Calle 16 and SB 1070

Calle 16 and SB 1070
Calle 16
Calle 16 Central Phoenix street art murals
I have made several comments on my blog about supporting my home state, Arizona, specifically because of SB 1070. FIRST — I am proud to be an American and one, specifically, who is descended from immigrants. My ancestors came here looking for a better life. I’ve lived in other countries, traveled to numerous others, and I understand wanting to form a better life. Living so close to the border, I’m more aware than most Americans the inequity in opportunity and well-being that a “border” brings.
I believe in a land of opportunity, and I think the American Dream is still there… somewhere… in this cluster of an economy and workforce. My wish is that we can retain the principles of freedom from tyranny and the hope of opportunity promised to pilgrims and immigrants who settled in and built a land of people who should be proud and responsible Americans who support Lady Liberty to continue to open arms to others looking for the same for themselves and their families.
I do not believe we should have to accept vulnerability and victimization of violent crime, massive influx of drug addition, crimes against humanity in the form of trafficking, and a state in a state of bankruptcy. I don’t think SB 1070 is the answer… at all. I think it is a radical and desperate attempt to capture the attention of a federal government who refuses to protect its people and their property. Guess what? I don’t know the answer. And for the record, I consider myself to be pretty non-political. I have no interest in discussing politics. It bores the hell out of me and I have been known to toss the most ridiculous political statements to derail a conversation venturing into politics because I have no stomach for it. Blech. In fact, the closest I could come to it is expressing envy of Sarah Palin’s shoes or scrambling to the new J Crew store at The Biltmore to see if I can snag the latest cardi I saw on Michelle Obama.
 My support of my “SB 1070 state” is because the vilification of my state, my home, and the tarnished image coming from responses to the law. I was frustrated, when traveling to other states, people would challenge me on the law and declare such derogatory statements about my home, I really just wanted to tell them to fuck off until they read the 10 page document and formally educated themselves on what they were talking about. Tools and jackasses (IMHO) called for boycotts of the state. WTF?! Frankly, it all just pisses me off. My support of my “SB 1070 state” does not mean I advocate any racial profiling or abuse of a law to target any person because of appearance, accent, or name. I certainly bitch about Phoenix tons of times. Guess what, it’s frigging hot! My real estate value more than sucks! But, this is my home, and as much as I complain, at the end of the day, I love my home, and I want to defend it from what I believe to be ignorant and unwarranted attacks.
When I moved into Central Phoenix seven years ago, I traded in square footage and perfectly manicured and matchy-matchy neighborhoods for the Phoenix PD helicopter hovering overhead sometimes at night, a regular rotation of homeless seeking shade on the front lawn of my condo community, and an eclectic and boldly diverse neighborhood, and a heightened awareness of a community beyond match-matchy houses surrounded by gates and walls with garages and back yards and neighbors who don’t know their neighbors.
And that is one of the reasons I love, love, love this grassroots art project, Calle 16, to both beautify and declare pride for Phoenix that was bolstered from frustrations community advocates felt in the wake of the SB 1070 storm.  Movers and shakers shot a massive dose of creative B-12 to this effort to build community pride, one mural, one wall, at a time by not just painting something beautiful and interesting, but through engaging community members to be part of the movement toward pride and ownership.

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