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The Sports World Weighs In

May 4, 2010
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No community seems to be more tone-deaf/ignorant of the merits (never mind the actual language) of Arizona’s immigration law than the sports world.  The D-Backs are apparently “caught in the middle” of the debate, the Suns are wearing their “Los Suns” jerseys tomorrow night in protest, and journalists have penned scathing critiques such as these (that last one is via Allahpundit—“The worst sports column ever?”).  Of course, these guys are getting the same thing wrong that a lot of the law’s critics got wrong initially—you can’t just ask Augie Ojeda to produce his “papers” because he has a Hispanic name and he looks like he might be from Mexico.  He actually has to be stopped by a cop for doing something wrong first.  He, typically, doesn’t get that:

“I don’t know the details, but if I leave the park after a game and I get stopped, am I supposed to have papers with me?” Ojeda said. “I don’t think that’s fair.”

It’s not fair to have to produce your driver’s license if you run a stop sign and get pulled over?  I’ll just leave Augie to think about that whole line of reasoning.  My favorite argument (and that’s a big stretch of the word “argument”), however, comes from Jeff MacGregor, the author of AP’s “worst sports column ever” cited above and a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine.  Apparently, the supporters of this law are just looking for “peace of mind”:

If you forget your card one day, well, a night or two in jail never killed anybody, did it? OK, maybe a couple of people; but until things get straightened out, the risk of some little danger or inconvenience is a small price to pay for our peace of mind. Isn’t it? Wouldn’t a program like this let the rest of us sleep better?

Because that’s what we’re talking about, isn’t it? Peace of mind? Freedom from fear? And anger? (That they travel so freely among us and take advantage of our privileges and our freedoms is upsetting to every right-thinking American.) So something has to be done, even if it seems wrong at first.

Yeah, it doesn’t have anything to do with the federal government’s abdication of responsibility with regard to its own laws—it’s federal law that immigrants carry their green cards at all times—that is killing Arizona’s educational systems, state budget, and working opportunities for low-income natives.  I’ve never read another MacGregor column, including the one I just linked to, because (typically) I don’t care about the things about which he writes or what he has to say, so I’ll only criticize this particular piece rather than his writing as a whole.  Not on the merits, obviously, because then I’d be arguing with a sportswriter who wrote a bad column (yawn), but on what he thinks about this law’s supporters.

Does he really think that this law is just a product of a racist majority that feels like undocumented immigrants have no right to be here and therefore we must kick them out regardless of the expansion of government that action requires?  Apparently so.  Does he really think that those supporters of the law are just mad that them Spics took-er-too?  Does he really think that there are zero legitimate reasons to support this law?

If that’s the case, then we truly don’t understand each other as a nation.  Good luck cutting entitlement spending, Congress.

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