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I Do Not Live in Arizona

September 30, 2015

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Arizona has a loyalty oath.

Typing that sentence boggles my mind. I thought loyalty oaths went out with Joe McCarthy and the House Unamerican Activities Committee.

But not in Arizona. Where Jim Sallis, a world-class mystery novelist who made his mark writing and teaching SF earlier in his career, resigned his teaching position at Phoenix College rather than consent to sign.

I’ve met Jim Sallis a few times over the years (most recently in Gijon, Spain a few years back, where we were both guests at Semana Negra). We’re hardly close friends, but he’s a good writer and a good man, and I applaud his stand.

A compulsory loyalty oath? In 2015? And… here’s the funny part… an oath that not only requires you to swear loyalty to the country, but also to the state. Presumably so they know they can count on you to defend the homeland if Arizona is ever attacked by Utah.

Only in Arizona. The state that led the way in making brown people show their papers on demand. Arizona is a beautiful state, and they have that really nifty canyon, and some great cacti, and an NFL team that looks pretty decent this year… but please, folks, do not confuse my own beloved New Mexico with ‘Zona (as people back east are always doing). If Donald Trump ever does become president, I have no doubt that Arizona will be the first state to sign up to build that Wall of his. New Mexico, I can assure you, will be the last.

Anyway… hurrah for Jim Sallsi! If I had a college or university, I’d be sending him a job offer right now. His students should be demanding a refund on their tuition.

As for all the other teachers… the hundreds who meekly signed the Arizona Offical State Loyalty Oath… all I have to say to them is, “Shame, shame, shame.”

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