, Wyatt Earp, the Salt River, incredible sunsets, ancient Native American cliff dwellings, snowcapped mountain peaks, and home to one of the True Wonders of the World. Every year, millions of tourists come here to enjoy 75 degree weather in the winter, the WM Phoenix Open, 13 spring training stadiums, incredible hiking, Barrett Jackson, year-round pool parties, and sometimes Super Bowls at our new Cardinal Stadium.
People should be proud of where they’re from. I’m not anymore. Here’s why:
1. We’re prejudiced.
Only in Arizona, a republican state which is supposed to tout individual freedom, would we pass a bill demanding its citizens carry documentation as proof that someone is American. S.B. 1070 literally requires policeman to attempt to determine an individual’s immigration status, not specific to any criminal activity, when there is reasonable suspicion that the said individual is an illegal immigrant. Basically, if a cop doesn’t like your sneakers, he can stop you and ask for your green card. Nothing screams individual freedom like hassling someone because of their skin color, an issues America is relatively new to… right? Additionally, earlier this year we made national headlines due to our state senators almost passing a bill which allows a business to refuse service to homosexuals. Again, we love individual freedom; unless your gay, Mexican, black, short, purple, or watch MSNBC.
2. Our politicians are the worst.
First, Sherriff Joe’s prison, “Tent City,” is a group of tents with no electricity or running water. Prisoners are forced to wear pink underwear and it’s the only prison in the nation which still has chain gangs. For women too. In 115 degree heat. What a heart this guy has, I tell ya. When Sheriff Joe isn’t on national television spewing hate, there’s still plenty of slime moving around in Arizona. In 2011, state senator Scott Bundgard was caught beating his girlfriend because she was mad he decided to take dance lessons instead of getting counseling for his hobby of hitting her. You can’t make this shit up.
Then there’s Russell Pearce, who wrote a bill in 2006 titled “Operation Wetback,” which attempted to deport 1.3 million Mexicans. No, that’s not a nickname; it’s the actual title on the cover of the bill. He even used verbiage from the white supremacist group National Alliance in his email to rally support for the bill. Oh, and if we don’t like our politicians, we shoot them with automatic weapons. Nothing says “working together for the betterment of the state” like shooting your own congresswoman in the head.
3. Our laws are outrageous.
I can hang an AR-15 in the rear window of my F-350, but if I’m caught with 1 joint I’m going to tent city for a tan in my pink undies. First offense DUI? One week in tent city, one month house arrest, 6 months interlock device, and a $5,000 fine. Crash into or cut down a saguaro cactus? $30,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison. Furthermore, we have a law titled the “Stupid Motorist Law.” Not that the law itself is that bad (you have to pay for emergency services if your car gets stuck in a puddle), but the name is downright hilarious. I don’t think there’s a better way to prove you care about people more than legally giving them the title “stupid.”
Then there’s our hypocritical business outlook, which we say is pro-business but is clearly a hack. Sure, we have an 8% sales-tax rate, which is pretty good, but with Jim Crow like anti-gay business legislation, bills being written to ban Uber and Teslas’ direct sales business strategy, and our cuts to lower income schools which is detrimental to the quality of our workers, our future sure looks bright.
Good job, Arizona. If there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s proving to the world that people who live in deserts are deranged. Let’s next pass a bill banning homophobic, union bought, racist woman-beaters from state politics.