Mike Lacey's online editorial on the new Arizona "May I see your papers?" law ("Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Reign of Terror Becomes Arizona Policy, Thanks to State Senator Russell Pearce and Governor Jan Brewer," April 29) has many of our readers fuming, especially, it seems, those readers who have trouble spelling. Not that we have anything against y'all — heck, it saves us the trouble of copy-editing anything! — but, just saying ... In any case, the story generated some of our favorite recent letters.
Noel D gets it going: "You know this artical was writen by some one from the ACLU, which make there living sueing the taxpayers for a living, they are no better then maggots. The only purpose these maggots serve in life is to try and distroy every one that disagrees with them and distroy every thing good that this country stands for."
And Lee has a novel idea: "This reporter should be FIRED! Talk about a trouble maker. Obviously he dosent know how to read English!"
FYI Lee and Noel, Mike Lacey is the head editorial honcho and co-owner of Village Voice Media, which means two things: We will not be firing his ass anytime soon, as we are not the boss of him; and while VVM is in fact funding the ACLU's efforts to fight the new law, Lacey is not "from the ACLU."
The Toast of Pacoima has a good online name and a rather cynical suggestion: "I have an idea for an investigational story for L.A. Weekly — one that really gets to the heart of this entire debate: Why aren't there any Latin American countries that are not deeply dysfunctional? In other words, what is it that drives so many people in every one of the 20 Latin American nations away from the countries they create? The whole world, including Mexicans and Arizonans, would be better off if we could find out what's going on there. What do you think, Mike? I don't see anyone else making any attempt to address those questions. There could even be a Pulitzer in it for you. It'd be win-win all around."
Virg has a rather suggestive name and a good online tone: "Can't you at least attempt to be impartial god damnit? 'National attack on latino immigrants' ... shit dude, don't you understand that illegals are wage slaves. And your stance does nothing for Mexico to be self-sufficient and take care of its own people? Shouldn't it be a national embarrassment to Mexico that its country is so frekin bad and corrupt that people given the chance would RISK their lives to get the hell out? But why should they be embarrassed when they actively encourage their poor to work as exploited labor when they send home billions to prop up their failing economy? Your support of illegal immigration is turning Mexico into a leech. Is there something you are not getting?"
"Your demonization of the Arizona law is unhelpful, and untruthful," writes Don. "I assume you want open borders, and the Democratic/liberal dream of a permanent underclass, with a constant demonization of anyone who disagrees with your opinions. It is pure demagoguery and will not help Hispanics, whom you claim to consider."
Legally Brown seems to agree with that last idea: "America's prosperity and freedoms are largely due to our system of law and order. I have traveled much of southern Arizona for work and have been stopped at many checkpoints. Time is money for me, and these checkpoints are certainly an inconvenience but worth it. I am always asked where I am coming from and if I am an American citizen. I am proud to say "yes" and even more proud to produce documentation if requested. As a nation constituted largely of immigrants, we open our arms to LEGAL immigration. I believe that support for those who brazenly ignore our immigration law and order is un-American."
RobE writes an interesting letter, far too long to run in full: "There is no doubt that strengthening our borders and improving immigration enforcement is at least 30 years overdue and Reagan's amnesty of illegals in 1986 has been a disaster for California. If Arizona had made a firm decision to cut the problem off at the knees by enforcing already existing law and arresting business owners en masse and shutting their businesses down rather then sussing anyone with skin darker than Pat Boone as they tool down local streets and highways, the state officials would have been on firmer legal, moral, ethical amd public relations grounds. But as long as the money people are gong to be allowed to skate when they are the root of this evil, well, everyone is getting exercised over the illegals issue for the wrong reasons."
Favorite letter of the year so far, from Mike Davis (author of City of Quartz, among other books): "I'm certainly no fan of Mike Lacey but his editorial is perhaps the most admirable in the entire history of L.A. Weekly. My check to the Arizona ACLU is in the mail. Keep up the good fight."
Best comeback of the year, from the before-quoted Toast of Pacoima: "Now that Mike Davis has chimed in, I think we may just have a lefty lunatic quorum here."
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And so it goes ...
This just in from Dr. Gene Rothman of Culver City, tongue squarely in cheek: "Although I am encouraged by the Arizona governor's stance opposing illegal aliens, I fear she is not going far enough. As an avid birder who sometimes goes to Arizona, I have noted that some Mexican bird species are taking up residence and using resources that rightfully belong to our native species. Mexican Bluejays (Grey-Breasted Jays for the politically correct), most Hummers (Hummingbirds) and Elegant Trogones are a few that come to mind.
"I demand that law enforcement officers be given authority to trap these illegals for deportation back to Mexico. I personally do not favor shooting them, at least not until a third-strike offense is documented. Yours for keeping our part of the planet patriotic and pure. [Signed:] A Red-White-and-Blue Birder!"
Keep 'em coming, with full name and phone number for verification. To: firstname.lastname@example.org.