Sunday, September 16, 2012

Arizona History Lesson

Anyone wondering why Arizona is ground zero for wingnuttery in the United States would do well to read Arizona's Secret History by Daniel J. Herman at Common-Place.  The article provides a good back drop on Arizona's range wars and Mormon settlement in the late 19th century.  Much of that history--the Pleasant Valley War and Commodore Perry Owens--I recall reading about during my years in Arizona.  I spent time in Saint Johns and heard the story of Mexican-Americans driven from their land by Mormon setters so it's all still pretty real to me. 

The article is also a reminder of Arizona's progressive history, something that seems laughable now but was still evident when I moved there in 1982.  Morris Udall, descendent of a Mormon pioneer just like Mitt Romney, was a strong progressive voice as my congressman most of the years I lived there.  And I know that not all Arizonans are racist wingnuts.  

It leaves me sad that a state where I know many thoughtful, compassionate  people is has become such a cesspool of fear and loathing.



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