Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012
Around the world, it is a common belief that Arizonans are racist. Arguably, our immigration problems, bills, programs, rallies and much more suggest discrimination against certain groups. Meanwhile, others claim that these measures are neither racist nor judgmental; they are simply grabbing the problems we face head-on within the context of our current laws.
State Bill 1070 blew everything out of the water. Never before had there been such a strict, seemingly racist, bill proposed, and even worse, our neighbor states were thinking to adopt it. However, this bill is also misunderstood. In order for an individual to be pulled over and investigated, that person must be doing something wrong, such as not having mud flaps behind the tires, or missing a light.
It is often speculated that Hispanics are the target group of this bill. However, this bill theoretically works just as efficiently for any other group.
Hispanics today are going through what Middle Easterners went through following the 9/11 attacks one may realize how hard living was for an average Muslim in America.
Born in Iran in 1990 and currently a film student at Scottsdale Community College, Amir Adib knows what it was like growing up in this world. He was raised as an American for 22 years but to this day suffers from racial discrimination.
Soon after 9/11, security was tightened like never before, and with this came the belief that some groups are a higher security risk then others.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation would come to his house and ask his father questions about his degree in architecture, family, connections, and current life for reasons still unknown.
Thankfully, the domestic terrorist threat has seriously diminished throughout the years. There is the usual tight security and extra questions at border checkpoints or airports, but those are easier to deal with then the countless times Amir has been pulled over, ticketed, stopped or questioned on the road for the most trivial things.
“Growing up, I thought that police asked routinely asked everyone they pulled over whether they had weapons or drugs in their car.”
It was until he witnessed his Caucasian friends being pulled over and not interrogated at all that made him realize the blatant profiling. Amir says that the car he drives may contribute to the profiling, and fears being harassed even more the police if SB1070 were to be passed.
By Max Benning