Wearing Out Arizona




Soto, Sandra K.

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The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice


In “Wearing Out Arizona,” Sandra Soto describes and analyzes what her colleague K. Tsianina Lomawaima has aptly coined Arizona’s “regressive suite of legislation.” Seeking to further marginalize the growing Latino community in the state (especially the foreign born), these laws and bills curtail mobility, solidarity, education, and even Constitutional rights. Focusing on the neoliberal state’s strategy of enforcement through attrition, Soto suggests that these laws—SB 1070 and HB 2281 in particular—reinforce one another in ways that create “dead citizenship” and a “wearing out” of critique. Even those of us on the left who are able to identify this deadening and who seek to resist it find it difficult to continue to speak out and do more than participate in the pablum of acceptable phrases. Against the strategy of attrition—which entails the weakening of a people incrementally over a span of time, until they have finally been worn down, worn out, erased—Soto calls for a new politics of sustenance, collaboration, the collecting and sharing of resources.



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