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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

...Which In Spanish Means, THE SUNS!


Los Suns...

It just sounds funny, doesn't it? In fact, I can't even read it without getting vivid and humorous flashbacks of the late Chris Farley and "The Nino!" from his days on SNL. But there's nothing funny about whats goin' on in Arizona right now, and seeing as the story has been dragged into the sporting world, I figure it's time I threw in my two cents. Besides, the Sox are sputtering, and the Bruins and Celtics just don't interest me, so I figure if there's any time to turn my back to the action on the field and get political, this would be it...

So let's make like Louganis and dive on in...just don't hit your head and DON'T get AIDS...And definitely don't sign off on having Mario Lopez portray you in a Lifetime Movie of the Week. Hey there, banana hammock...

Now everyone that knows me, knows I'm about as politically indifferent as they come. Not to say that I don't care how my country and state are governed, because I do, but it's just that getting entangled in the everyday political back and forths is something I'd just rather not do. In my Facebook profile, you can find my political views labeled as "Conservatively Liberal", and while that may be more of an attempt at political satire than anything else, it's also just a comment on how I more often than not find myself right in the middle. Again, not that I'm apathetic and choose to stay in the middle and out of the fight, it's just that I'm more of a cafeteria type citizen, often picking and choosing which policies I like and which ones I don't. It's not an uncommon philosophy, I know, but before I launched into what I'm about to say, I just wanted you all to have a good handle on where I was coming from...


So, back to Los Suns. Those were the words on the jerseys wore by the Phoenix Suns, in order to show support for the Mexican-Americans many believe are being persecuted by racial profiling along the Arizona/Mexico border. Something, I might add, I don't particularly have an issue with. They wanna wear those jerseys to support the perceived plight of the of Mexican-Americans that live within their borders, I have no problem with that. It's the all to common references to "Nazi Germany" and "racial profiling" that have got scratching my head...

Racial profiling? Of course it is, but I don't have a problem with it at all. I mean, I know we're talking about people so this is going to sound a little coarse. But to make a cake, you have to break a few eggs, don't ya? And in this case that means you might have to step on a few toes and offend some sensibilities. Now I understand that those that are here legally might feel that their rights are being violated, because I would feel exactly the same way. The difference between me and those folks, I guess, would be that I would also see the bigger picture, and realize that the ends were going to more than justify the means...

Like the time I was pulled over at 3 AM in Central Falls a few years back. I had been "out on the town" with a few friends of mine, and as my incredible tolerance often dictates, I was the one driving a few of my friends home. Now when I went to drop of my last passenger, my good buddy Ray Charbatji, he realized he had left his keys on the floor of my car. Now just to set the scene, I was pulled to the side of a DESERTED side street, not in a driveway, but that was just because the nature of the place I was dropping him off. Also, for any of you that know Central Falls, you know I could provide many other reasons as to why I would want to keep my car running, anyway. But to continue, I picked his keys up off the floor and handed them to him through the rolled down passenger window. The entire exchange, from Ray forgetting, to me handing them to him, takes literally about 5 seconds. He thanks me, but as he starts to back away he also gives me a heads up...

"Look out for that cop behind you", he says.

Awesome. Just awesome. I thank Ray, pull away, and within 500 feet the cop lights me up and pulls me over...

Again. Awesome. just awesome. I knew I was well under the legal limit for alcohol, but even so, you get a little jumpy, and I did. So the cop strides up, I give him all my info, and he asks me all the standard questions. Where was I going? Where was I coming from? And I'll always 100% honest. I have no trouble telling a police officer that I've been at a bar, because I know I've done nothing wrong, and I always hope they will respect the honesty. And ya know what, in my experiences, they usually do.

Then, he asks me to open my glove conpartment again. I do. He asks me to remove the two black cases inside and hand them to him. I do. They're my GPS, in it's black leather case, and my perscription Aviators (pimp), also in their black leather case. He takes them back to his car for about 10 minutes, then returns. Hands them back to me. Then, as he's leaving, he mentions how I'm lucky he's not giving me a ticket for blocking the street, and for me to have a safe trip home...

Whoa, what?!? Blocking the street? That doesn't even make any sense!

So as I'm drivin' home I get to thinkin'. The fact that I may have been drinking and driving never even crossed this guy's mind! He thought I was slinging rocks! OR at least smokin' 'em! He'd been watchin' too much Training Day, I guess, and thought he saw what he deemed a "hand off" between me and Ray, and thought he was about to bust a drug dealer. Turns out I was just Joe Nobody, headed home to get a good night's sleep, but he thought there was a good possibility that I was dealing drugs...

The more I thought about it, the more it didn't really bother me that the guy had pulled me over, even though at the end he was kind of a prick. Why? Because I considered the circumstances. I mean it was freakin' 3 AM in a less than reputable part of town. Was it really that far fetched for him to think his assumption was correct? No, it wasn't. Granted it's a sad state of affairs that he has to be on the lookout for such behavior, but that's just the way of life. So this time he was wrong, so what? I'd rather be inconvenienced for 20 minutes and have the peice of mind that these guys are actually out there trying to enforce the law. He was, in the grand scheme of things, protecting me by pulling me over. Right? Trying to clean up the streets and make Central Falls and safe place to live. And I'm sorry, but if you can't see that, than maybe you need to start looking at things a little differently...

Now granted my example isn't identical to what's going on in Arizona, but I believe my message still rings true. I know it's gotta suck being pulled over just because of your skin color or your ethnicity, but in regards to what's happening down there, sometimes that's just the price you have to pay for freedom. These cops and Federal agents are trying to protect America and it's border, so that those of us actually here legally, can feel safe and enjoy our freedoms. And to me, it's the legal immigrants more than anyone that should be almost happy when they get flagged down by the authorities. They should be the one's the most upset at all the illegal immigrants puring in. They did things by the book, and went through the proper channels, and these people just get to waltz in and mooch off the system? Granted they don't really wanna get pulled over, I was just saying that for effect, but like any other legal citizen they sure as Hell wanna make sure their rights are being protected...

Great example I've heard many times from an Arab American around 2002 when being asked about increased airport security. Granted this is vague, but again I think the message rings true. While pulled aside with a white passenger for additional screening, the Arab American was asked by the white passenger if it bothered him that he was selected for additonal screening. His response was something along the lines of...

"Hey, it guys wearing top hats and monacles flew planes into a bunch of buildings, I'd want every guy with a top hat and a monacle to be pulled aside for additional screening every time they went to board a plane."

I couldn't agree more. In situations like this, I don't care if the authorities are wrong 99% of the time. I'd rather they be wrong, and have me inconvenienced, than have poltiical correctness on their mind when they let the next terrorist onto a plane, or the next drug dealer cruise through the checkpoint...

It's not a perfect system, I get that, but no system is going to be perfect. At least this one has it's heart and mind in the right place. And hey, maybe I'm missing part of the story here, but I don't think so. These athletes and entertainers that are coming out in opposition to this practice of flagging down suspected illegals, and hassling people without proper ID? I think they're the ones that don't get. They perceive racism, and they run with it. I don't. I see justifiable profiling, and while I understand it's going to be tough for some people to live with, I honestly think it's the best way to go...


OH, and as for all the Nazi Germany comparions I keep hearing? Come on, people. I know I'm only one of the 3% of the country that reads anymore, but you might wanna do a little research before you go spouting off on that one. Did the Nazi's make the Jews carry around identification cards much like people in Arizona have to do now? OF course they did. But one common practice does not a legit comparison make. I'm sure the Nazis ate breakfast on a daily basis, too. So does that mean that since I ate breakfast this morning, that I'm about to go out and committ mass genocide? Of course not. Extreme example? Sure. But when the people on the other side of your argument are going as far as to compare a siutation to one of the worst acts of inhumanity the world has ever seen, I believe anything other than an extreme example in return just wouldn't be appropriate. Last time I checked, they weren't loading Mexicans into gas chambers. Oh and if they are, and I'm yet again grossly misinformed, then by all means let me know. Until then, be creative and come up with a more appropriate example rather than spouting off the most extreme one that comes to mind...

Like I said, it's not perfect, but neither is life. It's a tough situation. And in my experience, tough situations are usually overcome by hard work and dilligence, not apathy. Compromise, people. The kye word here is compromise. If you want to live in a place that protects you, then sometimes you're going to have to live with the way they get things done. Whether they jive with your personal beliefs or not, or if they happen to inconvenience you. Sometimes, you just have to break a few eggs...

I'll be back next week with some non political stuff for sure, but thanks for taking the time to give this a read...

Hope everyone has a great week, and I'll catch on the flipman...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

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