With the passage of the notorious anti-immigrant bill SB 1070 last spring, the outlawing of ethnic studies as of January 1st, the gutting of the school and university systems, the collapsed housing market, the high unemployment rates, and now the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, you might be wondering what it’s like to actually live in Arizona right about now.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. It isn't accidental that Arizona is at the forefront of every scary, racist development in this country. Olson's analysis dove-tails with what I've been saying for a while: where the pressures of an encroaching modernity become too much for the unprepared people to bear, craziness ensues. The traditional ways of living in Arizona are crumbling down due to the changes that are transforming every developed society. As a result, people lash out in rage. They aren't exactly sure what it is that bothers them so much, so they blame ethnic minorities.
I'm sure I don't need to remind anybody about this European country that was dragged into modernization and didn't find any other way to deal with the trauma of that process than lashing out against its ethnic minorities.