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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 10:58 am  |  120 responses

Phoenix’s Very Misguided Protest

Laudably civil, well-intentioned, poorly informed.

by Chris Deaton

We live in a soundbite culture.  We take 10 seconds from the top of a 10-hour debate and use them as the foundation of our understanding because we haven’t the time, care, or some combination thereof to dig further.

The superficial conclusions we draw often favor sensitivity.  If the matter is controversial, we must choose the most seemingly inoffensive alternative to suppress our greatest fear: the bad within us.  It’s a nonpartisan feeling, for to Seth MacFarlane, a liberal and a comedic visionary, and Connie Mack, a conservative Congressman, that bad is our inner Nazi, our inner Gestapo.

S.B. 1070 in 10 seconds: … reasonable suspicion exists that … person is an alien who is unlawfully present … reasonable attempt … to determine the immigration status …

No, Suns President Robert Sarver didn’t go so far as to suggest governmental thuggery of foreign regimes past, but his fear was palpable: “… the result of passing the law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question.”  Steve Nash was equally cautionary and temperate: “I think the law is very misguided … I think the law obviously can target opportunities for racial profiling.  Things we don’t want to see and don’t need to see in 2010.”

They had to speak out on this.  They had to assure their supporters, Arizonans, Americans, Earthlings — most importantly, themselves — that Governor Jan Brewer and the legislature didn’t reflect the views of the Phoenix Suns.  They had to disassociate themselves from a surely existent stigma that “people around the world and around the country look at our state as less than equal, less than fair,” Nash said.

Trail Blazers Suns BasketballSo all further apologetic words from players and team officials were superfluous when a mere moniker, Los Suns, a bit of Spanglish one step above “mano y mano”, would succinctly strike the right tone.  These uniforms, once reserved for designated noches Latinas to recognize the Hispanic public in select media markets, would serve as a political battle cry, yes, but also “let the Latin community know we’re behind them 100 percent,” said Amar’e Stoudemire.

Solidarity.  Sarver and Nash; GM Steve Kerr, who said on behalf of his organization, “… we don’t agree with the law itself;” even Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, whose comments were among the most forthright of any League personnel: “Any attempt to encourage, tolerate or legalize racial profiling is offensive and incompatible with basic notions of fairness and equal protection;” all of them have entrenched themselves as ‘of the people’.

And they’re misguided.  Only 36 percent of Americans agree with them, and this minority retains no moral absolutism — the law is at least debatable, and the majority of the public aren’t xenophobic kooks.

Go beyond the 10 seconds.  Fill in the ellipses.  It’s the difference between, … reasonable suspicion that … person is an alien who is unlawfully present … reasonable attempt … to determine the immigration status … — the disturbing essence of a would-be police-state decree — and, For any legitimate contact made by an official where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person

The latter is restrictive; ‘legitimate contact’ in this context is compelled by the possibility of a legal infraction, and no legal document applicable in the state of Arizona even implies that the possession of a particular skin color is a legal infraction.  From the same chunk of language italicized above, Sec. 2, item B: A law enforcement official … may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.  In other words, the question of immigration status is step B or beyond of any encounter between a person and law enforcement.

Does that mean officers will find ways to manufacture step As?  That depends upon the number of overzealous Arizona patrolmen willing to pull someone over for doing 58 in a 55, which, by most any reasonable guess, is small — the outliers of the equation as likely to affect Christophers as they are Cristobals.

But we fear the worst, and that’s why the attention-grabbing 10 seconds will always elicit more emotion and response than the remaining nine hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds of the debate.  That’s why Sarver, Nash, et al had to go out of their ways to voice their concerns, because given America’s checkered history with race relations and our modern, national paranoia to fervently guard against perceptions of marginalizing others, we have to vocalize or make recordable our reassurances that everyone in this country plays on the same team.

I wish it didn’t have to be like that; I wish that our default position was an assumption of equality that didn’t beckon the show of Los Suns.  I’m still wishing for that one day when we realize the presence of many ethnicities, many cultures, but one race — the human race — and a desperate but limited law, intended for the curbing of illegal immigration and not the perversion of persecuting Latinos, wouldn’t call the unity into question.

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  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What’s misguided is an attempt by anyone to defend Arizona’s law against claims that it advocates racial profiling.
    People who point out that officers will have to have some legitimate reason to stop individuals before they check their immigration status and thus that will prevent racial profiling clearly don’t understand how racial profiling works.
    Currently, in 99 percent of law enforcement districts, it’s ILLEGAL to stop ANYONE because of their race. Period.
    Yet, despite this illegality, we all understand that racial profiling occurs constantly. Why is that?
    Because it’s quite easy for a police officer to create “reasonable suspicion.”
    Don’t use your signal when you change lanes, reasonable suspicion.
    Fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, reasonable suspicion.
    In fact, if you appear “nervous” or refuse to meet an officer’s eyes, that can be deemed REASONABLE SUSPICION.
    Police officers have wide discretion in making traffic stops and in conducting searches during those traffic stops. That is why it’s so difficult to PROVE racial profiling. Police officers regularly concoct bogus reasons for making traffic stops, or use their lawful discretion disproportionately on minorities, and can claim that racial profiling is not an issue.
    Hell, under New York’s stop and frisk law, I think roughly 90 percent of the people stopped and frisked were black and Latino, and weapons were found less than 10 percent of the time. That means the the vast majority of blacks and Latinos are not carrying weapons, yet officers continue to stop them disproportionately. And the NYPD continues to deny that racial profiling is an issue.
    There is no magic sign that denotes racial profiling. Once you give officer wide discretion to stop, search and demand papers from individuals you give also allow their biases to dictate who they stop and search. It’s obvious that VERY few white citizens will ever be stopped under this new law because given the biases of the vast majority of police officers, they don’t fit the profile that would provide “reasonable suspicion” that they are illegal immigrants.
    You have to first understand how racial profiling works before you can honestly say this law doesn’t legalize racial profiling.
    Otherwise, your comments are misguided.

  • Jake

    After living in Arizona you’ll feel right at home when visiting China!

  • No Identification

    mmm … so what, in your mind, constitutes a “reasonable suspicion” that does not involve racial profiling? Because “legitimate contact” is easily manufactured – just ask anyone who’s been pulled over for DWB. Or had hair too long. Or short. History’s rife.

    Keep in mind that this law, theoretically, requires YOU to carry ID at all times – a concept that goes down OK in Europe, but not so much in the USA.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Furthermore, I’m going to need you to provide proof that only a small minority of Arizona’s officers “overzealous.”
    What is that comment based on? Have you looked at the studies of the insidious nature of racial bias and how we all as humans determine threats based on our biases?
    Have WORKED with police officers, examined police reports, or talked to people who claim to have been targeted by police?
    I have. And in my opinion, police operate from a standard playbook that denotes “good guys” and “bad guys.” They create black and white distinctions among the general public because it makes their jobs simpler and safer.
    That’s the truth. Using stereotypes reduces reaction times, and makes officers safer given the over committment of police officers in most urban and minority heavy areas. If they automatically assume that every black or brown person is a threat, they don’t have to worry about their reactions being slowed when those people actually become threats.
    The problem is that the vast majority of black and brown folks ARE NOT threats, and the default position of police officers working in urban, minority-heavy areas means that abuses will occur constantly.
    Police officers have a difficult and dangerous job. They also have an AMAZING amount of power in our society. We have to acknowledge both realities, and understand how those realities affect the lives of the general public.
    This piece was horribly naive in its characterizations of the interactions between the police and the public, particularly the minority public.

  • Deron

    I disagree. And although this law may be well-intentioned on the surface, you are extremely naive if you think that were not other deeper motivations that allowed this poorly conceived law to be passed. There is an undeniable fear of what immigrants represent, of the status quo being upset, of power lost that drives a segment of the population to go to any length to stop it.

  • andrew taylor

    You are right, but the Spanglish is the worst part. “Los Soles” jerseys would sell like hotcakes.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Possession of a particular skin color is a legal infraction…The bill does not have to come right out and say it but it is clear what it means. It is not an unknown fact that persons of color are targeted more by police forces for minor infractions than their white counterparts. In Arizona, where the issue of cross border immigration is always a heated debate, it is rather unlikely that a white person be asked to supply proper documentation whereas a person of Latino heritage will be the likely target for any proof of legal citizenship. The Los Suns gesture, albeit small, is good one. It is surprising that controversy loathing David Stern is allowing this to happen. It would be my hope that the Spurs would wear their Los Spurs jerseys tonight as well. It is Cinco de Mayo.

  • Felix

    thank you for writing this article. I am a minority from Arizona and I can tell you that I support the idea of this bill. People are up in arms on this initial draft of the bill, which will change with time, but these people are the ones who either 1) Don’t live in AZ (or the SouthWest) 2) Have not studied the bill and 3) want to jump on the liberal bandwagon so they don’t feel “racist” in front of their peers. Guess what people, illegal immigration is an issue and we the people of AZ have decided to do something about it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    This seems well-written, but it doesn’t seem to get anything right.
    When you find a thriving, free democracy that instructs its law enforcement officers to question and detain people based on how they look/act, please let me know.
    What Allen said, in other words.

  • Deron

    @AllenP. Excellent points.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    That said, for the sake of perspective, a quick reminder: F**k Paul Shirley.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Oh, and f*ck Paul Shirley.

  • andrew taylor

    Allenp, You have to define what constitutes a threat or a bad guy. Who decides whether illegals constitute a threat and should be discouraged? Not me, but there is more than one legitimate way to look at the issue. Though actually you wrote very well and convinced me anyway.

  • Ronald

    I agree with Ryan Jones above, while well written it does seem to be based on opinion and your interpretation of the law. What is “reasonable suspiscion”? Before you try and define it using normal English, you should’ve researched some precedents on this issue. In most common law jurisdicitons, resonable suspiscion in relation to law enforcement powers is based on a subjective test. Therefore the threshold is low for police officers to justify their resonable suspicion. As Allenp pointed out you do not have any figures or evidence to support some of the assumptions that you put forward, understanbly there is no research on the how many “overzealous” police officers exist in the state of Arizona but such a law allows the possibility of abuse and racial profiling. It is true that the law is a balancing act of protecting the freedoms and protecting the public but a law that goes out of its way to allow the possibility of racial profiling seems to tip the balance especially considering that most default police powers (this is based on other jurisdictions that im familiar with) already include powers to request for some sort of identification upon request, therefore a legislation that further expands this power to target illegal immigrants specifically is inherently racist. Some might argue that the legislation only serves to cause mere inconvenience which outweighs the harm it rectifies, but if you put yourself in the shoes of those that might be inconvenienced then you would understand how disturbive such a power can be when used in possibly embarrassing powers with out legal recourse for those who are victim of the search.

  • LA Huey

    This article is weak sauce. Mr Deaton, you need to familiarize yourself with how racial profiling works.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    @Allenp I have no clue how many comments this piece is going to attract, but whether it’s 5 or 50 or more, I’m hardly going to spend any time responding, because I imagine 98 percent of what’s written will be in the vein of, “Go to hell, callous author,” and that’s fine. I’m a white hick from Indiana — I don’t know what it is to be singled out for my ethnicity, so I can draw upon no personal experience when talking about this issue. But I’ll say three things: (1) You say “VERY few white citizens will ever be stopped under this new law,” and I say that your point is in err, because again, this law doesn’t give an officer “the right” to initiate contact with a person; (2) your hyperbole that this “legalizes racial profiling” is as outlandish as the garbage of “Obama is trying to turn the United States socialist,” and you know it; (3) I still tried to make this article about basketball, and if there’s one cultural point I tried to make, it’s in the final two paragraphs. And I hope it’s not brushed over. And I double-hope that whatever further discussion takes place about this issue is conducted civilly, because I’m really, really sick of an individual’s frank inability to discuss a contentious issue like a grown adult, and my lack of belief in that possibility occurring here is further reason as to why I’ll shrivel up and duck from arguing back and forth.

  • http://freewebs.com/galacreativa Gus

    Totally agree with @AllenP…this is an awful piece of journalism by Mr Deaton; why are some people fixed with immigration? what´s the fear here? you don´t need the history lessons here or do you Chris? Ireland? Great Britain? Africa? Germany? what other country can you name of? where is all this racism coming from? why the absurdity? do you own the land you live in? i´ve got news for you: YOU DON´T OWN NOTHING, Native Americans knew that and respected that, please, have a little respect too when you start writing about human beings, all your vocabulary and fancy googled law knowledge, facts and quotes don´t mean nothing when your soul is filled with fear…an let me tell you another thing, i´m Mexican, and we have also a very serious problem with racial profiling and some very stupid ideas about foreign people…”please don´t shoot me” c´mon, are you serious? have you looked for some casualties in middle east lately? do you know who makes and most of the times sell weapons to third world countries like mine? maybe it´s a good idea to call a police officer to do a full body search on you.

  • Ronald

    Also, I think the poll seems to quiet unpersuasive. How many of those asked in the poll are legally trained? Whilst, the law is 98% common sense, normal English interpretation is not adequate when the law promulgated is based upon reasonableness because the ordinary English definition of the word does NOT adequately convey the legal meaning of the word which is based upon precedent. Also, the question posed is inherently wrong because you cannot judge the effects of the law when unless used in situ. Coming from a country where everyone is required to carry some sort of ID on hand and furbish it upon request I do assure that profiling will be the basis that the police will use becuase, lets face it, police are humans and have inherent prejudice. And, honestly, as much as you claim that the Suns are protesting as a knee-jerk reaction, you yourself seem to be doing the same thing.

  • Ronald

    You also say that the law does not give the police the power to right intiate contact. I don’t understand how you came to this conclusion.

  • PGant

    Here is the question: There are millions of people in the U.S. who entered illegally OR over-stayed a legal visit. The vast majority (particularly in Arizona) are Latino. How is it possible to address this problem and approach undocumented violaters, WITHOUT the appearance of racial profiling?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Chris
    You are free to do as you please with the comments section, that’s on you. But, I will note that none of the first responses appeared to target you as a hick or attack you personally. I know my comments did not. I attacked your argument, which I maintain is horribly flawed for two simple reason, which I will restate.
    1. You have ignored what “reasonable suspicion” is for police officers.
    2. You have ignored how much discretion officers have in making traffic stops.
    That is the crux of the argument. This law permits officers to request new documentation from anyone they “suspect” of being an illegal immigrant during a traffic stop.
    You attempt to focus on the fact that this law requires a legitimate reason for the traffic stop to occur, while ignoring that traffic stops are conducted CONSTANTLY for illegitimate reasons.
    Furthermore, I didn’t use hyperbole. I used well documented facts about bias and how it affects policing. I even referenced recent news articles about how that bias has been demonstrated in New York where officers have the power to search ANYONE for weapons when they conduct random pedestrian stops on them. What the statistics show is that officers disproportionately stop blacks and Latinos, and also search them disproportionately. They also show that officers RARELY find guns! This is all easily verifiable by reading the New York Times recent articles on the issue.
    So, what that law shows us is that law enforcement officers in “liberal” New York have shown a clear bias in how they conduct stops of citizens, and it also shows us that these stops do not really solve the illegal weapon problem.
    Just like this immigration law, which has been panned by a plethora of law enforcement officials.
    This law gives the police the ability to request “immigration papers” from anyone they stop, who they have a “reasonable suspicion” might be an illegal immigrant.
    Yet, the law does not explain what constitutes a reasonble suspicion, and it’s supporters ignore the fact that traffic stops are largely discretionary, and according to the data, discriminatory.
    Do you dispute that racial profiling is a massive problem for blacks and Latinos?
    Do you dispute that police officers have shown themselves willing to use discriminatory practices when it comes to stops, searches and seizures?
    Do you need me to provide a detailed account of how this bias has manifested itself, or reference those cases where officers have lied and fabricated information to justify traffic stops or other searches?
    I can do that, I can the links for the case Texas where a narcotics officer used “reasonable suspicion” and fabricated documents to arrest damn near the entire black population of a town. Or I can reference the Danzinger Bridge shooting in New Orleans, which has sparked a federal investigation and convictions for police corruption.
    I can direct you to old stories documenting the discriminatory practices of the Maryland State Highway Patrol and how they conducted traffic stops on black and brown drivers.
    I can go back to reports from state troopers from other states who said that the police Baton Rouge racially profiled Katrina evacuees.
    How much proof do you need to understand just how widespread racial profiling is, and to understand that its ILLEGAL everywhere.
    You don’t have to legalize racial profiling on paper, to make it legal and acceptable in reality. If you widen police officer’s discretion, you give more ground for their biases to come into play when they stop, question and detain individuals.
    And what you’re doing is placing an unjust burden on the Latino population of Arizona that is abiding by the law and does not deserve to be harassed and stopped.
    I don’t have a problem with illegal immigrants being detained and deported, I have a problem with this law.

  • Kwaku Quartey

    Mr. Deaton stop trying to rationalize discrimination. The law is un-American and un-Constitutional. As for your assertion that only 36% of the country oppose the law is ridiculous. A majority of people in this country once supported slavery and Jim Crow. Wrong is wrong. Wake up and join the human race!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Andrew Taylor
    I think that illegal immigrants show a disdain for the immigration process.
    Now, I understand that our process is all effed up, and that we regularly discriminate when it comes to which folks we allow to immigrate (Hatians vs. Cubans anyone?).
    But, we do have some rules in place, and I think it’s a problem that some folks follow the rules, wait in line and pay fees, while other folks just break the rules and place a great burden on these border states.
    Because, while illegal immigrants offer cheap labor and can help jumpstart certain industries, they can often place a drain on public resources.
    I think that if you blatantly break a law, you should be prepared to deal with the consequences of that action. In this case, deportation if you are caught.
    I don’t think illegal immigrants are evil bogeyman, but I recognize that they do cause problems for many states, and I think those states deserve some relief.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    PGant
    I don’t understand the need to have this law, and how it provides a solution to the immigration problem.
    The law makes being an illegal immigrant a misdemeanor crime and subjects the immigrant to fine or short jail stint.
    Local authorities do not have the power to start deportation proceedings, and federal officials already drag their feet when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants solely for being in the country.
    I don’t need to find a way for the law to work without looking like racial profiling, because I think the law is a stupid example of political pandering that doesnt’ provide any solutions anyway.

  • http://freewebs.com/galacreativa Gus

    Those final two paragraphs fit very nice there Chris! it´s like your sugar coating for a nicely written post, but i agree, very misguided…even if Los Soles de Phoenix are doing all of this as a knee jerk reaction, keep those latino dollars coming and seem in national tv as a very conscious and free world sports club example of how you make a statement i think that it has to be applauded! you missed the point today, but maybe tomorrow you could pass your post to a translator and bring us the “Presentaciooon EStelarrrr”!…listen folks, i´m Mexican, and we are some very nasty SOB´s when it comes to racial profiling in our own country, it´s a global disease: we are filled with fear, we think we own things, -don´t want to get too metaphysical here- we have to get rid of all of that!

    And, that “please don´t shoot me” line was very unfortunate Chris, maybe you´ll have the time today to find some numbers about casualties in the middle east (just the past decade) and also if you want, a little investigation on the weapons that are used by the Narco and assorted types of criminals in your friendly south of the border neighbor…

    BTW, “i hope, i double-hope” do not sound like something coming from a grown adult…just a tought!

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    Allen, Allen, Allen. This article, really irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, has taken up too much of your time and emotion, and I’m sorry that’s the case. The irony of what’s happening here is that I’m being crucified for 250 words of an 850-word piece, the perfect proxy for, “We take 10 seconds from the top of a 10-hour debate and use them as the foundation of our understanding because we haven’t the time, care, or some combination thereof to dig further.” I mean, Jesus, I’m trying to be thoughtful, here. But it’s always nice to know that I’m an awful journalist. The good ones generally suck.

  • Barry Stevens

    As a native Arizonan I fully support this law, as do the vast majority. Another Deputy Sheriff shot by illegals trafficking in drugs this past weekend. I lived in the Soviet Union (Ukraine, Russia) and in India over the course of 21 years. As one of only 2 white people for miles living in Bombay, I’ve felt the other end of racism. Militant Hindus yelled at us and called us ‘gorya’ which I believe means ‘cracker’, ‘whitey’, or ‘honkey’ in hindi. They threatened to kill us if we didn’t leave. And we were there to help the ragpicker children that they didn’t give a damn about. These countries are incredibly strict on visa requirements and documentation, and rightly so. We always had to have our documents with us. Serious penalties if you didn’t. It is easy to spout your ideas on a blog. Go live in those countries overseas for 20 years or more, and then come and talk to me. Besides, it is already the Federal law and Arizona is only enforcing what’s on the books already, and they’re suffering terribly, so get over it. Also, how silly and emptily symbolic to wear ‘Los Suns’ to make a political point. My Mexican friends think that’s a joke. It means nothing towards solving a very serious problem but makes the ‘supahstah’s feel good, like they’re really doing something. It’s like the stars who eat a meal the homeless might eat to show their solidarity with them, and then forget about them for the next 20 years. Hey, they had their photo op. Symbolism over substance. As someone commented earlier, if you don’t want to look like a total idiot who doesn’t speak spanish, please put ‘Los Soles’ on your jersey. Duh! Felicitaciones a Don Deaton por un articulo muy bien escrito! And for the rest of us, get off our culos and get out and help real immigrants.

  • Tim A.

    Most Americans who support this bill just have no idea what it means to be a person of color. Once you or your loved ones are pulled over or placed under greater surveillance simply because you look different then you understand why this bill is so offensive. It doesn’t legalize racial profiling, it actually makes it harder for minorities to prove they have been subjected to it. I grew up in Arizona as mixed race. My mother was much darker than me and would regale me with stories of denied access to venues before the civil rights act passed and extra scrutiny at the border. It happens and it is wrong for so many reasons.

    As for Los Suns. Part of their statement is against this bill but the other half is that they realize illegal immigration is a problem, just not one that should require people to walk around with legal ID, Imagine if a similar bill went through for all US citizens. How many of us would howl and cry about loss of privacy of the US Government said, you must always carry ID and produce it whenever any law enforcement official asks you because he or she has a “reasonable suspicion.” This is what this bill demands. If Mr. Deaton put himself on that end of the equation he would understand why this is so offensive to many of us and why I have never been prouder to be a fan of The Suns. Vamanos Los Suns!

  • No Identification

    Right on, Barry!

    If only this law had been in place, I’m sure that someone would have stopped those illegals and asked them for ID before they shot that poor Deputy Sheriff!

  • LA Huey

    @PGant, the solution isn’t so obvious but if you’re willing to settle for this kind of crap, that’s just sad.

  • http://www.clutchfans.net Nick

    This article is well written, but uses some fallacious logic. Your basic argument seems to be “the text of the law doesn’t actual mandate racial profiling”. While this might be true, it’s hardly a defense. Jim Crow laws rarely, if ever, actually mentioned black folks, but were still cleverly designed to target them. So this law, while it doesn’t say “go profile hispanic folks”, is designed with NO OTHER PURPOSE IN MIND but to give police greater leeway in….profiling hispanic folks. Even with the admonition that “race is not a sufficient category”, it can still be used as such. Police can easily say “I didn’t pull him over because he’s hispanic, I pulled him over under suspicion of being illegal” The fact that the two are synonyms permits bad actions, or at the very least, stands no chance of permitting good ones. Jim Crow laws were enforced despite a legal background of equality–this is no different.

    Your claim that “legitimate contact” is compelled by a legal infraction in this context is, at least based on my personal reading, unwarranted and perhaps even factually incorrect. A lot of the reaction to the law centered around that phrase, and many have called upon the arizona legislature to clarify “legitimate contact”, which is purposely more vague than status quo statute. Nothing in the wording of the law itself requires that contact to be following a legal infraction. So could police just tap someone that they, subjectively, think is “suspicious” on the shoulder and ask for proof of citizenship? There’s certainly an argument that they could. Saying it would prohibit profiling in most cases isn’t good enough.

    I know you seek some sort of compromise at the end of the article, but i think there are some problems there as well. To say, basically, “I wish we could just boot illegal immigrants without making it about race” is to demonstrate naiveté about real world immigration politics. Illegal immigrants ARE, by and large, hispanic. So police, in attempting to stop people they “suspect” might be illegal, will be stopping hispanic people. As much as you might like to live in a world where the issues can be separated, they can’t. This IS about race. It IS messy. A plea to our common humanity, sadly, can’t cut the Gordion knot of race in the US.

    Feel free to respond…I think i’ve given your article the “grown adult” treatment it deserves.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    I don’t have any problem with the concept of requring people to carry identification to prove that they are in the U.S. Legally. What is an issue is that a state is attempting to impose an immigration law. Immigration law can only be changed/created on a federal level so it is outside the jurisdiction of the state of Arizona to create such a law. Illegal immigration is obviously a problem. There are millions of people in the United States breaking the law every day they are on American soil and what further undermines immigration laws is that we give benefits and government aid to people who are here illegally.

  • Ronald

    Also, Chris, I think the one that is overreacting is you. The responses you got are quiet civilized and rational relative the normal comments that articles recieve on slamonline.com. For example: try writing an article that says either Lebron and Kobe is the best player in the league. And don’t pat yourself on the shoulder just because you think people disagreeing with you means that you accomplished something.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Chris
    HOnestly, you need to stop whining.
    This is an opinion piece, it isn’t a game notes story.
    You called the Suns decision “misguided” and you defended Arizona’s law.
    I have deconstructed and rebutted your argument without using any sort of personal attacks. I have provided examples, I have used “intelligent” language.
    I will repeat, your argument hinged on the idea that this law does not facilliate or justify racial profiling.
    I believe you are wrong and are operating from a faulty understanding of racial profiling and how it is facillitated. You have failed to provide any rebuttal to my assertions and have instead chosen to whine that your thoughts weren’t welcomed with open arms and championed as wonderful.
    Get over it.
    If you want to write opinion pieces, you need to be ready to deal with folks attacking your opinion. As someone who operates a blog, and has actually written opinion pieces for newspapers, I know that you have to be read to defend your argument, not whine that people are disagreeing with you.
    As for this article taking up too much of my time and effort it’s no big deal.
    I’m at work, putting off writing a story, and I had some time kill. I’m not angry, I just don’t like when people attempt to castigate others for being misguided, when they themselves are misguided. And I’m having like two or three simultaneous discussions with folks on different topics because that’s what I enjoy. Exchanging ideas and testing arguments.
    You don’t seem to love that, which would appear to be a problem if you want to write OPINION pieces for a national publication.
    Just my thoughts.

  • No Identification

    Wayno, just interested – you carry ID when you go jogging? Or figure you won’t have to ’cause you’re, y’know, white?

  • Ronald

    Also, there are other countries/cities with immigration problems, yet they have attempted to fix the problem without implemented laws that are racist.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tim A.
    I made the exact same argument on my blog.
    Unfortunately, most of the folks who support this bill wouldn’t be worried if their was a national law forcing them to prove their American citizenship at anytime.
    They figure they LOOK like “real Americans” and thus it wouldn’t be an issue.
    Barry Stevens
    You seem to be saying that because you suffered injustice in foreign countries, it makes sense for the United States to create the same laws.
    At least that’s what I took from your comment. I would like you to explain how the actions of other countries affect what America does within its borders on immigration, and I like to know how your mistreatment as a minority relates to this discussion?

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    @Allen: It’s great that you’ve engaged the subject and used this space to discuss something that obviously matters to you very dearly; I was more interested in my angle that the Suns reaction to the law was overdone, and that certainly wasn’t of interest to the vast majority of those who have participated in this conversation. So I’ll just leave this one alone; I’m hesitant to use this forum to debate politics on its own merits (the 250 words of an 850-word piece thing), but would gladly talk about it in the context of the Phoenix Suns. Thanks for reading.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    And by the way, if anyone was in any way offended by the quip, “Please, don’t shoot me” in the subhead, I’ve removed it and apologize — it was in no way intended to make light of recent violence in Arizona, and was meant to convey something along the lines of, “Don’t hate,” which I certainly could’ve written just as easily.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Chris Deaton a.k.a. Sean Hannity’s nephew?

  • http://www.motherjones.com AndTheJellosJigglin

    @CHRIS
    “Only 36 percent of Americans agree with them, and this minority retains no moral absolutism — the law is at least debatable, and the majority of the public aren’t xenophobic kooks.”
    First of all you are using an extremely limited CBS poll of 1000 UNITED STATES residents. Please remember that a person from say Chile, Columbia or Canada is also an “American”.
    The more striking part of the poll is that a combined 64% either agree with it, think it doesnt go far enough, or dont know. That is a majority and a prime example of xenophobia in our country, maybe you missed it because you actually think racism is all gone because we have a “black” president? (you can look at it either way, he’s half white; he’s half black)
    The Jerseys are a great gesture- but I think it would have been even more effective if it was not on Cinco De Mayo. But where was all this discussion and protest before the bill was actually passed? Here in the United States of Pacifists, We will take this as a victory if the bill gets repealed, when in actuality we will be back to where we were, with no immigration reform.
    Use this opportunity fellow citizens. DOWN WITH SB1070!!! Equality for all!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Sigh…
    Chris, your argument was that the Suns reaction was overdone becuase the law doesn’t advocate racial profiling. I read the entire piece.
    You argued that the Suns were over the top and misguided because the law does not advocate racial profiling. You argued that the law requires officers to have a legitimate reason to stop anyone, in this case “reasonable suspicion.”
    You went on to lament that the Suns chose this way to make their protest because you deemed it an example of our soundbite culture which values flash over substance. You then hoped for a future filled with equality where people wouldn’t see the Arizona law as targeting a particular group.
    I understood your piece quite well.
    If you wanted the last two paragraphs to be the most important part of your argument, you probably should have put them in the lede or nut graph. That’s journalism 101.
    You probably shouldn’t have spent the bulk of your piece detailing how the new law doesn’t advocate racial profiling, including snippets of the actual bill.
    But, bottom line, if you wanted to say that Suns were misguided, you needed to provide a better argument than: “This law doesn’t advocate racial profiling, and we should all just get along.”
    What I’ve tried repeatedly to get you to realize is how racial profiling works and how this law would operate in that framework. You’ve refused to discuss or consider that aspect, which of course is CENTRAL to your argument about the Suns.
    After all, if this law DOES increase racial profiling, then can you STILL argue that the Suns overreacted?
    Honestly, I’m not impressed with the Suns decision to change their jerseys. Sarver is a millionaire, he could have hired lobbyists and run ads if he really wanted to affect the political process. His whole jersey thing is for show, in my opinion.
    Which is why I’m baffled that you deem it an overreaction?
    You don’t bother to explain why wearing the Los Suns jerseys is an overreaction. Rather, you do explain why its an overreaction and your explanation is that the Suns shouldn’t be protesting racial profiling because this law won’t even affect that in a big way.
    Look, you can keep your attempts to minimize my arguments or paint me as someone deeply invested in this debate. The truth is, I’m not. The most I’ve done is write a single blog post about why it’s stupid and reminds me of the Freedom Papers freed slaves had to carry back in the day.
    I’m invested in people making coherent well-thought arguments. I’m invested in people bothering to educate themselves on issues before they start spewing patronizing opinions. If you check my track record as a commenter here, you would find that to be true.
    But, it’s cool, you don’t have to discuss it with me anymore, I’ve made my point. I’m finished.

  • http://www.motherjones.com AndTheJellosJigglin

    Also COSIGN. AllenP, Ryan Jones and Ronald. Excellent points my friends.

  • william albright

    Los Suns. Lost Fan. What a bunch of jerks.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    @ no identification – First, why do you assume I am white? Is it just because I think that illegal immigrants should get benefits funded by tax payers? White people are most certainly not the only people who are of that opinion. Second my ID is with me pretty much everywhere I go unless I happen to forget it, which rarely happens. This law isn’t constitional, although I do agree with SOME of the ideology behind it. It, like most other laws, is still very flawed.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    @Allen: Yeah, apparently this was just a massive whiff, and I’m perfectly fine letting you whoop my ass on it without my retort — how that plays into “attempts to minimize [your] arguments,” I’m unsure. But I’m apparently unsure about a lot of things right now. We obviously have a massive failure to communicate — think a written exchange with Sanskrit on the one side and Mandarin on the other — so it’d probably be to the detriment of this board to have me dive too deep. I generally like going about discussions with a bit of give and take, some “that’s a fair point, BUT” and some “I see you here, BUT”. Although I may not have chosen to debate racial profiling even if this weren’t the case, your screeds laid into me pretty hard, giving me the impression that a conversation would be little more than each side making points with the impossibility of finding a shred of common ground to make it all worthwhile. I respect your perspective and, once more, thank you for taking the time, which is honest gratitude that, I swear to Ra, isn’t disingenuous in the least. Peace.

  • http://www.slamonline.com wayno

    should = shouldn’t

  • william albright

    Lets see. The illegals are complaining that we are infringing upon thier rights, and that we are treating them like criminals. Well last I heard, if you are in this country illeagly, thats against the law, which makes you a criminal, and as an illeagal, you have no rights. Get out of MY country!

  • http://Hdublod3@aol.com Aaron Jones

    Anyone who supports this law are supporting a for profit prison sentence. Example, illegal’s will not be punished by a return to his/her country, but be placed in jail (paid for by taxpayers) and fined. Now what part of that Screams, getting rid of illegal’s? Whats truly disturbing is knowing the fines that businesses that hire them will get. 2000 dollar fine and a slap on the wrist. If curbing illegal’s is the goal, the only way to accomplish that would be to fine companies half of their earnings for that year and maybe a year or two in jail for the owners of said business and not for the ceo henchman. To say this law doesn’t require racial profiling, i would like to know how you can adequately know who is in the country illegally without using ones color of skin?

  • vtrobot

    2nd what Ryan said about Paul Shirley. Ryan, I hope you’re not still bent out of shape from the Kobe photo discussions that took place yesterday. I fully support love and equality for all, but I also equally support free speech (even the racist/sexist/homophobic stuff I hate). This topic is somewhat related to free speech in that it’s either all or nothing. Like free speech, you can’t be a free nation and then also allow some sporadic profiling. You’re nuts if you think this law doesn’t encourage/allow racial profiling. As a nation, we often like to take the feel-safe/ineffective route. SLAM is getting into some deep issues these days. Can we get back to talking about how the C’s will beat the Lakeshow in the Finals again?

  • Ronald

    @no id: the requirement of carrying id actually works, its practiced in many countries without too much contreversy. of course, if a police officer requested you to present id despite the fact that you are in an obvious situation that carrying your id would be improbable would mean that the police himself would not have the legal power to detain you as the law that they derive their power from is based on reasonabless. so, no, they can’t require you to show them id while swimming/jogging/streaking/dying and arresting you for it without giving you an reasonable oppurtunity to retrieve it

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    “Bent” is English slang for “gay,” vtrobot. You just can’t help yourself, can you?

  • Barry Stevens

    To Allen P. Not suggesting at all that whatever racism I endured in India should be codified into some kind of law. As to how what other countries do re: immigration affects us, it is a universally accepted practice one must enter a country legally, and maintain legal status. This is not weird, strange or out of the ordinary. Even the Brits sent me out of the country when my visa expired without my being aware of it. No discussion! I had to come back to the US and start again at a cost of thousands of dollars. But they have that right as a sovereign nation. Clearly the law in Arizona does not reflect being called names in India. It seems speaking in favor of this AZ law makes one an automatic racist, no open debate. My point of being in India is only street ‘cred’ that I’ve been there and experienced it, that I’m not a racist, not angry at Indians, and realize there are nuts in any otherwise good society. I don’t believe the AZ law is unjust, though there may be those who abuse it. Just as without the law, there are tens of thousands of illegal aliens who’ve broken the Federal law just by being here, not to mention drugs, kidnapping (Phoenix now the kidnapping capital), sex slavery, etc. Laws do not make everyone good and holy, nor do they make everyone evil and corrupt. They are meant to guide and prohibit, protect and defend. There are a myriad of laws abused every day by politicians and law enforcement officials…all flawed human beings. So what then, no laws? I too say peace to all in this discussion.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Barry
    I think that people have broken this debate down into two erroneous camps that don’t represent the vast majority of Americans.
    1. People who support racial profiling
    2. People who support illegal immigration
    Most Americans do not support racial profiling, at least not consciously. Most Americans do not support illegal immigration.
    But, the problem is that most people don’t understand how racial profiling works, and why that makes this law problematic. For some reason they can’t see the connection between this law and racial profiling, mainly because they believe that racial profiling is either a very minor issue, or is not that widespread. I contend that is false.
    Second, having a problem with this law does not mean you support illegal immigration, or want to remove laws. I have stated already that illegal immigration is a problem, and that I believe in following rules as long as those rule are not unjust. I don’t think that requiring people to go through an immigration process is unjust on its face, although I think that there are various issues with how the United States handles immigration. Ultimately, I believe that if you sneak into the country illegally, you really have no legitimate complaint when the authorities deport you. You broke the law knowingly, and there are thousands of folks who didn’t break the law and who followed the correct procedure.
    This isn’t about supporting illegal immigration. It’s about seeing how a law infringes unjustly on the rights of LEGAL immigrants and Americans. It’s about recognizing that this law is simply an attempt at PANDERING, not an attempt to actually solve the problem of illegal immigration.
    I would like somebody who supports this law to explain why they think it will stem the tide of illegal immigration.
    Finally, to restate, I think the Suns are grandstanding, and I think that if Robert Sarver really wanted to impact our Democratic process, he probably had the money and influence to do something earlier. Now, Sarver may have been working behind the scenes and I’m just not aware of it, but I have yet to read any reports of him fighting against this bill before it was passed. I’ll have to check and see if that’s the case.

  • Barry Stevens

    Allen, I agree with you. This law will do nothing to stem illegal immigration. I don’t think it was ever intended to. I do believe it was passed to say to the Federal govt, ‘Hey wake up! A huge friggin’ mess down here!’ To claim ‘pandering’ you must be able to read the interior motives, the thoughts and souls of those who voted for it. I don’t have the gift of reading souls, so I pass on commenting. I agree most Americans do not support racial profiling or illegal immigration. But also most Americans recognize this problem and demand action to secure our borders. This law will NOT stem illegal immigration, but hopefully get the Feds to step up, stop b.s.ing us and do what we pay them to do – protect us. I mean, what a joke for Napolitano to say our borders are more secure than ever. That’s just flat out BS and I’m an Arizonan. They’re all laughing at her. She’s an embarrassment to our state. There are vast corridors for illegals, drug runners, human slave runners running right through Arizona and good citizens have been murdered there. Put yourself in their place. They want help. They want totally secure borders. This law is that call for help. I doubt it will ever be implemented. And yes, the Sarver thing is mere symbolism…unless he shows a history of doing serious things for immigrants before. It makes me want to watch the game tonight much less. I want a game, not a political statement where we have no rebuttal. Great chatting with you Allen.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    This should end all discussion.
    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/44943

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Barry, you will still get your game. Regardless if they play with those jerseys or not.

  • Barry Stevens

    Hey niQ, we got game?! Awesome! Go Los Soles!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Barry
    I mostly agree with your post, although I would note that I find it problematic that the statement by Arizona residents will penalize a particular segment of the population that has nothing wrong. Namely, legal Latino immigrants and Latino Americans.
    I understand statements, but this law is a statement that’s going to impact people’s lives in a way that I don’t find minor.
    Many people see racial profiling as a minor annoyance, I contend that those people are not regularly racially profiled, nor are their family and friends racially profiled.
    Racially profiling can get you killed or arrested. It’s humilating. It’s not minor.

  • Pingback: SLAM ONLINE | » Hot Topics

  • bdub

    Allenp great points. The law and how the law is enforced never correlate.

  • Noel

    Chris, I think you meant mano a mano

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    I just hope some of you guys come to my defense when they try to send me back to Africa. Or at least pull me over and search my truck just because my music is loud and I’m rocking a 59fifty (which has happened BTW).

  • tweedster

    stick to basketball, not legal analysis.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Chris Deaton wrote – “I’m a white hick from Indiana —I don’t know what it is to be singled out for my ethnicity”. This explains everything I need to know. If your melanin-count suddenly multiplies by the thousands and your skin turns brown or black, you might feel very differently about this bill. I was gonna go off but Allenp pretty much did that for me. Good lookin out.

  • Binaural

    Chris Deaton,

    I can’t say I thought your piece insightful or well written, but you have confirmed your lack of quality in your responses to allenp’s perceptive criticisms with nothing more than condescending personal attacks and patronising “I’d argue but it’s not worth it”. Way to look like the guy who doesn’t have an article worth defending, fella.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    @Binaural: “I was more interested in my angle that the Suns reaction to the law was overdone, and that certainly wasn’t of interest to the vast majority of those who have participated in this conversation.” I wrote that about 35 comments ago, and if your eyes didn’t catch it, no worries. I know that your point refers to me writing to Allenp, “your screeds laid into me pretty hard, giving me the impression that a conversation would be little more than each side making points with the impossibility of finding a shred of common ground to make it all worthwhile.” I made this point to reinforce the one I mentioned at the top of this comment: I wasn’t interested in going blow for blow on racial profiling when I intended the article to focus more on why the Suns’ political calculations and subsequent action upon them were an overreaction. … You’re emotionally invested in the political debate, I can tell. And that’s OK. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t label Allenp “perceptive” and my lack of retort “condescending” when I stayed up until 3 AM this morning trying to write this piece with as much honesty as I could. I obviously knew I’d take a beating for it — SLAM isn’t the haven of, on Brad Long’s mentioning, Sean Hannity and his disciples, and though it’s not relevant to this debate, I’m not one such disciple, and I didn’t write the article with the intention of marginalizing readers. Mine is a differing viewpoint on this one, and differing viewpoints are good, because when people are at their best, we talk shop and learn. It’s simply that the shop that ended up being talked about in the comments section wasn’t of the topic I had hoped, and I wasn’t about to use SLAM to advance my political agenda absent the context of basketball. So if you choose to label that attitude “condescending,” if you choose to look upon me as cowardly for refusing to respond to critique, that’s your choice, and I’d never earn your approbation in a million years, to begin with — nor would I be concerned about seeking it. Can’t please everyone, hard as I could try.

  • INeverCommentButCouldn’tResist,LikeReally,3a.m.

    you stayed up until 3 a.m. to write that? please tell me you started at 2:55 a.m.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    ^^ 2:47, actually. Timed myself. 850 words in 13 minutes isn’t bad. Previous best was 500 on the nose in 10, so I’m improving. Baby steps.

  • MikeC.

    I haven’t enjoyed reading posts on SLAM for quite awhile. I usually skim, laugh at the funny posts, get riled up about others, but mostly feel apathy (since this IS a bball site, and my team stinks). This section of posts was incredible. Several different points of view, all written in an articulate manner, with very few personal slams. I enjoy the back-and-forth debate.
    I’m Canadian, and we don’t have a great deal of illegal immigration to speak of here. Primarily because our Southern border tightened up a lot after 9/11, and our Northern border is mostly the Arctic Ocean. Due to my lack of knowledge on the topic of immigration, I won’t speak on it. I just wanted to thank everyone for their excellent posts. The only way for everyone to meet in the middle and find ways to resolve issues is to keep talking.

  • francis

    completely on point, allenp. after a cop out of an article by mr. deaton, i wasn’t surprised by his cop out responses to allenp’s well-thought-out arguments and pertinent questions.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2010/03/paul-pierce-and-the-celtics-hearing-boos/ L

    I’m not. Mexican or Latino but one day I wish like in the movie THE DAY AFTER TOMMORROW something big happens to the United states where the only place they could go to survive is Mexico that would be so funny because either Mexico would Tell the Americans to fuck off and die or make them second class citizens like the do here in the United states to mexicans or any other eithic culture. I know were the best in everything but we Americans need to stop being racist we were immingrants when we moved here and you didn’t see the Indians complaining why doesn’t the U ited states just sell New Mexico and Arizona to Mexico

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    @Ryan: is that movie trailer for real? the cast is amazing. i thought it’s one of those hollywood “take-a-stand” statment commercials/shorts.

  • David

    Hey… I think the Phoenix Suns are making a huge mistake, as a team, by taking sides on this issue. For the last 27 years I’ve been a Suns fan and supporter, but by taking a sides on this issue… they just alienated me! (No pun intended.) The truth is, the name “Illegal Alien” should be a clue to them and others opposed to the law! Anyone who comes to our country with out the right to do so is here illegally! And since we are a nation of laws, none of us stands above the law! Not even the Phoenix Suns. To me, the Suns are in effect saying that they support those who break the law! I say, as long as they hold this position… “don’t support the Phoenix Suns!”

  • David

    As far a racial profiling goes… I’m not in favor of it either. I think we are a country that reacts extremely to issues like this. One extreme says “Round e’m all up and kick them out!, and the other says “No borders!”. I’ll say it again… “Obey the law!” If it is a bad law then change it, but since it is the law you can’t just ignore it! That’s exactly whats created this issue in AZ. This new law has not given enforcement the right or mandate to hassle minorities. In fact, it is a better law than the one on the books at the Federal level. The real threat is that something is finally going to be done about the problem we have with illegal immigrants to this nation and in this case AZ. I wonder if our bordering neighbors would be so obliging to us if we were the ones invading there country illegally?

  • http://freewebs.com/galacreativa Gus

    The all-time worst post in slamonline.com award goes to Mr. Deaton…maybe next time instead of timing yourself you can think twice each word and sentence you put together

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    @David: I’d encourage you to stick by the team. Yes, their public voices may have irked you, but at day’s end, the worst thing would be to jump ship. Remember that the Suns are still your basketball team, not your political party. I’d hate to see this sort of backfire affect Phoenix’s fan base.

  • David

    @Chris Deaton… Thanks for the encouraging words Chris. I don’t want to abandon the Suns. They’ve been my team for a long time. But the last thing I want is for them to become political. The truth is, that by taking a stand on this issue, they brought it into an area of my life, where up until now, it didn’t matter what political persuasion I was or your were. Up until now, it has been for the love of the game. Sorry to say, they who are the ones making this a political issue… If I had a way, I’d tell them… I’d tell them to keep the politics out of basketball or the are going loose my support. And I have a feeling that it won’t be only mine.
    Thanks again Chris!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    albie: I think Robert Rodriguez initially did that as a fake trailer for the Grindhouse movie, but then decided to make it into an actual film. Then I think he tweaked it especially for this subject.

  • http://Thestartingfive.net Michael Tillery

    How could you run this article at such a critical time in our nation’s history? Seriously. I don’t care who wrote it.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    “But we fear the worst, and that’s why the attention-grabbing 10 seconds will always elicit more emotion and response than the remaining nine hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds of the debate.”
    Correct me if I’m wrong, Chris Deaton, but your refusal to discuss and debate this issue with Allenp after he clearly and articulately outlined his problems with your post, and then telling us how little time you spent writing it–isn’t that aiming for the “10 second” response you seem to have so much disdain for?

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I would consider this string of comments a success for SLAMonline. Thanks

  • Diesel

    @Chris – I find it funny that you’ll take the time to reply to all the comments that are “getting it wrong”, but you have no time to go into further detail on why you feel the suns reaction was overdone. I read your entire article and all your responses and I’m still not sure what you’re point is. Are you trying to say that the Suns should just play basketball and not let being a human being with opinions get in the way? Do you not see the severity of the law and the possible consequences it may have down the road? If you did I don’t think you’d think any reaction was overdone. You keep saying you don’t want to go off topic or talk politics on a basketball site. You’d be surprised what a good debate you can get…and you wouldn’t be the first to go off topic so feel free. I think the responses have been educated and well written. So go past the 10 seconds of attention and 850 words that are restricting you and please detail you’re point that we all seem to be missing. And don’t start with “the law doesn’t give an officer the right to initiate contact” because as its been said in these threads already..officers have been getting around that for years. I hope you’re not so naive that you don’t know that goes on.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    It always irks me when people try and downplay any incidents in present times regarding race, because somehow they feel “rebellious” in going against the new “PC generation.”
    Let’s cut the crap, okay: Since America’s inception, the “land of the free and home of the brave” has been marred with HUGE problems of discrimination, whether against ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. This is NOT news.
    So when a team like the Phoenix Suns shows an objection for a ridiculous and discriminatory law, it’s NOT “edgy” or “cool” to criticize them for caring too much. Is it for political correctness and public relations? Maybe.
    But that’s the story of America’s past–people ostracizing others for “caring too much”, caring too much about slavery, caring too much about segregation, caring too much about the Natives, the Chinese, the indentured laborers who built this land, the Jews, the countless ghettos that have persisted since the urbanization of America.
    Sure, America is no longer segregated; but I really, really h@te when people downplay these sensitive issues because “sh!t happened so long ago, why can’t you forget about it?”
    Yes, I just went off on a tangent about history, but dammit, if you can’t see a correlation between this “law” and others like it in the past…
    [* Rant over].

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    And let’s be honest, just because “Racial Profiling” isn’t written in text does NOT mean it isn’t going to happen with this law. Do you HONESTLY believe white people are going to be pulled over by the police and searched, and then checked to see if they are in the country legally?
    Who are they going to target? Latinos and Asians. Come on, Chris, if you can’t see this plain as day, I don’t know what to tell you.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I also really h@te when people tell Latinos to not care when the issue of illegal immigration is brought up, or when Latinos are criticized for being “defensive” about it. The question most people like to ask is, “Why do you automatically associate your race with illegal immigrants?”
    But COME ON, we all know most media coverage slants illegal immigration to be an indictment of America’s Southern neighbors.
    The only people really associating all Latinos with illegal immigration are the very people advocating for laws like Arizona’s. You can hear the vile stereotypes being said and perpetuated just by walking down the street and hearing people cracking jokes.
    AND WHY IS IT that I hear more about illegal immigrants joining gangs and trafficking narcotics, than I hear about men and women working their @sses off to feed their families for businessmen who exploit and take advantage of their illegal status–and why do I seldom hear of these exploitative businessmen in the news?

  • Diesel

    @teddy you hear about the joining gangs and trafficing drugs stuff in the news because going to work and doing every day stuff isn’t news worthy. I don’t excpect a story about illegal immigrants working hard every day just like I don’t expect a story about a legal citizen working hard at his job… and I didn’t know paying someone to do work is exploiting them. So because a latino will do something for $80 that another person would do for $100 they’re being exploited??? You get work in the manual labor world by outbidding your competition.

  • Ken

    I’ve never seen a SLAM column that was so incredibly off point. Boo.

  • Diesel

    Actually, I take back my last comment about the exploitation. There are illegal immigrants along the border that are being exploited and bused across the border. I was in my midwest stae of mind for a second

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    ^ Ummm, no. You expect to hear a story about illegal immigrants because they are illegal immigrants. But the image of illegal immigrants is incredibly distorted, and often mocked and ridiculed.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    “and I didn’t know paying someone to do work is exploiting them. So because a latino will do something for $80 that another person would do for $100 they’re being exploited??? You get work in the manual labor world by outbidding your competition.”
    Do you really believe this, or are you just kidding me? Way to be unbelievably off-base, buddy. That’s like saying “Slavery, what slavery? I didn’t know giving someone free room and board was slavery.”
    Or “What’s so bad about child labour? You get work in the manual labor world by sending kids to do cheap jobs for cheap pay.”
    Come on, man, if there’s a point you should take back it’s that (unless that was what you were referring to).

  • MODI

    Honestly, this article and author is astounding in its racial ignorance. Each and every paragraph can be factually picked apart and thankfully already has been by commenters.

    Oh and about polls:

    Last month a New York Times poll showed that nearly two-thirds of white people believe that black people have “an equal chance of getting ahead in society”.

    Just a few years earlier, nearly two-thirds of whites, when polled, said they believed “blacks were treated the same as whites in their communities”

    The year was 1963.

    There has been no poll today or at any time in U.S. history where the majority of whites weren’t in complete denial about accurately diagnosing the role of racism in America. For this author to use a poll as evidence to support his argument actually supports the failure of his argument. Again, white masses have never gotten it right in any race poll (no matter how unanimous agreement is years later). Does it mean that in 1963 or now that two thirds were racist or “xenophoblic kook”? No. That is not necessary as long as the “kooks” are defended and supported by the blind.

    Go read the actual language in old newspaper archives (they are now online) and Deaton’s argument could be heard every time. Slavery was “at least debateable”. The genocide of Native Americans was “at least debateable”. Women’s suffrage was “at least debateable”. Segregation was “at least debateable”. All of these argument were supported by the logic that if enough white men believe something to be true, then it is annointed as a “debateable” topic.

    What is most bothersome and frustrating about this author is that he is probably in complete denial about his own racism. He probably doesn’t even see it, and would take great exception at that characterization. It could only be written by a person who is so utterly steeped in white privilege and secured in an insular white bubble as to not have a clue about the country and world that surrounds him. It is really very sad precisely because this author sincerely believes that he is fair-minded. I really hope that this he wakes up one day to see the harm that he unconsciously perpetuates because of his total obliviousness to racial reality. In the long run, I will root for him. In the short run, he should be fired.

    And please Mr. Deaton, don’t get it confused. I’m not saying you should be fired because you were “insensitive”, “offensive”, “controversial” or some other bogus “PC” reason that you will predictably entertain within your own mind. You should be fired simply because your complete lack of historical knowledge and racial understanding makes you unqualified to write about sports where at least 50% of the players you write about do not look like you. You are unqualified.

  • http://autorewriter.com race card

    Truth: The Suns (including Steve Nash, the Canadian) do not care about the rights of illegal aliens.

    they only want to prevent any potential loss of income that might result in hispanics not buying tickets to their games.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    Chris Deaton:
    I ain’t mad at you for writing this misguided article. We all commit brain-farts, and you seem very intelligent, so it’s alright. No biggie. But I do think that when Allenp shredded your argument, the least you could do was engage with dude. That would have been preferable to acting like an injured pu$$ycat.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    Fu*king wordpress.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    And by the way– I’m NOT emotionally invested in this bill, because although racial profiling exists and I’ve been a victim of it countless times, it’s actually not the biggest problem in this country. In the grand scheme of things, this bill is pretty minuscule. The system is pretty broken.

  • Diesel

    @Teddy – I’m not talking about sweat shop work. I’m talking about manual labor: landscaping, painting, construction. And in that case yes I do believe that. And in those cases they would have no similarities to the slavery and child labor laws you’re talking about.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    One word. Naive. @Denton I found it very telling that twice your reply to both allenp n binoural was that they were “emotionally involved” and that because of that somehow they either A: don’t deserve a response. Or B: Are unable to have a civil debate, or back n forth. This attitude is especially frustrating when you write an opinion piece on CINCO De Frigin Mayo! That has to do with the REAL lives of Mexican and or other minority peoples living in Arizona. That is as controversial and devicive as this law IS. SAD cause YOU are the biggest example on this board of what you said was wrong with how people respond to such issues. Everybody else was willing to civily explain and back up thier opinion.(especially Allenp) Instead you resigned to backpedaling and patrionism. When you’re dealing with an issue that affects the lives of others than YOURSELF expect for people whom it does to have thier own opinion. And expect thiers to be different. And at the very least if your goin to have a strong opinion on such an issue, you better be ready and willing to fully explain yourself . Come on man! this is pure naive. Your speaking on a law that affects the lives. Of people of color and you wanna act like this is no big deal! Can’t we all just trust eachther n git’ along? Damn, are you that out of touch with your fellow man? Next time try to be more ballaced, try to show that you REALLY have at least tried to put yourself in the ” other guys ” chanclas before you speak on his reality. You were unable to do that, that’s why I called you naive. I Mean Arizona was the only state whose politicians did not want to observe MLK day. You have an atmosphere there were groups like the minute men opperate with violence towards mexicans, and take the law into thier own hands lynch style. That is the reality of Arizona. So how could you act like of all states there should be no cause for concern. Arizona is and always was the wild west, cowboy country, run by old fashioned good ol boys, so don’t get it twisted. And next time spit facts with your opinions.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    @MODI, Calling him a racsist only proves the point Deaton was making at the end of his article.(wich you oubviously didn’t fully read) wich makes your argument wich started out interesting… Ignorant.

  • Ronald

    Even if we remove the possibility of “racial profiling” from the article and assume that this is a perfect world where no one would abuse such law, it still shows on thing Deaton. You are being a hypocrite by calling the Suns misguided and trying to cash in a sound bite without truly understanding the legislation. You yourself have done NO quantifiable research on the matter, you are unable to provide any critical analysis of the legislation. Throughout the article the single shred of evidence you put forward of you actually trying to understand the legislation was through a poll that was done by laymen who are legally illeterate. Obviously the article was written solely based on your own opinion on the matter which is based upon your own ignorant interpertation of the law which is not based on any fact but based upon your first knee-jerk reaction. If anyone is “emotionally invested” in the article, it is you and not Allenp and despite your efforts to sound civil and open minded you have failed to acknowledge anyone elses opinion (agreeing do disagree is not a retort or a form of understanding). Like I said before you could easily rename the article to “Deaton’s protest against Phoenixs Sun’s Protest: Luadable Civil, Misguided, Poorly informed article.” And despite people complaining that such an act does not succeed in accomplishing something, it has done one thing, it has got people talking. To counteract the effects of a legislation that is already promulgated must be done through the spreading of knowledge of said law and educate the masses of the same.

  • http://hoopistani.blogspot.com Hoopistani

    basketball is more than basketball, and I’m grateful that at SLAM we get the “more”

  • http://slamonline.com Chris Deaton

    @ Well, everyone and everything: Can’t make the point enough that I didn’t intend to start a political debate and wasn’t interested in jumping into one once it got rolling at such a rapid rate. My first response was written after there was one comment, Allenp’s — by the time I had finished, there were six or seven more responses. I hadn’t the inclination to play one on 100,000 about racial profiling on a basketball message board. So again, again, again, and again, I “whiffed”, I “sucked”, I “didn’t get my point across”, I’m “insensitive”, I’m “naive”, I’m — is that enough self-flagellation? Seriously, sorry. Sorry. Sorry. This is your debate, not mine, I conceded to Allenp 500 comments ago, and yet there are still, still, still people saying things, so for once and for all, for the love of Christ, I’m done, I lost and I sucked on this one. Is that OK? Seriously? And can you not simply respond in kind with an “OK” without further highlighting “my lack of quality” or “p*ssycat” response or “ignorance” or lack of qualifications to speak on racial profiling? Because really, I get the point. You’ve made it abundantly clear. And for the nine-millionth time, I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    The only thing this comment section is missing is commentary from Nat X.

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/19311/saturday-night-live-the-dark-side-with-nat-x

  • Sparker

    if you think you can trust arizona policemen with exceptional powers, google “joe arpaio” and wake the f*ck up

  • Morgan

    liked the article – thought it was very informative and thought-provoking..hated the dozens of long-winded rants afterwards.A lot of you had good points, but in the context of this being a Basketball website, who cares.
    Keep up the good work Chris, and lets hope the Spurs make this an (even more) interesting series.

  • The Philosopher

    Shout out to the Illuminati.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    Yes, this IS a basketball site. How could I have forgotten that. Here’s the appropriate response to this article:
    “Channing Frye converted many three-point shots while wearing a ‘Los Suns’ jersey. Great article!”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tariq
    Yeah son. I really can’t understand the idea that we should “stick to basketball” on this article.
    Ummm, it’s not about BASKETBALL.
    The jerseys have nothing to do with the actual game. Nothing to do with scoring, nothing to do with defense. Writing about the Suns decision to wear “Los Suns” on their jersey has nothing at all to do with basketball in any real sense.
    Am I missing something?
    I mean, if we weren’t going to discuss the law and the issues surrounding it, why even write an article on the Suns decision? How can you discuss their decision, without discussing the law and situation that prompted it?
    I didn’t plan on commenting again, but I really wanted to raise those points.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    Allenp:

    Dude, are you on facebook or do you have an email address or something? I want to send you something on Omar ibn Said, see what you think.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp
  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The Village Voice has an interesting series working based on recordings made by a police officer that show how the police do their everyday jobs in New York. Here’s a quote that interested me:
    “You’re not working in Midtown Manhattan, where people are walking around, smiling and being happy,” a lieutenant tells officers in a November 1, 2008, roll call. “You’re working in Bed-Stuy, where everyone’s probably got a warrant.”
    That is how racial profiling works. And that is a warning, or directive depending on how you look at it, from a superior to subordinates.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ
  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    What is misguided here is not the protest, its the thing being protested. Yes, Arizona (and the rest of America) have serious illegal immigration issues. What needs to be done is a serious crackdown on companies that employ illegals, as well as a beefing up of border protection. Programs should be establish to educate and give citizenship to the illegals that are currently in the country, so that they can no longer be exploited. This bill doesnt do any of that. All i see it doing is allowing for police officers to harras latinos. I am glad the Suns are supporting the many people in their community that will be effected if this bill passes (in its orginal format).

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    and yes, if you have to carry papers around in your own country, it is not really your country anymore. It is very much, in that sense, like Nazi occupied France. I dont see what your problem with the analogy is.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tariq, I wrote about that over at my blog. Same address as the email.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    “Under the ban, sent to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer by the state legislature Thursday, schools will lose state funding if they offer any courses that ‘promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.’”
    WOW, I like how the stupid bill tries to equate “resentment of a particular race” with “advocating ethnic solidarity.”

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Allenp, what is the name of your blog? I’m interested. I’ve asked you this so many times but I never get an answer, and for some reason you don’t link to it here..?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    I’ll just say this loud and clear: F*CK ARIZONA. I’m glad I don’t live in that hypocritical, fake @ss “sunshine” f*ck of a state.

  • MODI

    negetivekeep, I could understand why this may sound like semantics, but I didn’t call him a “racist”, but said that he is “in denial about his own racism.” If I wasn’t tired at 1am in the morning, and taken aback by the article, I would have added a layer or two to the statement and perhaps more tact as well.

    Deaton seems like a nice guy in his manner, and doesn’t seem to have any malicious racial intent. But intent is not impact. (I’m sure many of the Senators who signed the draconian and devastating crack-cocaine laws into effect didn’t have racist intent)… And the impact of defending this law — whether it is done consciously or not — is espousing institutional racism. And a very dangerous kind IMHO. I’m more interested in illuninating that fact more than throwing labels around.

    And to be clear, I don’t think that any white person in America is above unconsciously espousing racism –and that definitely includes myself. That is the nature of white privilege in a country where a million messages of misinformation since birth have been received via textbooks, media, and the faces on the dollar bills in our pockets. There has to be an active and willful de-brainwashing going on that is basically life-long. So if Allenp and others helped make the uncounscious conscious, then the next step is for Deaton to self-assess. Since he has pulled back since, he deserves credit for that. He could have came back with guns blazing.

  • MODI

    Besides all the various studies already existing on racial profiling and on police tendencies that are directly applicable to this discussion, a must read on the subject is Norm Stamper’s “Breaking Rank”. Chapter 9 is titled “Why White Cops Kill Black Men”. Norm Stamper is the former Chief of Police in Seattle.

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