I write to urge the boycott of the Major League All Stars game to be played in Phoenix, Arizona on July 12th. Last year the Arizona legislature passed, and Governor Jan Brewer signed into law, Arizona SB1070, a law that tears families apart and encourages racial profiling. SB1070 has helped to create a climate of fear in many communities of people of color in Arizona. It has served as a model for other legislation throughout the country that similarly targets immigrants and other people of color. It is legislation born from hate and fear rather than love and compassion.
As a result of SB1070 a boycott has been called for the state of Arizona. By holding the All Stars game in Arizona Major League Baseball is not honoring that boycott. Fans who attend the All Stars game are similarly not honoring the boycott. The boycott needs to be honored. Laws like SB1070 should not be allowed to spread further across the country. Boycotts are part of the struggle to stop them.
James Baldwin once wrote, "…one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own." SB1070 and similar legislation try to diminish the humanity of their targets. In truth, the legislation diminishes the humanity of those who propose and enforce it. My religious tradition, Unitarian Universalism, affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all people. This challenges me to stand up for the humanity of everyone. This means honoring the boycott and working to overturn and prevent the spread of legislation like SB1070. It means taking a stand against fear and hate. And, in doing so, it means honoring the humanity of all people. I call upon you to do the same.
In the spirit of love,
The Rev. Colin Bossen