With the controversy over Arizona’s new immigration law on the news 24/7, there’s no need for me to reiterate its horrors. I did, however, want to mention something that’s not being much talked about: the effect of the law on the lives of Native Americans.
During a discussion on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, an Arizona Native American called in and pointed out that most members of his tribe are dark-skinned and dark-haired, and at a glance might easily be taken for Mexican. This is surely bound to be the case in the non-discerning gaze of most white cops. It’s quite likely, therefore, that the police will be stopping Native Americans and asking them to show identification.
Oh, cruel irony! First we steal their country, then we demand they prove they belong here. While nobody should be stopped on the streets of America, or anywhere else, and ordered to show ID papers, this latest circumstantial twist is almost more than I can bear.