The recent defamation of immigrants in Arizona and across the country is not a new phenomenon in American history.
Throughout our history, Irish, Asian, Jewish, African, Middle Eastern, and other ethnic groups have all been publicly scapegoated and vilified by politicians and by the law itself.
This week, Arizona signed into law a bill that eliminates ethnic studies, such as African American and Native American Studies from all Arizona schools.
A divisive bill that’s trying to erase the many contributions of various cultures that make up America.
However, with every attack, people from every nationality have historically stood together in the name of peace and justice.
Three weekends ago, I stood on the steps of the Arizona State Capital with thousands of my White, Black, Asian, and Latino brothers and sisters committed to stopping the implementation of SB 1070, Arizona’s anti-immigrant law.
Standing with my fellow brothers and sisters, it became clear to me that SB 1070 and any other law that unfairly targets a certain group of people makes it unsafe for everyone regardless of nationality or skin color.
Arizona’s laws make us all unsafe because it’s unconstitutional to start singling out people because of who they look like, how they talk, or even how they dress.
Arizona’s laws make us all unsafe because a large number of people living in America – undocumented or not – will be less likely to work with law enforcement in solving crimes for fear of being seen as a suspect themselves.
As I stood in Arizona’s blistering heat two weeks ago, I found courage in the words of a Korean American woman speaking about the importance of standing together for love and justice.
I felt pride when Congressman Luis Gutierrez stood alongside undocumented students inspiring all of us to vote our conscience in the next election.
I felt fearless about the future because within a matter of days millions of people demanded that Arizona not implement this unjust and illegal law.
You see, SB 1070 and Arizona’s attack on ethnic studies is dangerous, immoral, and wrong.
As such, I will not abide by SB 1070 and carry a passport while in Arizona because I believe that an unjust and immoral law should not and cannot be accepted.
I will not support Arizona’s law targeting ethnic studies because I believe that denying a person their fundamental right to know their history is a human rights violation.
And I will not stop organizing because I know the transformative power of the truth.
Within our own fractured yet common history, we find moments where the collective body realized that an injustice against one is an injustice against all.
Moments when people from all faiths and backgrounds held hands together for the common cause of humanity.
Moments when people from every culture realized that together we are indeed America.
So even as the pundits try to instill division among us, I will continue to reach out to all those who believe in love.
I will reach out to all those who believe in peace and non-violence.
And I will reach out to all those who may disagree with me, but whom I respect because we are all indeed one.
So as I continue to be inspired by the growing tide of