Racism is fear of the different

Published 8:07 pm Thursday, July 8, 2010

To the Editor:

In Wednesdays paper, a lady took the Birdland Writer to task for believing that racism is at the bottom of the Arizona Show Me Your Papers Law. She ends with the statement that what he is looking at is fear.

Since I spent the first 29 years of my life in the Southwest–including graduating from the University of New Mexico and teaching in NM for four years, I can categorically state that racism historically runs deep there and it is not too difficult to find it. &bsp;

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It is true that it is less respectable now than it was when I was growing up, but it is there nonetheless.

On the other hand, it is perfectly true that the Arizona Immigration Law is based on fear, because much of racism is simply fear of the differently colored. &bsp;

Since much of the current debate on immigration is based on an irrational sentiment, we can expect little progress in this area until we recognize the reality of fear and determine to work towards&bsp; rational solutions based on democratic, humanitarian principles.

Bill Holcomb