Arizonans refuse to show their papers: a major moment for civil rights in Arizona

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Arizonans refuse to show their papers: a major moment for civil rights in Arizona

A land of contradictions from the start, America was founded by slave owners who spoke passionately and eloquently about liberty, liberty and justice for all. At first “everything” was limited to men of European descent who were wealthy enough to own land. The protections of the Constitution did not apply to most people living in America for most of American history, at least not in all.

Women – about 50% of the population – were not included in the concept of “everything” in the country, as were millions of slaves – and for a long time, their offspring. Native Americans, the descendants of the original inhabitants of the United States, were generally excluded from America’s promise, as were many immigrants, ethnic groups, and religious minorities.

Despite all the work that remains to be done, all these groups and many others now enjoy freedoms that have had to be won – won by the courts, by the tribunal of public opinion, by mass demonstrations, by the legislation, through boycotts and in many cases, through martyrdom.

Fighting to broaden the definition of “all” requires powerless people to challenge power structures that profit from keeping some people locked in their status as second-class citizens. They often do so at the risk of their job, their reputation, their home and, in many cases, their lives. Even so, courageous advocates and activists have fought the good fight in all American states. Each state has a unique story to tell about the epic civil rights struggles that have taken place there, as well as those that continue to be fought. The following is a small fragment of their collective efforts.

Using various sources, Stacker identified a defining moment for civil rights in the 50 states. They stand out for different reasons and have led to changes that have spurred different groups, but they all prove how much can be done and how much remains to be done.

Read on to learn about your state’s contribution to civil rights.

Arizona: Arizonans refuse to show their papers

In 2010, Arizona passed the most restrictive, sweeping, and, in the eyes of its detractors, the most racist immigration law in America. Among other things, SB1070 required immigrants to carry federal registration papers at all times and allowed law enforcement officials to demand to see the papers of anyone they suspected of being here illegally. – with or without probable cause – and to arrest them without warrant. Known as the “Papers, Please” law, this moment sparked the creation of Resilience of an Arizona in the desert movement, which fights for the vulnerable Arizonans, regardless of their background.

Click on here to see an event from each state or keep reading for other events near Arizona.

California: immigrant farm workers rise up

Decades before Cesar Chavez popularized the plight of farm workers in California, a coalition of Mexican and Japanese farm workers paved the way for Chavez to follow. In 1903, at Oxnard, 1,200 immigrant workers formed the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association, which would become the first union in California to win a strike against the state’s formidable agricultural industry.

Colorado: cultural rainbow gets results

Colorado’s sizable population of not only African Americans, but also Native Americans, Mexican Americans, Roman Catholics, and Jewish immigrants, all faced discrimination in the first half of the 20th century. . These disparate subclasses alone did not have enough clout to demand change, so they joined forces. A multiracial, multiethnic civil rights coalition protested and filed a petition until the state passes a series of radical civil rights laws in 1957 to protect vulnerable minority groups, outlaw discrimination in housing and employment, and repeal bans on interracial marriage.

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