ARIZONA RACISM:DON'T BE FOOLED BY CHEAP IMITATIONS

Of course it's a shame about the defeat of the King holiday by the voters of Arizona. But we're going to remain calm and reasonable about this race relations thing. The people have spoken. Let the legislature do something about civil rights. We must move forward. This is a time for healing.

Do not listen to this public-relations ear rot being spun by the media.
This is not a time for healing.
Greed and racism in Arizona defeated the legacy of the slain Baptist minister, and it is about time that we looked this monster in the eye. This is not a time for healing, it is a time for the torch.

When King-hater Julian Sanders next approaches a microphone, pull his arms out of their sockets and beat the son of a bitch to death with his own limbs.

If Evan Mecham, champion of schoolbooks that identify black children as pickaninnies, opens his mouth again, ever, crack him so hard across the chops that you knock that Woolworth's wig of his into cornrows.

Scald those who called King a Communist.
The morning after the election, I talked to a lot of depressed people who wondered why they lived in the state where Bull Conner had apparently retired. The truly exasperated fantasized about moving. It was only talk.

I don't like living in a racist state either, but I'll be damned if I'll let a mob of rednecks whistle the tune.

Nor am I willing to turn the cheek or bind the wounds from this election. To hell with that. I want to kneecap the cretinous bastards responsible for this.

I finally heard one man put it straight.
Two days after the election, Phoenix Suns coach Cotton Fitzsimmons said the election was, flat out, the product of racism.

Fitzsimmons did not stop there.
Custodians of Arizona's paper clips and bottles of whiteout supposedly objected to honoring King because it meant another paid holiday for government workers.

These fiscal fuss-budgets were joined by Arizona's chivalrous jingoists. When the NFL made clear what was apparent from the very beginning--that the league would not stage the '93 Super Bowl in a city that repudiated Dr. King--legions of crackpots said they were voting against the holiday simply to defend our honor, to tell the football commissioner that the sovereign state of Arizona could not be bullied.

Coach Fitzsimmons just said: Don't hide behind these flimsy skirts. We can deal with your racism, but for God's sake, stop dusting off these wheezy rationalizations.

It took more than bigots, however, to humble us; it took the all-too-familiar crew of civic boosters. Instead of the black ministers who've led the King struggle for years in Arizona, the recent election was dominated by sports shill and newspaper spokesperson Bill Shover.

When King's detractors wallowed in tales of adultery, they were countered by arguments linking the slain civil rights martyr to the success of Phoenix's upcoming Super Bowl. We were told the election was about hotel rooms lost when conventioneers across the country canceled bookings in Arizona because of the state's absence of a King holiday. Instead of a campaign for human decency, we were expected to turn out on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce's checkbook.

Bill Shover suffered from white man's disease, the inability to leap for anything higher than the almighty buck. This tawdry approach was underlined when Shover and the Arizona Republic endorsed Fife Symington for governor. During the campaign, it was revealed that Symington was a proud member of the lily-white Paradise Valley Country Club, a bastion of segregation that refused membership to black entrepreneur Lincoln Ragsdale.

The King movement should not compromise with racism. We do not need to find common ground with bigots. There are too many in Arizona who believe that crack has devastated black neighborhoods because there is something wrong with blacks. There are too many quick to believe that the housing projects in Phoenix are teeming with Mexicans and blacks because these people are shiftless and lazy.

Or as the caller to talk-radio KFYI explained on election day, if the King holiday was enacted, Arizona would need a second holiday on September 1.

Why was that? wondered the credulous talk-show host.
Because that's the day the new Cadillacs come out, said the caller.
I do not want to heal the wounds of this divisive election with this moron. I want to burn him out.

For some time now, for years, this newspaper has written about the beatings and the shootings of minorities. We have listened to the official explanations of this violence and then photographed the bullet holes that contradicted the official explanations. And yet, when it came time for the King election, we decided not to get on a soapbox and lecture readers about the history of civil rights in Arizona, about the none-too-distant segregated hotels, restaurants and schools. We did not want to preach about the equality of all men in America, the one dream that makes this country unique.

Instead of an editorial we looked for a story that might illuminate the ongoing need for a King observance. We did not have to look far.

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2 comments
VICTORIA MARY STONG/caucasian
VICTORIA MARY STONG/caucasian

First and foremost,Jeff,I want you to know that I'M hearing you and your being denied work due to others outright RACISM is horrible! Obviously, there's a lot of CORRUPTION in Arizona and I, in my own right do what I can over the Internet and phone to help. If I was in Arizona would have taken ACTIVIST action! I'm terribly sorry about all the racism that's keeping you from working in the EMT and Fire Service Departments etc. like many other fine and upstanding African-Americans and Native Americans or other non-white peoples. GOD SEES THOSE RACISTS though and God makes sure that what goes around, comes around,so don't worry. You're a wonderful person as I can read you through what you do and don't say. God bless you for being such a fine professional man. These RACISTS need to look at History so they can know who the TRUE Americans are. African-Americans and Native Americans are the ones that got the U.S.A. built up to become the worlds most popular, educated and demanded in many aspects. African Americans & Native Americans are very noble, dedicated, patriotic and hard-working highly patriotic activist individuals. They allow us all to enjoy many things here in the U.S.! God knows your heart and the good you are trying to do, but there's unfortunately too many caucasians/whites trying to tear down and discount all your hard work and all the hard work you WANT to do too. I wish so badly I was nearby you to go to various offices to fight for your employment and MAKE them listen by conducting a boycott and protest against them. I would have called Washington Offices etc.. I know THE SOUTH IS NOTORIOUS FOR THEIR RACISM and it thoroughly disgusts me especially as a caucasion International Civil Rights and Community Activist all over the Internet and N.Y.C.(financially I can't afford to be more active,unfortunately,but that's due to various CORRUPTED Offices,Dept.'s,Police,N.Y.C.H.A.& Politicians NOT doing the jobs they DO have and hating Activists like me!).I want you to know,Jeff, that I would've done something if I knew about this a long time ago. People need these true testamonies to have an example of how people are so unfairly treated solely due to RACISM and nothing else!

Jeff
Jeff

"We will live forever with this racism."

Some way and some how, yes we must! I think that innately we are the bigger men as we are challenged with forgiving and (but not forgetting...never) on a day to day basis.

I see racism on each and every corner in Arizona. I am a born and raised southerner so I know it when I see it...even froma mile away.

At the moment I am a twenty-something year old minority firefighter and EMT. I earned a degree from one of the best universities in the world, earned my firefighter and EMT certifications, yet I have repeatedly been told "No."

If I am mentally and physically fit to say the least, well-educated, well-trained and of impeccable character yet I cannot simply get a chance to work in order to make a living what else am I to believe except that my skin must be the wrong color and I must not know the right individuals. These two really and truly are one in the same all too common especially in the fire service.

I can lick my wounds and move on, but sometimes I wonder where the modern-day Branch Rickeys, Pee Wee Reeses, etc. are? That is, who has the brains, brawn and balls to stand up for what is right?

So many people in powerful positions of authority claim to have such remarkable character and integrity, yet when their facing a big nasty hurler on the mound they will not swing the damn bat even though they have homerun potential.

 
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