Friday, May 7, 2010

Contrapositive: Arizona Immigration Reactions

I'm still trying to define what form Friday's Contrapositive will take, but today I wanted to share some competing thoughts about how various organizations are reacting to the "reasonable suspicion" immigration law in Arizona.

Among the widening reverberations from the Arizona law, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, a historically black organization whose members included Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Justice Thurgood Marshall, announced that it was moving its annual convention in July to Las Vegas from Phoenix. The fraternity said it had been expecting as many as 10,000 people, including members and their families, to come to the meeting.
The American Bar Association is also wavering on its commitment to an event in Arizona, but what about all those competitive sports engagements?  There are grumblings about the MLB and the college football BCS championship, to be played--in 2011!--at the Fiesta Bowl.

Does every organization have a moral obligation to take an reactionary stand on an immigration issue and vote against it with its patronage elsewhere?

According to BCS executive coordinator Bill Hancock, his interpretation of the BCS' societal role is rather limited:
This is a sporting event. We're going to leave Arizona politics to the people in Arizona.
Over at the middle line of reactions,  Ivan Maisel at ESPN.com had some pithy lines about one of Arizona's previous civil rights issues:
Arizona is no stranger to football celebrations that have borne the brunt of national displeasure with the state's politics.

Two decades ago, when the state refused to approve a holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., the NFL rescinded its decision to stage Super Bowl XXVII in Tempe. The 1991 Fiesta Bowl ended up with Alabama, with its 7-4 record, because several other schools refused to play in the state.

The state approved the holiday in 1992.