Arizona is no stranger to controversy, and at times, shame. Our arid climate has drawn national attention from the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona sheriffs Joe Arpaio and Clarence Dupnik, the state’s hold-out of accepting Martin Luther King Day as a holiday, and contentious legislation like SB1070 and HB2281.
We are now depicted as a breeding ground for bigots, racists, and any form of bad person you can imagine.
It would be fair to say that 20 years ago we were still largely seen as the stereotypical Wild West.
The problems with these paintings are that they’re abstract.
We are not the uncle who can’t be mentioned at the dinner table because of what he did during the summer of ’69.
Like families, every state has their problems or things they wish would have gone over better.
Detroit has former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Virginia has the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre, and California has the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
These are just a few examples. Each state has had tragedy, controversy, and everything in-between.
Like other states we have had economic changes from mining and cotton farming to a major focus on tourism.
Looking back now, basing our state financial security on tourism may have been a bad idea, but why not? We have beautiful northern mountain towns, the majesty of the Grand Canyon, and the barren rustic draw of ghost towns like Tombstone.
Members of the Legend staff come from east of the Mississippi, and can attest that the people here are no more monstrous than other areas of the country.
Why would they be? America is a melting pot that shares each other’s problems. Instead of simplifying or pinning national tribulations on a single state; America needs to accept things as they really are.