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Escape From Arizona

I posted a short rant a couple months ago about a quadriplegic woman I know who tried moving to “sunny Arizona” to avoid the brutal winters of NYC. I told of how the hearts of the people controlling Arizona are colder and more brutal than any winter storm in N.Y. She endured a lack of empathy stunning even to a life-long New Yorker like myself – someone who has seen thousands of tourists step over homeless people, police officers kick the homeless who are trying to sleep and subway passengers complain about being late for work due to a murder at a Bronx train station (with no concern for the victim).

This woman qualified for 24 hour a day attendant care in a cold-blooded place like NYC, yet the state of Arizona offered a maximum of 6 hours a day. This is tantamount to criminally negligible homicide. Or, to look at it another way…

…an agonizingly slow death penalty for the crime of being disabled.

A bullet to the head would be more humane (there might be plenty of people in Arizona with “open carry” firearms willing to oblige).

Not only is the state of Arizona a menace to civilization, some of the attendants hired to take care of a completely helpless woman were incredibly callous when it came to making sure a severe pressure ulcer didn’t develop into a bone infection. An overflowing urostomy bag (more than once during a shift by the same attendant), failure to properly rotate her body (to avoid additional pressure sores) and other negligent behavior was far too common. It became apparent fairly soon how desperate people can become in such a poverty-stricken region. While this woman is far from well-off, if she had been impoverished she would not have survived the move.

This is a perfect example of how Capitalism, specifically austerity economics, has infected aspects of life in the U.S. without most people even being aware of the vicious treatment of the most vulnerable in society.

And it happens every day.

We can’t seem to find enough money for school lunches for children in our cities, but we mysteriously find it for police departments to purchase military weapons in the name of “protecting the homeland.” (Echoes of Nazi Germany?)

We’re told by corporate media we can’t afford a humane healthcare system, but we always supply corporate welfare to Fortune 500 companies through massive tax breaks and subsidies.

And these pieces of Corporate Welfare legislation are pushed through the legislative branch of OUR government without a public discussion. 

The wealthy owners of Exxon-Mobil, Bank of America, Walmart and J.P. Morgan laugh all the way to the bank – uh, make that offshore tax haven.

Think about that. We make a difficult life more difficult for sick people in need yet cough up billions in corporate subsidies for people like David Rockefeller and the Koch Brothers who avoid paying taxes by stashing money overseas. What are our priorities as a society?

The next chapter in this sordid tale is a concerted effort by a number of people to get this woman out of Arizona Inc.

Yes, I say Arizona Inc. because nothing seems to matter more to the “leaders” of this pathetic desert wasteland than profits. It is definitely NOT a community. It is a heartless corporation in which “you get what you pay for” is much more than a catchy phrase or occasional complaint. It is the unofficial motto of the Fascist State of Arizona.

The most shocking thing about this is probably the apathetic acceptance of this behavior by people who apparently see this as “normal” – simply business as usual. Every Arizona resident I spoke with raved about the beautiful weather, cheap housing and “friendly feeling” in this place. No one seemed to be concerned about the savage state politics that have caused a mass exodus of hard working Mexican-Americans, a depressed economy and widespread desperation.

In particular, I’m referring to Arizona Senate Bill 1070. This fascist bill has Nazi written all over it. It requires all non-citizens in the state to register with the government and carry this documentation with them at all times. Failure to comply with this provision of the “law” is deportation. U.S.-born citizens have been deported due to this legislation. It is based solely on appearance (mostly skin color, of course) and has become an embarrassing headline about the politics of oppression throughout the world. As if it were necessary, it has fueled even more disgust and hatred for the U.S. than usual.

Thousands of citizens, naturalized and U.S.-born, have left the state in recent  years due to Arizona SB 1070 or as most people refer to it, the “papers, please law.” It is relevant to my friend’s situation because of the fact that most of the home healthcare workforce has historically been Latinas in Arizona. Now, the company contracted to supply attendants has a serious problem hiring trained, qualified workers. The disabled and elderly suffer because of this racist attack against people of color.

Have the locals hit the streets and raised their voices over this immoral, un-Constitutional legislation that causes so much suffering? No. They do come out to complain about the perceived threat against their right to carry weapons around like perverse cartoon characters out of the old “wild west.” And, of course, they show up in droves in support of the obnoxiously ignorant buffoon Donald Trump.

Maybe it’s foolish to expect civilized behavior of people in a place in which the second amendment is considered much more important than the first amendment. Or to expect intelligence in an area that regards weapons as more important than books. Weapons seem to have more rights than non-white people in this place. And the continuing privatization of virtually everything on the planet has brought a cruel and sickening sterility to modern life. This rapid transition from respecting civil rights to auctioning off our humanity is evidence that we’re consciously spiraling downward into an abyss of mindless obedience unworthy of a civilization.

To get back to the “escape”, places in California are being researched to avoid a forced move back to N.Y. It is refreshing to discover some semblance of civilization in the San Francisco/Berkeley/Oakland area – at least for the disabled. While most of the area is incredibly expensive, it’s more affordable (specifically in terms of health and mental well-being) than a discount prison term in Arizona. Around the clock attendant care is offered to severely disabled residents and resources such as help with housing, medical expenses, transportation and food are commonplace.

This is a hint of civilization (and a faint glimmer of hope) in a depraved country in which people have become commodities, elections have become selections, healthcare has become sickness management, Black men are gunned down in the streets by police regularly and economic terrorism has become the rule of the land.

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2 comments on “Escape From Arizona

  1. My impression of Arizona is they have lots of retirement communities that rich northern Republicans flock to when they retire. I think this explains much of the state’s conservatism. As the middle class is systematically destroyed, Republicans are a shrinking minority. I find this a very comforting thought.

    • Our impressions of Arizona are similar. As is our comfort in the realization that the number of Republicans in the U.S. is definitely shrinking. I just hope the corporate grip on the other “party” weakens as well.

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