Jim Kent:

"Human change initiatives must work at social, economic, and ecological levels if they are to succeed."

Archive for the ‘Issue Resolution’ Category

What is going on in Arizona?

Posted by Jim on May 13, 2010

My daughter Teresa Kent Zink who lives in Paoli, Pennsylvania sent me this question.

Hey Dad,
First the immigration law, now this! Any of your crew getting boots on the ground in Arizona? Yes to the boots on the ground, and see below for the rest of the story……….

Hi Teresa:
They have dropped off of the deep end of xenophobia. There has always been embedded in some of the Anglo culture in Arizona a deep fear of the Hispanic and Indian people. I first ran into it when setting up a meeting in Tucson in 1964 for hearings on establishing the War on Poverty. Our Center for Delinquency Control at the University of Denver got the assignment to hold hearings on poverty in the Southwest. The hearings were to establish what needed to go into the legislation. We picked Tucson because of its location and made arrangements to use a local well known hotel for the hearings.

I guess they thought we were a knitting circle or something like that, because when we showed up with Hispanics, Indians and Blacks, they would not let us into the hotel. To put the times and situation into context the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had just been passed.
We had with us for the panel: Steve Allen, Hubert Humphrey, Sam Yette (editor of Life Magazine), Herrick Roth (labor leader) and two other dignitaries for the panel. (I can’t recall their names right now). So we met to see what we should do about this “lunch counter incident”. We all agreed, the panel and participants, to set up picket lines and shut the hotel down which we did. No one was going to cross THAT picket line.

Well the hotel relented after one day and let us in to conduct our business.

When I got back to DU where I was an Assistant Professor and Deputy Director of the Center for Delinquency Control, Dean Miller, my department head boss fired me with the explanation “we don’t do community action as part of our academic program.”
So being radicalized at 28 years old, Bernard Valdez led a group to create the Foundation for Urban and Neighborhood Development, a non-profit, for me to pursue my love of social justice and as Bernie said “to keep me in Denver”.

They the Anglo power structure in Arizona can’t stand the guilt that they carry for the treatment of the Indians, the original inhabitants and the hundreds of years of Spanish residents long before Anglos arrived.  It is embedded at the culture core. Arizona became a part of Mexico along with Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and California as a result of the 1822 Mexican war with Spain which Mexico won. President Polk then provoked a war with Mexico in 1848 where U.S. captured the territories listed above. Mexico surrendered.

To get a sense of the times and the imbedded cultural fear in Arizona the Congressional Globe in 1847 published the following accredited to President Polk: “We must march from ocean to ocean…we must march from Texas straight to the Pacific Ocean. It is the destiny of the white race, it is the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon Race.” So you get a sense of this underlying cultural guilt that is built into the political and social systems of Arizona.
From my days with discrimination in the 1960-to Arizona not recognizing Martin Luther King day (a international boycott brought Arizona to its knees and they relented)-to the present–racism remains embedded in the power structure of Arizona. The fear in the Anglo establishment is deep. Complicating this fear is the fact that Hispanics have made stunning gains in the power structure, to the point of displacing the establishment. This establishment sits on all of the ghosts of oppression over the years like the Interior Department at the turn of the 20th century channeled through diversions, the Gila River water away from the Gila and Tohono O`odham Nation lands to privately owned lands of large farmers–drying up the Gila River and the agricultural life of the Indian nations. Only in 2004 with the passing of the Arizona Water Rights Settlement Act in that year were the historic water rights restored to the Gila River and the tribes use.

On it goes, but it is coming to an end and these attempts to use the legislature to turn history and social and moral and economic gains back generations where Anglos controlled everyone’s destiny are at an end. Of course there is no turning back and it will not work and the BOYCOTT as one tool will prevail. Already California, New Mexico and Texas have announced they will not join or be a party to the actions of the Arizona legislator and Governor have taken.

There is much more to this but that is my first hand experience with discrimination in Arizona. In a sense they cannot help themselves given the guilt that they must live with everyday. If you can stop immigration the storyh goes, then the guilt of what we did to the original inhabitants will go away. It won’t. Culturally and historically there is no boundary between Arizona and Mexico.



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Welcome To Jim Kent’s Blog: Initialization

Posted by Harley Powers Parks on June 15, 2009

Welcome. This post provides a baseline entry with the appropriate categories, tags, pages, links, comments, media, layout, logging in, and anything else that can help to help start and administrate the blog.  Thank you for your time, contribution, and understanding.

Posted in Crisis Intervention, Culture/Social – Marketing, Deep Democracy, Educational Programs, Human Geographic Mapping, Innovations in Management, Issue Resolution, Market Segments, Public Policy Inititatives, Public Service Projects, Social-Economic Analysis, Sustainable Development, Trend Projections | Tagged: | 3 Comments »