So where are the Russell Pearce pinatas? Arizona's state Senate President is the most powerful politico in Sand Land, and arguably an even greater foe of Latinos than Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who's been "honored" in pinata form by his opponents on many occasions.
But Pearce has yet to receive the pinata treatment, perhaps because he comes off as even meaner and scarier than Sheriff Joe. But that, if you ask me, is exactly the point: To fill a Pearce pinata full of candy and treat it in the traditional manner will do wonders for the spirits of the folk Pearce is so intent on oppressing.
Some regard political pinatas as violent. I would argue that, on the contrary, they encourage non-violence, laughter and the purging of anger and fear. After pummeling a pinata blindfolded, and getting your share of treats, you don't want to hurt anyone. Rather, one is filled with joy and happiness. Harming another human being is the furthest thing from one's mind.
So, my humble suggestion for the activists of human rights group Puente, which has announced a children's march to the state Capitol on Saturday, April 23 to protest Pearce's anti-birthright citizenship bills among other pieces of racist legislation, is that they get to work with the papier-mache and pics of Pearce's mug.
A press release from Puente's allies at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, is what gave me the idea. Particularly this passage:
"The march, called for by the children and parents of the Puente Movement, is an invitation to musicians, clowns, performers, and families to celebrate the next generation and convert the state Capitol from a site of hate and fear to one of joy and children's happiness."
What could do more to convert the state Capitol "from a site of hate and fear," than transforming the bete noir of all immigrants, and particularly Mexican immigrants, into a party game for the kids Pearce loves to hate? (Indeed, he loves to hate them so much that he wants their right to citizenship by birth under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stripped from them.)
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Would Pearce pinatas be controversial? Certainly. Just as Arpaio pinatas have been when the activist group PUEBLO had fun back in 2008 with some Sheriff Joe pinatas they'd made. Or when activists in Tucson did the same during an anti-Joe demo, with pro-immigrant firebrand Isabel Garcia present.
The guaranteed publicity for the pinatas will reveal the depth of opposition to Pearce's bigoted bills. Also, Puente could sell them as well and make a little cash. Hell, I'd buy one just to hang it -- unmolested and pristine -- in my office as a souvenir of the struggle against nativism.
And for those Pearce defenders out there, put a sock in it. Pearce should regard it as some weird sort of compliment, since it'd be the product of the people he despises. I'd even be happy to purchase one for his amusement -- or the amusement of state Senate Democrats -- as well.