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Much ado about Arizona

Arizona is getting a lot of negative publicity these days, mostly because of their recently passed anti–illegal immigration law (SB 1070 and amendment). I’ve no problem with that law and see it as little different from typical seat-belt laws — you don’t get busted for not wearing your seat belt unless you are stopped first for some other violation. Besides, most of the objections to the law seem based not on what the law says but on what might happen in the future if someone misapplies it.

However, I do disagree with the newest Arizona law (HB 2281) to hit the headlines, the one reportedly motivated by a desire to stop specific ethnic studies classes in one school district. A state law seems excessive in this situation. Don’t they have school boards to deal with stuff like this (racist propaganda, the reconquista movement, etc.)? Don’t they have procedures for dealing with undesirable teachers or course material? Did they really have no recourse but to pass a new state law?

As for boycotting the state over either or both of these laws, that’s the most ridiculous part of all. Boycotts won’t touch the lawmakers in the AZ statehouse. But they sure will hurt the state’s business owners and employees.

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