Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Blog

The ACLU of Arizona released obtained thousands of emails from the office of recalled Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, related to the controversial Arizona immigration law SB-1070. While many, including the Department of Justice under President Obama, have tried to divorce issues of racial profiling from discussion of the bill’s merits and legality, Pearce’s emails reveal a deep-seated racial motivation for his authorship of Arizona’s immigration law.

Here are some of the more outrageous quotes from former State Senator Russell Pierce, sent to key policymakers, other elected representatives, and constituents:

  • “Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance? It's like injecting yourself with cancer cells to see what will happen. It's like importing leper colonies and hope we don't catch leprosy. It's like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hope they adapt to the American Dream.”
  • “Last week, Denver’s illegal aliens sang our national anthem in Spanish and bastardized the words of OUR country’s most sacred song.”
  • “We create cultural and linguistic apartheid by creating a slave class of workers unassimilated while growing in numbers and antagonistic strength. This condition creates a perfect formula for rioting and violence that will tear our nation to pieces! Ask Paris, France!”
  • “Battles commence as Mexican nationalists struggle to infuse their men into American government and strengthen control over their strongholds. One look at Los Angeles with its Mexican-American mayor shows you Vicente Fox’s general Varigossa [sic] commanding an American city.”
  • “They create enclaves of separate groups that shall balkanize our nation into fractured nightmares of social unrest and poverty.”
  • “Corruption is the mechanism by which Mexico operates. Its people spawn more corruption wherever they go because it is their only known way of life.”
  • “Tough, nasty illegals and their advocates grow in such numbers that law and order will not subdue them. They run us out of our cities and states. They conquer our language and our schools. They render havoc and chaos in our schools.”

One of the emails bears the subject line “What’s a racist?” and contains facetious statements like the following:

  • “I’m racist because I don’t want to be taxed to pay for a prison population comprised of mainly Hispanics, Latinos, Mexicans or whatever else you wish to call them.”
  • “I’m a racist because I believe the News Media has a duty to tell us the names and race of criminals.”
  • “I’m a racist because I object to having to pay higher sales tax and property tax to build more schools for the illegitimate children of illegal aliens.”
  • “I’m a racist because I dislike having to push one for English and/or listening to a message in Spanish.”

In addition to his own writing, Pearce also forwarded a plethora of speeches and articles with racist and paranoiac content:

  • "These new immigrants arrive from totally incompatible cultures. They are the seeds of cancer sewn into our social fabric that will eventually destroy our nation. Again, when the rate of immigration exceeds the rate of assimilation, it is a recipe for the annihilation of our civilization ... How can anyone who knows Mexico think its culture 'wants' to assimilate into America's?"
  • "No country on earth today is successful with 'multiculturalism'. It's a lie, it's a proven failure, it's dangerous, it's deadly and it's growing in America.”
  • “For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American, or an English-American or a Mexican-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic.''

Throughout his emails, the author of SB-1070 makes clear that not only is the goal of his legislation racial profiling, but a way to combat the “multiculturalism” he views as a societal ill. Many of his emails propagate conspiracy theories about plots to return the American southwest to Mexican control. Other emails discuss plans to ban cultural student organizations at State universities.

The Supreme Court struck down three other provisions of SB-1070 this summer, but left intact the infamous “show me your papers” provision. The initial challenge to SB-1070 was based on the fact that it preempted the federal government’s authority to set enforcement priorities for immigration issues. Thus, the issue of racial profiling had no bearing on the federal challenge. In fact, the solicitor general was harshly warned by Justice Roberts to not broach the subject in his arguments against the bill. The ACLU of Arizona is now mounting a new challenge against section 2(B) of SB 1070, the “show me your papers” provision, contending that 2(B) unlawfully discriminates against Latinos and individuals of Mexican origin. The emails of the SB-1070’s architect definitively show the bill’s racist intent and therefore should be a crucial piece of evidence in this latest challenge in federal court. Russell Pearce’s emails also deal a blow to those who argue that racial profiling concerns are irrelevant to discussions of SB-1070. We should be willing to call SB-1070 what it is: an anti-immigrant, anti-multiculturalist, and racially-targeted bill. Apparently, the bill’s authors are willing to do the same in their private emails. 

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