The Executive Council of the Western Literature Association recently approved the following resolution in response to the passage of Arizona Senate Bill-1070:
The purpose of the Western Literature Association is to foster and to promote the study of the literature and culture of the North American West in all its varied aspects; and
Immigration is an aspect of both the literature and culture of the American West; and
The Western Literature Association is a group comprised of individuals who identify themselves as academics, writers, environmentalists, teachers, humorists, and activists; and
The Western Literature Association is affiliated with the Modern Language Association which in 2006 argued that “undocumented workers, through their labor, contribute greatly to the economy of the United States; [however,] they are shamefully deprived of most legal rights other workers enjoy [and] they are superexploited as a result” (cf. Resolution 2006-1); and
The 2010 Western Literature conference is scheduled to take place in Prescott, Arizona:
Be it Resolved that
The 2010 Executive Council of the Western Literature Association condemns the passage of Arizona HB-1070, which is anti-immigrant and supportive of racial profiling and will intensify racial discrimination and the criminalization of immigrants—or possibly anyone who does not pass as white or a U.S. citizen.
The Western Literature Association further resolves not to boycott the state of Arizona by canceling its annual meeting, but instead makes the following recommendations for its members and for all concerned citizens:
1. Contact Gov. Brewer and tell her HB-1070 is a disaster for all communities, especially Western ones.
Tell Governor Brewer that racial profiling and racial discrimination are illegal and HB-1070 will be stopped (cf. the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights).
CALL (602) 542-4331 | You can also e-mail Gov. Brewer firstname.lastname@example.org
2. CALL the White House at (202) 456-1111. | You can also e-mail President Obama at email@example.com
3. Give direct support and express your solidarity to communities organizing on the ground in Arizona. For its part, the Western Literature Association will:
- Honor Distinguished Achievement Award recipient Luis Valdez, who began his career writing and producing agitprop theater to demonstrate the humanity of Mexican-American farm workers. His work on behalf of civil rights in the face of those who seek to deny these rights via HB-1070 is a reminder that artistic expression is a powerful force against oppression.
- Offer panels, papers, lectures, and teach-ins that will catalog, explore, and discuss immigration and its attendant issues of oppression, racism, and xenophobia as it appears in literature, academia, and Western society and culture.