The Hypocrisy of the Phoenix Suns
For Wednesday’s NBA playoff game, the Phoenix Suns donned jerseys that had “Los Suns” emblazoned across the chest, rather than the traditional “Suns”. This move was done in response to Arizona’s new immigration law. The Suns decided that they did not support the law and voiced their displeasure through an incorrect Spanish phrase on their uniforms.
Regardless of the inaccuracies of their Spanish, the Suns are misguided in trying to make a political statement during a professional basketball game. Let me paint a small picture here.
It’s Game 7 of the Suns playoff series and hundreds of thousands of people line up outside the stadium, hoping to enter the stadium and enjoy the game and the atmosphere of a huge NBA playoff game. The Suns however, refuse to let everyone into the stadium, and instead chooses to permit only those who have secured entrance the proper and legal way to make their way inside and to their seats.
The Suns make a practice of handling game day operations this way every time their team is home for a game. The Suns employ security officers and ticket-takers to ensure that nobody enters the stadium illegally. And that is the aim of the new Arizona legislation – it takes the federal laws on immigration and applies them to the state of Arizona.
The new law makes it a misdemeanor for an immigrant to fail to carry certain identification with them. Barack Obama said that “if you don’t have your papers .. you’re going to be harassed. That’s not the right way to go.”
However, for close to sixty years, it has been a federal crime to fail to keep such documents with them (source). The new Arizona law just adds a state penalty to something that was already a federal crime. As someone who’s traveled extensively abroad, other nations have similar requirements.
In most European countries the punishment for entering illegally is a hefty fine and deportation. Less civil countries such as North Korea and certain middle eastern nations have much more severe consequences.
I have no problem with immigration and I fully understand why millions of people want to come to this country. America offers the best possible opportunities for just about everyone. But what I do have a problem with is “hyphenated” Americans. A citizen of this country is and should only be, American.
I’m not condemning culture. I think culture and traditions are an important part of any family. But there’s no such thing in my mind as a Mexican-American or a Japanese-American. You are one or the other, make your choice. Teddy Roosevelt put it perfectly:
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace or origin.
But this is predicated upon the persons becoming in every facet an American .. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for one language here, and that is the English language. We have room for but one loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
Jan Brewer simply addressed the problem that Barack Obama has refused to. Just as the Suns police who is allowed into their arena, Arizona is now doing the same for its entire state.