07 June 2010

Actions: *Still* having consequences...

How much "not racist" can you really buy with $250K?
Arizona finds itself at the vortex of an immigration debate that is increasingly bitter and, figures on both sides say, increasingly unwinnable. Opinions are split, with fear of harassment rising among Hispanics and worry about an economic boycott growing among the state's leaders.
Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has appointed a committee and allocated $250,000 to re-brand the state's image, while 13 Arizona chamber of commerce executives appealed to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to keep the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix after he faced pressure to change locations. They said it would preserve jobs for "innocent citizens, including our Hispanic community."
Musical performers such as Sonic Youth, Kanye West and Rage Against the Machine have said they will boycott the state. Phoenix City Hall calculates that Arizona has lost nearly $100 million in convention commitments. Meanwhile, supporters and opponents of the immigration law are taking to the streets weekly.
$100M sounds like a pretty good start, and the monetary hemorrhaging is likely to only continue once the law goes into effect and the "existing while brown" questionings and arrests begin to occur. 
Further, Bud Selig needs to recognize that this is win-win for him.  He can finally realize his pipe dream of making the All-Star Game "count" if he simply shows the spine to move this otherwise meaningless spectacle, elsewhere.  It's a chance to both do the right thing as well as put his product center-stage not just on ESPN, but on every news network across in the nation, both at the time of the announcement, as well as next year when, "The 2011 baseball All-Star Game, originally scheduled to be held in Arizona..." will be obligatory lead-in material.
If he doesn't, hopefully the players of hispanic and latin american ancestry will take the decision out of his hands and do a little boycotting of their own.

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