Shortly after Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, the state of Arizona became jokingly known in some progressive circles as the “new Mississippi.” Of course, this didn’t change the fact that Mississippi is still Mississippi. But the comparison was based on the idea that Arizona had become to the modern immigrant rights movement what Mississippi was to its civil rights predecessor over four decades earlier: ground zero for the political and cultural changes sweeping the rest of the country. And the defiant, often violent, backlash that comes with it.
According to activists at Alto Arizona, last Saturday’s deadly shooting rampage in Tucson is just the latest in a string of violent political acts dating back over two decades in the state. They’ve put together a timeline dating back to 1987 showing that Arizona’s status as a rouge state isn’t new. It includes Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s lawlessness in Maricopa County and the horrific murder of a 9-year-old girl and her father by Minuteman activists, and much more. Check out the timeline, which we’ve posted above, and add your own story.