I know that the ancient Mayan calendar indicated the world may end in 2012, but I doubt it. Instead, let me illustrate how bad it might get, starting in that year.
Tucson, Arizona — April 7, 2012, 7:18 pm
“Excuse me, sir, what’s your name?”
“Carl Alvarado, officer.”
“Yeah, right. Well, Carlos, show me your papers.”
“Papers? I’m a citizen. I live about 12 blocks — ”
“Show me your ID, then, Carlos.”
“It’s Carl. I didn’t figure I needed an ID for a walk, sir.”
“Shut your damn mouth, you fucking wetback. You can rethink your story in the immigration service lockup.”
“Officer, we could just go to my house and — ”
“Resisting arrest? Cool. We can play it that way.”
“Officer? Shit! Put away the Taser, man!”
Dallas, Texas — November 10, 2021
A student of melanin level 8 was expelled from high school today after referring to “slavery” and “the slave trade” several times during a history class discussion, despite repeated warnings from the teacher.
“For 10 years now, we’ve had the mandated term ‘Atlantic triangular trade’ in schools, and for good reason,” said Principal Eric Davis. “It’s been shown time and again that terms like ‘slavery’ and ‘African-American’ and ‘racism’ are divisive and counter-American. I won’t stand for a student of any color throwing the word ‘slavery’ around when we’re trying to intelligently discuss the issue of imposed human-resources practices of the past.”
District Superintendent Marge Whitney added, “You let a student get away with that, and the next thing you know, they’ll be bringing back those divisive ethnic-studies classes that we in this great state and the state of Arizona have fought so hard to rid ourselves of.”
Washington, DC — June 4, 2026
Tea Party members celebrated their biggest victory yet since gaining the White House when President Rand Paul signed into law today the Civil Choice Realignment Act of 2026, giving private businesses the right to deny service to potential patrons, clients, customers, or visitors based on religious, ethnic, sexual, or philosophical grounds.
In Kentucky, where Mr. Paul had previously served as one of the state’s US senators, Razorback Grill restaurant owner Gil Downey proudly placed a sign in his front window, minutes after the signing of the law, reading “Whites Only — No Homos” and told reporters, “It’s about damn time we finally got government out of the business of telling us who we have to be around.”
Maybe those vignettes would seem more fanciful, and wouldn’t make my blood run cold writing them, if they weren’t based on recent news stories. Because Arizona’s draconian new laws regarding immigration pretty much give the police the power to demand “papers” from anyone they want to consider suspect in terms of legally being here, any time they have a valid reason to interact with a person on the street.
Because the Texas Board of Education does want to refer to the slave trade as the “Atlantic triangular trade,” a term that makes the act seem like some simple innocent piece of historical commerce, as if slaves were comfortably stowed on ships along with textiles and spices, instead of crammed in like sardines in the hopes that most would survive the journey across the ocean to become chattel and be stripped of all rights and dignity.