A NEW OUTBURST OF ARIZONA NUTTINESS

Well, I think it's unfair to John Boehner. He's the Republican leader in the US House who's known as "Suntan Johnny," because – although he's from Cincinnati, Ohio – he's perpetually tanned, even in the dead of winter. Johnny's a golfing fool, you see, so he's constantly jetting off with lobbyists to various sunny golf resorts. Hence the year 'round tan.

Well, I think it’s unfair to John Boehner. He’s the Republican leader in the US House who’s known as “Suntan Johnny,” because – although he’s from Cincinnati, Ohio – he’s perpetually tanned, even in the dead of winter. Johnny’s a golfing fool, you see, so he’s constantly jetting off with lobbyists to various sunny golf resorts. Hence the year ’round tan.

Now, however, he’ll have to scratch Arizona as a golfing destination, lest he be detained for his dark appearance. Not only are Arizona cops to be allowed to profile and detain anyone who looks like an illegal “alien,” but the new state law actually requires cops to do so, and it empowers local vigilantes to sue any cop they deem insufficiently aggressive in arresting dark skinned people.

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Now, enter Jan Brewer. Until April 23, no one outside of Arizona had ever heard of Governor Brewer. On that day, however, she signed the law that declares open season on Latinos, making her known far and wide as a gubernatorial twit. Lucky her.

She lept to the top ranks in the highly competitive American sport of Republican gubernatorial goofiness not merely by signing the law, but by bizarrely declaring on signing day that, “I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.” No? How else are cops to begin their hunt, if not by putting “color of skin” as clue number one? The pink-skinned, blond governor airily responded that she has issued on executive order requiring cops to take a how-to class on spotting illegal immigrants. Now there’s a class I’d like to sit in on!

The inherent profiling aspect of Arizona’s sorry law is bad enough, but the law doubles down on sorriness with a totally un-American requirement that anyone detained by cops – perhaps even Suntan Johnny – must show their papers to prove their innocence.

“Breathing While Undocumented,” The New York Times, April 27, 2010.

“Don’t lose perspective,” Austin American Statesman, April 28, 2010.

“Arizona vacation? Just stay in Texas where you’re safe,” Austin American Statesman,” April 27, 2010.

“Arizona law is far from ‘reasonable,'” Austin American Statesman, April 27, 2010.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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