Feathered Bastard

Phoenix Suns Don "Los Suns" Jerseys To Honor Latinos, Danny Glover Denounces SB 1070 in Phoenix Tomorrow, and D.C., West Hollywood and Santa Ana Oppose SB 1070

Suns managing partner Robert Sarver has announced his opposition to Arizona's new "papers please" legislation, adding a unique touch by saying that players will don their "Los Suns" jerseys for the second game in the NBA Western Conference semifinals against the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday, which is Cinco de Mayo.

The Suns topped the Spurs in game one Monday night, 111-102.

Sarver issued the following statement in regards to Arizona's SB 1070, and the controversy surrounding it:

"Our players and organization felt that wearing our `Los Suns' jerseys on Cinco de Mayo was a way for our team and our organization to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the State of Arizona, and our nation. We are proud that 400 players from 36 countries compete in the NBA, and the league and the Suns have always considered that to be a great strength of the NBA.

"The frustration with the federal government's failure to deal with the issue of illegal immigration resulted in passage of a flawed state law. However intended, the result of passing this law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question, and Arizona's already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them."

Since pretty much everyone loves the Suns, you can count this as a huge score for those opposing SB 1070.

Wednesday will a big day here in Sand Land. As I blogged recently, the Rev. Al Sharpton will be at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Phoenix for a service and a candlelight procession to the Capitol protesting the law.

And Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover will be in town too, though not at the same event, as was suggested by organizers yesterday. He'll be meeting with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon over SB 1070 around mid-day Wednesday.

Regarding the hit being taken by "Arizona's already struggling economy," as Sarver called it, three cities have now joined the opposition to the new legislation, which would require checks of citizenship and residency status during any "lawful stop, detention or arrest" by a police officer.

All 13 members of the council also co-sponsored a measure that would prevent the D.C. police from sharing arrest info with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the Washington Post.

Similarly the 12-member Union of South American Nations, meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, denounced SB 1070 as allowing for the "discretional detention of people based on racial, ethnic, phenotypic, language and migratory status reasons under the questionable concept of 'reasonable doubt."

On the flip side of the debate, there are some arguing against a boycott, including former Supreme Court Justice and native Arizonan Sandra Day O'Connor, who told a San Francisco audience, "Don't boycott us."

From a less distinguished source, the L.A.-based KFI 640 AM "John and Ken Show" traveled to Phoenix to do its drive-time broadcast from the state Capitol, interviewing Arizona's number one bigot, state Senator Russell Pearce, the primary sponsor of SB 1070.

The two wingnuts are calling their effort "John and Ken's We (Heart) Arizona."

If you've never heard of them before, there's a reason. An Arbitron spokesman told me that for the broadest demographic of listeners aged six and above, the show ranks seventh for its time slot. Among listeners 45-54, they rank third for their time slot, their best showing according to Arbitron.

Which means the middle-aged white males who listen to hate radio in Los Angeles are supportive of SB 1070.

But you already knew that.

A recently released New York Times/CBS News survey shows that 51 percent of those polled believe Arizona's immigration legislation is "just right," as opposed to 36 percent who think it goes "too far."

Rasmussen Reports, the pollsters that love to tell you what white America is thinking, also released a poll stating that 50 percent of those responding had an unfavorable impression of the people protesting SB 1070 during Saturday's May Day marches.

What Rasmussen rarely tells you is that most of the "likely voters" the company surveys are whites.

Though Rasmussen's flak didn't get back to me on how many whites were in the poll of 1,000, she did send me a spreadsheet showing that 56 percent of whites had an unfavorable opinion of the demonstrators. 

Twenty-three percent of blacks regarded the marchers negatively, and 37 percent of an unspecified "other" didn't like the demos.

So most white people don't like to see brown people in the street demonstrating.

Which is something else you already knew. Thanks Rasmussen!

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons