A Mecca for Prejudice and Bigotry?

Pima County sheriff Clarence Dupnik has come under fire for referring  to his state, Arizona, as a ‘mecca for prejudice and bigotry.’   Those are harsh words, but is the sheriff just calling it as he sees it?


The longer version (7 minutes) where Sheriff Dupnik talks about his thoughts.  He does not call out a specific group or person here either.  He just talks about the history of threats against Gabby Giffords and also about the level  of anger in the rhetoric in this country.



It is important to note that Sheriff Dupnik called no individual or group by name.  Perhaps those who follow the sheriff’s politics know to whom he is referring.  I do not.  Is Arizona a mecca for bigotry?  If yes, what has made it that way?  Is it just about immigration or do other political issues come in to play?  Congresswoman Giffords was a strong supporter of increased border security. 

Moonhowlings featured a post on Sheriff Clarence Dupnik  last spring.  He felt it was stupid to throw illegal immigrants in jail at tax payer expensive when he could just turn them over to the border control.  At the time, it was also determined that the mayor of Tucson also opposed the new Arizona legislation, SB 1070.   He turned thousands of undocumented immigrants over to the border control. 

As we return to the question, is Arizona a mecca of intolerance?  Does the political climate in Arizona make this state more vulnerable to shootings and assassinations?  Does the drug violence have any play in this discussion?


Post-Shooting Reflections

Yesterday became one of those days that Americans dread.  Something inside someone, some stranger, goes terribly out of wack and the end result is rampage and carnage and death.  Such was the case yesterday where Congresswoman Gabby Giffords met with constituents at a Safeway in Tucson, right there in her district.  By 10 am Arizona time, 6 people lay dead and the congresswoman was fighting for her life along with 6 other people.  One of the dead was a federal judge.  A 9 year old child was shot in the chest at point blank range.

It is all too easy to start analyzing and blaming.  Human nature kicks in real quickly when events like this happen.  All of us start trying to make sense out of something so tragically senseless. 

According to moonhowlings poster Ken Anderson: 

On the web, the TV, everywhere the political characters are playing the same game. Left wing jumps to connect this to GOP/TEA political tactics of the last 2 years. GOP/TEA jumps to cover their butts. Nobody knows the guy’s motivations, but that doesn’t matter. Everything is just another opportunity to take a shot at the “enemies” on the other side of the aisle.

Six people have lost their lives. Could we wait a day at least before we start to calculate the political fallout?

I think Ken Anderson is right.  Let’s not start pointing fingers and casting blame on anyone other than the shooter.  From all indications, the shooter was a seriously emotional disturbed individual and not part of any political movement.  That fact, however, does not remove us from any responsibility as far as what we say and how we say it.  Casting aspersions on our political opponents, Giffords’ opponents, or those we feel have made threats in the past simply proves nothing and is unproductive, especially on a blog. 

Perhaps this is should be a time where we come together to try to resolve our differences rather than create an even wider chasm.  It appears that is exactly what our elected officials in Congress are doing.  All voting has been suspended for next week.   Hopefully some peace and understanding will emerge from this tragedy.

Our congress men and women should be able to move about freely in a free society.  When they are unable to do this, perhaps we are no longer a democracy.