| News |


Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

"It's a goddamn racist state and no one will say that. It just pisses me the hell off."

That's the opinion of Rick DeGraw, the Democratic consultant who ran the grassroots portion of the campaign for Proposition 302. He's not speaking on a hunch, either.

In 1988, DeGraw worked against Proposition 106, the patently racist English Only bill that sought to make English the official language in Arizona. DeGraw says that, county by county, the vote for English Only nearly matches the vote against a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. "The similarities are incredible," he says. To his mind, the similarities prove that the defeat of 302 is the result of racism. (See chart above.)

DeGraw also offers strong evidence that, in the rural counties, it was the minorities who turned against the idea of an MLK Day, even though they banded together two years ago against 106. "What I'm telling you is that in the urban counties, Hispanics voted correctly for 302," he says. "But in those rural counties with the highest Hispanic population, 302 got the shit kicked out of it." (See chart above.)

The problem could have been that the rural Hispanics, and also Native Americans, weren't reached by a statewide campaign that virtually ignored them, DeGraw says.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.