Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No Vamos a la Arizona

I find myself conflicted about Arizona's new immigration control law. On the one hand, I do believe we need to secure the borders. And that immigrants should follow the law of the land in order to gain citizenship in this country.

On the other hand, as someone who has lived in Southern California for more years than I care to divulge, I have fallen deeply in love with Hispanic culture.

I love living near streets named Sepulveda, La Cienega and Santa Monica.
I love shopping at supermarkets stocked with tomatilloes, avocados, chimichangas and tongue-searing peppers like serrano and habanero.
I love the nannies who helped take care of my daughters when my wife and I were consumed by work.
I love being able to visit the mountains of San Bernardino and the Sierra Nevadas.

I even love the ranchero music basting from the pickup next to me on the Pacific Coast Highway (of course I also love the sound-deadening windows on my Lexus that can drown that out with the flick of a button, because let's face it, ranchero music can get pretty annoying. Muy Rapido.)

I also love being mistaken for being Mexican. (Personally I find more flattering to be considered a big-nosed bald man from Guadalajara rather than a big-nosed bald Jew from the Bronx.) It's probably because of the mustache, but I often find stopped by strangers and assaulted by a non-stop barrage of rapid fire Spanish.

Me hablo un pocquito, perro no bastante. I can pick out every 5th or so word, but my command of Espanol never got beyond 10th grade or what I picked up working in many restaurant kitchens in LA. In other words, I can say something nasty about your mother/wife/sister or inquire, "Donde esta la biblioteca?"

Getting back to the question of the Arizona law, I no longer have to sit on that fence.

Earlier this week, former Alaska Governor and NY Times Bestselling author (I'll bet her high school classmates never thought her name would appear in conjunction that phrase) Sarah Palin came out in support of the bill.

Which puts me clearly against it. Frankly I don't want to share any of the same political views with a woman who tiene una pequena cabeza de mierde.

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