This Arizona City Has Been Named the Most Racist City in the State
For a long time, Arizona has been biased and discriminated against because of their race, especially Native Americans, Black Americans, and Latinx people. From the time it first came into existence on land to the present day, the state has had policies and rules that have limited the civil, human, and voting rights of these groups. Racism isn’t just about how people act and think; it’s strongly rooted in society’s institutions and structures as a way of giving power and privilege to some groups.
Looking at a number of different signs and sources, this piece tries to answer the question of which Arizona city is the most racist.
Phoenix is a city that was changed by racism
While Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, it has been called the most racially biased city in the state by several rankings and studies. It was started in 1867 by a former Confederate fighter, and the name of the city may have meant that the South was coming back to life after the war.
Phoenix was greatly affected by the beliefs and actions of the Old South, such as racism, slavery, lynching, and white dominance. During the Jim Crow era, the city made a lot of unfair laws, like zoning limits, poll taxes, literacy tests, and laws against mixing races. These rules made it so that areas, schools, workplaces, and public spaces were separate for people of color.
Native Americans were the first people to live in Phoenix, and their past shows a disturbing pattern of violence and oppression. The city was built on top of the remains of Native American communities. Many of the people who lived there were killed, moved, or put on reservations against their will by the U.S. government and settlers.
Native Americans in Phoenix were treated unfairly and were deliberately kept from getting schooling, medical care, jobs, and the law. People tried to erase or hide their languages, religions, and customs through cultural assimilation and erasure.
Phoenix hasn’t been friendly to refugees and newcomers, especially those from Latin America. The city has been home to some of the most anti-immigrant leaders and policies in the country. Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one example. He became famous for unfairly treating Latinx people in his detention centers and patrols based on their race.
Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt for refusing to follow a court order to stop his illegal immigration enforcement, but in 2017 former President Donald Trump released him from his sentence. Phoenix has also passed laws that make it illegal for undocumented immigrants to get basic services and rights. SB 1070 is an example of a law that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they thinks is in the country illegally.
Phoenix has also been the subject of claims of environmental racism. This word refers to situations in which groups of color are hit hard by pollution and environmental risks. Phoenix has bad air quality, high amounts of particulate matter and ozone pollution, and seven military bases that pollute neighborhoods of color. This puts the health of the people who live there at risk. It’s common for people of color to live in areas with bad housing, few green places, bad infrastructure, and limited access to healthy food.
The fight for justice and equality is a story of resistance and resilience
People of color in Phoenix have shown amazing strength and determination in their fight for justice and equality, even though they have had to deal with racism and discrimination for a long time. These groups have set up movements and campaigns to question the status quo and demand change. They’ve also made places and networks to promote their cultures and identities, which helps their communities and gives them power.
Here are some examples of this kind of pushback and resilience in Phoenix:
- The “Black Lives Matter” movement is a strong protest against police violence and racism against Black people in society. The movement has held vigils, rallies, and marches to hold the police responsible and push for change. Also, it has helped people learn about the past and lives of Black people in Phoenix.
- A group of people are pushing for Indigenous Peoples Day to be celebrated instead of Columbus Day as a way to honor and recognize the accomplishments and struggles of Native Americans. People can learn about Indigenous cultures and problems at events, ceremonies, and workshops put on by this movement. They are also reclaiming sacred sites and lands that were taken or messed up by settlers.
- the DREAMers movement, which fights for the rights and chances of illegal kids who were brought to the U.S. as kids. This movement has pushed for laws like the DREAM Act that would give undocumented students legal status and access to education, as well as tools and help for them.
- The Puente Human Rights Movement is a community group that fights for social justice for refugees, migrants, and underrepresented groups. Through lawsuits, protests, and acts of civil disobedience, this group has spoken out against the anti-immigrant policies and actions of people in power like Sheriff Arpaio. It has also helped immigrants and refugees with things like legal aid, healthcare, schooling, and organizing in the community.
Phoenix has a history of racism and unfair treatment of people of color that goes back more than one hundred years. Laws and rules in the city have made it harder for people of color to get power, standing, and resources. A lot of bloodshed and oppression has also happened there against Native Americans, Black Americans, and Latinx people. People of color in Phoenix, on the other hand, have shown amazing strength in their fight for justice and equality. It has a lively and diverse population that adds to its culture and economy. This gives it the chance to get past its racist past and present and build a more fair and inclusive future.