It is appalling to see Arizona state officials supporting Sen. Sylvia Allen in response to criticism against the senator for making racist remarks.
There is no doubt that the things Senator Allen said were racist. The remarks were that “whites are not replacing themselves,” that immigration and demographic shifts will “overwhelm” the country and lead to “changes” that will make your head spin,” that America will look like South American countries very quickly” because immigrants are “flooding” the Unites States faster than they could learn the nation's culture and laws.
There is no other possible meaning to a remark that “whites are not replacing themselves” than the implication that whites are different and superior to people of other colors. Senator Allen's remark that “America will look like South American countries very quickly” can only be seen as a remark meant to stir up resentment and fear of non-white people.
Words like “overwhelm”, “changes that will make you head spin” and “flooding the United States” are exactly the types of words used by white supremacists to encourage fear and prejudice.
I have no doubt that Senator Allen is a kind and warm-hearted person as stated by Senate President, Karen Fann. I met Senator Allen briefly several years ago at a function in Apache County and she indeed has the appearance of being caring and warm. Senator Allen's feelings regarding race can only be known by Senator Allen, but what the senator feels in her heart is simply not the point. Regardless of how the senator feels, her remarks are racist and stir up the kind of hatred and bigotry which are causing so many serious problems in our country.
Senator Fann's statement that Senator Allen has apologized and Governor Ducey's comment that she has “disavowed her comments” are not accurate. What Senator Allen said was, that she “apologized to anyone who has been hurt by my words.” Senator Allen has not acknowledged that she was wrong for saying what she said. Her actual statement indicates that she stands by what she said, but hopes that no one was offended by the statement. That is completely different from disavowing the comments or apologizing for the statements. If Senator Allen is truly sorry for the statements, she needs to plainly state that she believes that the statements are wrong and that she is sorry for making them.
The Arizona State Senate should take action against Senator Allen in order to make it clear that the people of this state do not condone bigotry.