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‘Los Suns’ Protest Immigration Law

Posted on May 4, 2010

The Phoenix Suns pro basketball team will celebrate Cinco de Mayo by wearing “Los Suns” jerseys—in part to protest their home state’s anti-immigrant law. Steve Nash, the team’s star (and an immigrant himself), explains rather eloquently why he opposes the law.

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By Adam Ericksen, May 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Sports, politics, and religion usually don’t mix, but last night they did in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Phoenix Suns wore their “Los Suns” uniforms in support of the Latino community in Arizona.  Steve Nash, the leader of the Suns, had this to say about their decision:

“I think it’s fantastic,” Nash said after Tuesday’s practice. “I think the law is very misguided. I think it’s, unfortunately, to the detriment of our society and our civil liberties. I think it’s very important for us to stand up for things we believe in. As a team and as an organization, we have a lot of love and support for all of our fans. The league is very multicultural. We have players from all over the world, and our Latino community here is very strong and important to us.”

I’m glad the Suns have decided to stand with the victims of scapegoating, but scapegoating tends to be a two-way street.  For example, just today I received an email from Jim Wallis of Sojourners with the subject line: Glen Beck, Immigration, and Social Justice.  As you may know, Wallis has been in a feud with Beck during the last few months about Christianity and social justice.  Beck has accused “social justice Christians” like Wallis of supporting the cause of Nazism.  This, of course, infuriates Wallis and “social justice Christians.”  Wallis then confronts Beck with a question about the new Arizona law: “Do we really want a society like Nazi Germany . . .?” It doesn’t take much to see a veiled accusation of Nazism within that question.

Is this what we’ve come to in the United States?  Accusing one another of being Nazis?  I’m sorry if I’m scapegoating the scapegoaters of the scapegoats, but we need to grow up.  Escalating accusations of Nazism will get us nowhere.  How about those of you who have a large audience model something really radical? How about you listen to one another?  Could it be that Beck might have a point?  We could easily accuse Beck of being a right-wing quack, but there are plenty of people who think secure borders are essential to a strong social safety net.  This is not an unreasonable idea.  One can easily understand Wallis’s point, too.  There is no doubt that the Bible calls for social justice.  For example, Deuteronomy claimed that God “executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and … loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.”  This theological statement has ethical implications.  Rather than removing the stranger (or immigrant) from your land, “You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (10:18-19).

I applaud the Suns for standing with the scapegoats, but it is always a recipe for disaster when we perpetuate a cycle of revenge by scapegoating the scapegoaters.  I hope someone will step up and model another way.  That other way begins by listening to and acknowledging the concerns of others.

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By ronjeremy, May 6, 2010 at 4:02 am Link to this comment
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the suns will have some new jerseys to sell.  ‘limited collector’s edition,’ i bet.  i
see it as a purely economic decision for the suns, not nash, but the suns

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