State of Embarrassment — Arizona
How immigration laws, a state boycott and a “worst sheriff” honor affect the citizen embarrassment level in Arizona.
You’ve Probably Heard About: The border controversy. Gov. Jan Brewer has championed a tough new immigration law that requires police to ask people they stop about their citizenship if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” they are in the U.S. illegally. Meanwhile, Arizona’s economic woes trail only California’s, with the state’s foreclosure rates almost five times the national average.
But Did You Know: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio calls himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and has appeared on the FOX reality show Smile … You’re Under Arrest! The New York Times editorial board calls Arpaio “America’s Worst Sheriff,” saying he is “a genuine public menace with a long and well-documented trail of inmate abuses, unjustified arrests, racial profiling, brutal and inept policing and wasteful spending.” You make the call.
They Said It: “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents, have to wear full body armor, and they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths.” — Arpaio, defending his “Tent City,” a compound of Korean War-era military tents erected and inhabited by jail inmates in brutal summer temperatures.
The Silver Lining: As part of the general boycott against the state’s immigration law, music semi-superstars Hall & Oates canceled a July appearance at an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game. So Arizona will probably cave in any day now.
Citizen Embarrassment Level: Slim to none. What’s there to be embarrassed about? Unless you’re one of them illegals …