I sent a post this morning to the UUMA chat, which is discussing how to deal with the fact that General Assembly in 2012 is scheduled for Phoenix, AZ. Suggestions range from boycotting Arizona with our business in general to moving the locale of that GA, that sort of thing. I am wary of responding to this crisis in civil rights without some deep thinking on the problem and wrote the following:
I think the law will be declared unconstitutional, I think that local rebellion by the police who are supposed to enforce it will engender a reality check about its enforceability, I think that the outcry by all of those who see it as a racist, repressive, ugly act of legislation will have its effect, I think we are right in protesting and considering moving our business elsewhere.
However, I think we need to consider the plight of Arizona, which is overrun by drug runners and is desperate to control the lawlessness engendered by drug smuggling and other crimes typical to border states. Do we have anything better to suggest? How does a state protect its citizens when lives are at stake? I agree that this act is not a good way to approach it, but what is better?
I have learned over my 67 years of life that when I deconstruct the actions leading up to a decision and see the factors involved in the making of that decision, I understand the situation much better and can feel empathy even around decisions I don't like.
It's certainly appropriate to speak out in opposition to this legislation but have we taken Arizona's needs into account? Do we have something better to recommend? So far I haven't heard much.