Arizona is Going to Enforce Racial Profiling. Why? Because “Illegals” Intentionally Cause Accidents

It is bad enough that McCain is running around blathering about closing the borders and how Arizona is going to take matters into their own hands (eye roll) by passing one of the most racist pieces of law in existence today, that essentially allows racial profiling, but justifying the law with blatant racism is potentially a new low. According to McCain, “illegals,” are intentionally causing traffic accidents, uh, not to mention cause property damage, theft and other types of crime, well, you know, all while tending to your garden. Watch below.


Transcript at Huffington post. You have to love how he essentially says that he is sorry if there is any racial profiling to come out of this law, but that it is basically worth it to “protect” people.
McCain’s attitude to me reeks of the small minded racism that came out of the last election and reminds me of something Alice Walker said when I went to see her speak last week (i know I am so lucky, she was amazing). She mentioned that she really loved Obama, but she often felt frustrated with the way that he was negotiating with some Republicans, not because it was bad politics, but because he isn’t old enough to have seen how stubborn whites that were against desegregation and black advancement used to act in Congress. She said that the behavior of many Republicans in Congress was the same attitude that they had many years ago when they didn’t want blacks to have equal access and that they were acting like “spoiled children.” To which naturally, we all applauded.
That quote stuck with me and resonates as I watch how McCain is essentially justifying a racist policy with racism. I am so glad he is not president, e-gods.
Related:
Racism, Xenophobia and Misogyny Intersect: Giving birth while in shackles.
Pushing Joe Arpaio to the margins
**sorry for all the re-posts, I kept putting quotes in the wrong places..I think I have fixed all my punctuative transgressions**

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26 Comments

  1. Brittany-Ann
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Their reaction is privilege, pure and simple. It’s disgusting that so many people can’t see what’s wrong with this legislation.

  2. MLEmac28
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    As to intentionally causing accidents. There actually is some truth behind that. When I was living in LA, a woman my dad worked with experienced it first hand. A car pulled right in front of her, and then slammed on the brakes, causing her to rear-end them. Everyone in the car was Mexican and didn’t speak any English, fortunately, the woman was Argentinian and spoke fluent Spanish. Another man pulled over and told the police that he witnessed the whole thing, and that the first car caused the accident. The police didn’t care (welcome to LA) and gave her the ticket anyway. The next day she found out she was being sued for causing whiplash, etc. Our theory was that some crooked lawyer probably put these guys up to it, so that he could file a law suit and get a very nice cut of the money.
    Obviously, racial profiling to stop this is only going to fuck things up even more. This problem could have been preventing if the police actually did their job, and if prosecutors were willing to go after lawyers who pay people to get into accidents.

  3. Katherine
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Bravo, McCain. *sarcasm* Good thing my family doesn’t live in Arizona- under this law, my mother would be profiled as a potential “criminal.” (My mom’s Hispanic, with “expected” Hispanic features- tan skin, black hair- and my dad’s non-Hispanic white, with lighter skin and light brown hair. I look more like my dad and I don’t have a Spanish surname, so I’ve never been treated “differently” because of my background while my mom has.) It’s lovely to know that my mom’s entire side of the family (including my aunt, uncle, and younger cousin who legally live and work/attend school in the U.S.) would be deemed potential criminals under Arizona law. Fail, Arizona.

  4. Lafemme
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “As to intentionally causing accidents. There actually is some truth behind that.”
    Wow… you’re basing on ONE incident that happened to someone you know? I hardly think that’s enough to prove that “there’s some truth behind that.”

  5. Sloppy Sandwich
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    That story about a car full of people slamming on the brakes in front of the driver is an urban myth, and usually a racist one involving *gasp* a car full of people of color.
    Even if it wasn’t a myth, why on earth would the people in the car be illegal? Undocumented immigrants want to draw police and legal attention to themselves as little as possible lest their status is discovered and they are forced to leave the country.

  6. LalaReina
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Does not someone with a voice in these matters say “hey, this is a really bad idea, we look ridiculous”.

  7. supremepizza
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t doubt the veracity of your story. Crooked lawyers enlist people to do crooked shyt. Beyond that this legislation is about much more than stopping intentional wreck schemes.
    There’s a view that this country belongs exclusively to Anglos. This is what the Tea Baggers mean when they say, “We want to take our country back”. They lost an election, not a country. The US is not lost. It hasn’t been stolen, it doesn’t need to be recovered.

  8. Jack
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve decided to imagine an idealized world where a) someone steals a white politician’s wallet, b) a police officer asks him to produce papers proving he’s here legally, c) he can’t, and d) is arrested.
    It’s actually kind of funny, if you think about it. When Obama was elected, there were all these conservative conspiracy theories about how he was going to institute some kind of fascist dystopia wherein this kind of shit would happen. Maybe they just resented that Obama was going to beat them to the punch?

  9. supremepizza
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I understand that BO, Pelosi & Reid have decided to make immigration reform their next legislative priority. From a strictly political perspective I think that’s lousy politics. If they thought the health care debate was obnoxious, just wait until the discussion turns personal. This will absolutely split the Democratic Party, and in this atmosphere (as McCain’s pivot proves) the Chamber of Commerce crowd within the Republican Party no longer has the swag to help push it thru Congress.
    There are any number of deal breakers, on both sides of the aisle, to kill the effort many times over. From national, biometric id cards (which would piss off the Right) to guest worker permits & increased border security (which would piss off the Left)…and don’t even mention Amnesty. Twenty-five percent of Republicans think BO is the Anti-Christ, and we think they’re going to support national ID cards??? Why not just call it the 666 program & be done with it? I’m a liberal & I wouldn’t support national id cards! Except for energizing the Latino vote in certain states, this will crater the Dem’s electoral results.

  10. Toongrrl
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Eeewww…Bill O’Reilly. Dang you McCain, immigrants aren’t trying to run you over. They have more precious time than that.

  11. lauren montano
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I am repulsed by this law and agree that it is undoubtedly one of the worst cases of racial profiling signed into law. However, i live in Los Angeles, and although I can’t see how this law would help stop this, in my experience the car accident thing is semi-valid. It seems like the people commenting that this doesn’t happen are probably not from LA.
    Before you guys jump all over me I myself am Hispanic and I am married to an undocumented Mexican immigrant. My coworker (also Hispanic) was hit on the freeway by an undocumented woman and her car flipped and she was in a coma. Basically, the woman that hit her didn’t have a drivers license or insurance but was let off the hook because she told the cops my friend had stopped suddenly. Cops in LA are TOO LAZY to deal with all the paperwork/processes involved to sort out this woman’s immigration status and found this to be a satisfactory resolution to the case. My coworker is fine now and is suing this lady but people should keep in mind that people’s illegal status does protect them in certain situations.

  12. MishaKitty
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness. Are you talking about the insurance scheme myth? Even if this was true (and I work in a law firm that handles PI cases, this is NOT at all common! 2 years I don’t think I’ve seen 1 case like this) they should be coming up with legislation to go after the rich and crooked lawyers and doctors that are involved and preying on the poor illegals that they need to make this shit work that put their health at risk for this stupid crap.
    And it’s a myth!

  13. MLEmac28
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Everyone, please read my post carefully before jumping to conclusions.
    Lafemme:
    All I was saying is, it happens. I didn’t say it was widespread. Because I know of one confirmed case it is not dishonest to say “there is some truth behind it”
    Sloppy Sandwich
    I am not repeating a myth that I heard somewhere, I could give you the name of the woman, if I wasn’t concerned about violating her privacy. Also, I never said the people in the car were illegal. Most likely, they at least became legal through an amnesty program that California had in the late 80s (this accident I speak of took place in the early 90s).
    Misha Kitty:
    I stated that the way to deal with such a problem would not be through Arizona’s laws, but by going after the crooked lawyers.
    Everybody:
    I do not think this is common among illegal immigrants or Mexicans, and I never said so. I think that when this does happen, its a problem of crooked lawyers preying on disenfranchised people, convincing them to put themselves at risk in order to get money. Its sick and awful and I don’t think the Arizona legislation is going to do shit for it.

  14. Cactus Wren
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    There’s a view that this country belongs exclusively to Anglos. This is what the Tea Baggers mean when they say, “We want to take our country back”.
    Fred Clark wrote a terrific posting about this a few months ago, in which he points out that the teabag lot are freaked out by everything Obama says, up to and including “Yes we can”. He cites one woman, Lorie Medina, a leader in the Dallas Tea Party, who claims she’s never heard Obama “say anything good about America”:

    {W}e don’t need to replay all the thousands of hours of Obama’s speeches or reread the millions of words he has written or said. We can figure out why {Lorie} Medina is so scared and angry by considering just three of those words, three words that Barack Obama said several times a day, every day, on national television, for nearly all of 2007 and 2008: “Yes we can.”
    Twisting that statement into some kind of negative comment to support the claim that Obama “does not love our country like most Americans do — and like [the 43 white] presidents do” is not easy.
    “Yes” is, by definition, as positive a statement as one can make. And “can” is almost as irrepressibly optimistic.
    That just leaves “we.”
    For Medina, Palin, Beck, et. al., “Yes we can” is a negative statement because of the word “we.”
    Lorie Medina has never heard Barack Obama say anything good about America because she cannot comprehend that the word “we” could ever be spoken by someone who looks like him in a way that was meant to include someone who looks like her. She cannot conceive that “we” could be used in such an inclusive way because that is not how she uses the term herself — not the way she understands it or is capable of understanding it. When she says “we” she is, emphatically, not including people who look like Barack Obama and so, when she hears him say it, she assumes he must likewise be excluding people who look like her.
    And thus that three-word expression of unambiguous love for America sounds instead, in the ears of a Tea Partier, like a threat. To them it sounds like the war cry of outsiders, usurpers determined to shoulder aside people who look like her so they can take over the place to make it a home for people who look like him.
    And just to be clear, by “people who look like him” and “people who look like her” above I do, in fact, mean black and white. And by that, yes, I mean that Lorie Medina and the Dallas Tea Party are a sad little bunch of racists.

  15. MishaKitty
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you think it makes more sense that in areas where there are just more undocumented immigrants (because they’re closer to the border or what have you)that there would be a higher chance of a person having an accident with one of them? It’s not that they’re out to get you or that undocumented people are the worst drivers, but when there’s more in one place of course it’s more likely they’ll be in more accidents!
    And it really sounds like your beef regarding this accident your friend was in is with the police not doing their jobs. How would this law help lazy law enforcement? It wouldn’t, this just help racist law enforcement.
    Also, I like how you point out that you’re talking about LA when this legislation that we’re talking about is in Arizona. I know they’re kind of close but not the same.

  16. Gesyckah
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    #1: I doubt the cops are lazy. The department is most likely another understaffed and inefficient organization.
    #2: McCain was referencing illegal immigrants that intentionally cause accidents.
    The idea that a significant percentage of illegal immigrants are intentionally causing accidents is new to me; but I don’t reject it. It’s not something that needs to be rejected in order to see how ridiculous Arizona’s approach is. I find it interesting that people are responding to that particular myth/truth with such passion. I’m sure McCain got his statement from some conservative twist of the truth and I think it’s important to venture into Crazy Conservative land everyone once in a while.
    Note: McCain’s statement most likely belongs with the popular pro-life statement “Women become addicted to having abortions!”. It may be a half truth, but it’s a waste of progressives’ time to debate/deny it.

  17. lauren montano
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Your point about the probability of having an accident with an undocumented person in an area with more undocumented people being higher is valid. However, they are worse drivers for one simple reason–they have never been to driving school/drivers ed or passed any tests verifying that they have enough “road rules knowledge” to drive. Yes, yes there are plenty of shitty licensed drivers but it IS a major public safety issue. When driving in a particular area of LA called MacArthur Park where I would guess probably 30% of the people driving there don’t have a license it IS more dangerous. Example, at stop signs and when a traffic light blows out, the people DO NOT know what to do. It’s like so precarious because they don’t know what the proper procedure is. That is why we need to start immediately issuing them drivers licenses, so they can come in, take the tests, and be educated about driving like everyone else.
    However, this is super off topic and my original point was that I could understand the theory behind that component of the Arizona law. But whatever the case is, this law is a horrendous abuse of power and hopefully it will be overturned swiftly. If there are protests in my area I will certainly be going to support its overturning.

  18. Suzann
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    The bit about day labor and traffic?
    It really is a problem.
    Now, the problem has nothing at all to do with the status of the laborer ( other than the status as person-standing-on-a-sidewalk-looking-at-a-truck) but if you drive by a Home Depot or an OSH? Well, in LA we know you have to watch closely! Especially if you are behind a pick-up.
    Contractors and other people who regularly hire day labor don’t like to pull into the parking lot. Doing that would take time, I guess. So instead they just slow and honk, and signal how many workers they want. Then the workers run out and hop into the back of the truck. (Which is against the law BTW. Riding in the back of an open pickup, I mean.)
    Do I have to say any more to convince you this is an unsafe situation?
    Of course the solution would be better places to wait for work, or maybe a law requiring employers to pull in and come to a complete stop. Something like that.
    That said? I don’t think it does anyone any favors to lie about reality. Day labors do run into traffic, they do risk getting hit, and it can be spooky when someone runs in front of your car.

  19. Cactus Wren
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve decided to imagine an idealized world where a) someone steals a white politician’s wallet, b) a police officer asks him to produce papers proving he’s here legally, c) he can’t, and d) is arrested.Keith Olbermann tonight invoked a pleasant image of John Boehner visiting Arizona and being arrested for DWO — Driving While Orange.

  20. Cactus Wren
    Posted April 23, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    I am not repeating a myth that I heard somewhere, I could give you the name of the woman
    Sure. Her name was Shirley Jackson and the story was part of her 1957 book Raising Demons. So was the story about her five-year-old daughter magicking the door off the refrigerator.

  21. puckalish
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    i think i love you.

  22. puckalish
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    no, really, though, how is any of this a defense of a law that can be, more easily than not, be interpreted as a *mandate* for racial profiling?
    it’s not… and, knowing a bit of you from your commenting on this site, i know that you don’t actually agree with the precepts of this legislation.
    i, mean, sure, some (very, very few) folks intentionally get into accidents to collect insurance money… but this legislation specifically targets people for whom that makes the least sense…
    so i know you’re not actually on board with it… so, yeah, i don’t disagree with you, i just disagree with that with which i know you can’t actually agree.
    bless up.

  23. Suzann
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I have to back up MLE. A few years back the LAPD busted a ‘car wreck ring’ that was faking accidents to collect the fradulent ‘medical’ payments from insurance companies.
    I have no idea what the immigration status of anyone was (other than the doctor who was arrested – who I will assume was legal – being that there was a medical license involved.)
    So no, this is not 100% fiction.
    (And again, what is it with people trying to insist that other people don’t have the personal experiences that they say they have. Not speaking of anyone specifically here, but just in general. If someone says something happened – can’t we sort of believe them?)

  24. MLEmac28
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Why is this even warranted?
    I’m pretty certain that I’ve covered all my bases and made it clear that I think this bill is bullshit and that we should protest it. If you don’t want to believe my anecdote, then fine. I really don’t give a shit about what you think, but you are doing the causes we fight for a disservice by flaming anyone who acknowledges that the other side may have coincidentally said something that has a morsel of truth to it.

  25. Opheelia
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t think you can compare safety gained by limiting traffic snafus caused by day laborers with safety lost by making it nearly impossible for people to call the police when they fear deportation.

  26. Opheelia
    Posted April 26, 2010 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I’m a little confused as to why you’ve all latched onto the car accident piece of this. The far more disturbing part is that McCain is attempting to justify institutionalized racial profiling with a perceived conspiracy involving car accidents.
    This is about social justice, not insurance fraud.

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