“Any law that uplifts the human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
~Dr. Martin Luther King wrote in a letter from a Birmingham jail.
In his Huffington Post article, Clarence B. Jones did not just stray from the path of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but began walking with the very people whose ideologies he and Dr. King opposed during the 1960s.
Mr. Jones’ article begins with, “A good doctor knows to treat the disease, not the symptoms.” And ends with, “…Arizona legislation is treating the symptoms of an international disease that needs much stronger medicine.”
It must be added that a good doctor would not prescribe a medicine whose side effects outweigh its benefits.
The new Arizona law is just such a prescription.
The Arizona law is ineffective in fixing the broken immigration system and is likely unconstitutional because it attempts to supersede federal law. Even conservatives believe the law will not affect unauthorized immigration.
The law will have a decidedly negative effect on people of color and the poor by promoting racial profiling – which Blacks across the nation can attest, continues to this day.
It would permit the police to stop anyone whom they suspect is undocumented and to detain those who cannot prove citizenship. The profiling danger goes well beyond Latinos when one considers that 25% of U.S. born Blacks do not possess a current government issued ID.
The Arizona law could take money away from vital governmental functions due to the potentially high cost of implementation and to defend the State from lawsuits related to the bill. The enforcement of the law will likely divert resources from fighting violent crimes like robbery, assault, rape and burglary.
Mr. Jones complains that those who are considering a boycott of Arizona in protest are misguided.
Does Mr. Jones believe those who boycotted Arizona because of the State’s refusal to recognize the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday were misguided? Or that the people who believed the apartheid laws unjust detracted attention from the issue when we boycotted South Africa? Were those who participated in the Montgomery bus boycott wrong to bring attention to degrading segregation laws in the U. S.?
Instead of attacking the people who are crying out for justice and humanity, Mr. Jones should join us in demanding that our government fix the broken immigration system. He should stand with us in our demand that congress quit playing political games and address the laws that separate mothers and fathers from their children. And yes, Mr. Jones should stand with other Black leaders from around the country who call on the U.S. government to ensure that all people are treated equally, even in Arizona.
Mr. Jones would do well to remember the words of Dr. King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”