“I think we need a new time zone in this country, and just let these couple of nonsense states make it 1950 again.”
“I am okay with Arizona building a border fence as long as it surrounds the entire state.”
-Random online persons
I don’t remember exactly when I decided to undertake a one-man boycott of the state of Arizona. Was it after they passed the most draconian anti-immigrant bill in our nation’s history? Was it after their crazy governor wagged her finger in the president’s face?
Perhaps it was after hearing about the state senator who beat up his girlfriend but couldn’t be arrested because lawmakers in the state receive immunity while the legislature is in session. Seriously!
Or it might have been after reading all the endless stories about “America’s worst sheriff,” Joe Arpaio, a man so batshit crazy he’s still setting up committees (using taxpayer money, of course) to investigate whether President Obama’s birth certificate is real.
Wait, I think the final straw might have been hearing that the state passed a law in which life is defined as beginning two weeks before conception. I can’t even wrap my mind around that one. Regardless of how lawmakers feel about that particular issue, they can’t just go around creating nonsense laws in response.
Or maybe it was the secretly gay candidate for Congress who threatened to deport his Mexican lover if the guy revealed their affair. Blackmail, ethnic discrimination, and abuse of power all wrapped up together. How cute!
Then again, it might have been the bill that banned Mexican-American studies in high schools. Why in the world would they do such a thing? Because those classes are un-American. Or something. They even considered banning similar cultural classes in universities across the state. Because we wouldn’t want our college graduates to be armed with knowledge about other cultures!
Every state has problems, yes. But Arizona is absolutely looney tunes. After hearing about all these stories in just the past couple years, I can’t in good conscience reward that state with my tourism dollars.
I generally don’t consider myself a boycott-y type of person, and I hesitate to even use the word, because that conjures up thoughts of angry protests against Chick-Fil-A, JC Penney, Starbucks, and the name-calling and online fights that have gone along with them.
I’m not militantly anti-Arizona and I don’t care if anybody wants to travel there. I just won’t be going myself. As a consumer, I have a choice where to spend my money, and I’d prefer not to spend it in a state that seems intent on taking us back to the 18th century.
Sadly, Arizona’s extremist leanings are not new. You may remember that in 1990, the NFL awarded Arizona its first Super Bowl. But voters that year actually rejected a law celebrating the Martin Luther King holiday, making Arizona the only state in the nation that didn’t acknowledge MLK Day. In response, the NFL yanked the Super Bowl and its hundreds of millions of dollars in business from the state, bringing nationwide shame and embarrassment to the Grand Canyon State.
Should I re-think my Arizona position?
My position might be unusual, but it’s not outrageous. Some Arizona residents suspected they would lose tourism money once these bills started passing.
I’m sure eventually I’ll change my mind. I also know there are lots of good people in the state who don’t support these heinous laws, and by no means should everyone who lives in Arizona be lumped in with these lawmakers. Then again, these people keep managing to get elected, so I have to assume they represent the beliefs of a significant percentage of Arizona’s residents.
The funny thing is, I’ve been reading so much about Arizona on travel blogs lately that my interest in visiting the state has been rekindled. The Grand Canyon is obviously gorgeous, and there’s so much to see and do throughout the state.
Just today I was reading about Humphrey’s Peak, a 12,000-foot extinct volcano whose peak is in the tundra above the treeline. Tundra in Arizona! That’s really cool. But I won’t be climbing it anytime soon.
For now, I’m going to keep my tourism dollars in my pocket and head elsewhere.
Have you ever refused to visit a certain place on principle?