Does anyone remember the slogan of the draft dodgers of the ‘60s? Legions of young men shouted “Hell, no, I won’t go” in protest of the war in Vietnam.
Fast forward 40 some years and the new battle cry is “Hell, no, I won’t go” But the focus is not Vietnam. It’s Arizona.
The Arizona Legislature passed a bill that would allow business owners to refuse service for religious reasons to gays, lesbians and others (just who are those others?).
Businesses including Apple, American Airlines, PetSmart, Verizon, AT&T, and Intel, expressed disdain for the bill. Speculation had the NFL pulling SuperBowl XLIX from Phoenix.
Travel agencies reported cancellations of trips, affecting hotels, restaurants and many other businesses. Clearly Arizona’s pocketbook would suffer if the bill passed. A public relations disaster was averted when Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.
The people of Arizona are no strangers to controversy. In the 1990s, they fought against celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They passed a stringent antiimmigration law in 2010.
They don’t need — America doesn’t need — another show of discrimination, another reason for divisiveness.
We don’t have to agree with people who don’t share our beliefs or ideals. We don’t have to try to change their minds or our own. What we must do is be human and look past our differences to the ties that bind us. Treat everyone as we would like to be treated. Civility and good manners trump discrimination and hatred every time.
Lighten up, Arizona.
Be kind to each other.