I don't generally blog on news items south of the 49th parallel, but there were a couple of compelling stories yesterday that I just had to follow:
1.) Arizona State Governor Jan Brewer (Republican) signed into affect a new law, to take effect in July or August, that would allow Arizona police to question and detain anyone that they felt may be an illegal immigrant, even if they are not suspected in committing a crime. Any person can be stopped and forced to produce identification that confirms both their identity and their citizenship. Racial profiling will definitely enter the equation when enforcing this law. The Mexican government has already spoken out against the law and the Federal Justice Department is reviewing whether or not the law met constitutionality safeguards. This whole thing smacks of George Orwell's 1984.
Heaven help you if you have dark hair, tan easily and happen to live in or be visiting Arizona. You'd better make certain you always carry your wallet and/or passport!
2.) Thomas Hagan, 69, was released from prison on Tuesday morning and is now a parolee. Who is Thomas Hagan you ask? He is the only man to plead guilty to the 1965 assassination of 1960s black Muslim leader Malcolm X. He served 44 years in prison and had been on a work-release program since 1992. His attempts to gain full parole had been rejected 16 times. The other 2 men that were tried for the murder and found guilty were released from prison in the 1980s. For those of you that are too young to remember, Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little) was an advocate for the rights of African Americans during the late 1950s and early 1960s and is regarded as one of the most influential African American figures in American history. He converted to Islam while in prison in the late 1940s and was closely associated with the Nation of Islam, a religious organization founded to resurrect the spiritual lives of African American men and women. Malcolm X was murdered because he was viewed as a hypocrite for leaving the Nation of Islam in 1963.
This story really took me back to the sixties.
Arizona Immigration Law
Thomas Hagan Parole