My wife is from New York and I am from Virginia. We get our news about the southwest through the same filters as most of the east coast. It rarely contains all the facts and is biased. Unfortunately, we forget that. Being from New York she is “quicker on her feet” than I am and can retort erroneous statements like a good lawyer. I, on the other hand, will listen longer to “crap” and make a decision on what I have heard a little later. This is the case with immigration, Arizona and the state of things in general right now.

On a recent pod-cast of mine, in an attempt to be funny I made a remark about Arizona that echoed the inflammatory and incorrect situation in the “Grand Canyon State.” After being called on it by a faithful friend and listener of my show I had to regroup. I asked myself “WTF AZ” or “what are the facts Arizona?”

It was easy to fall prey to race baiting, especially because I am person of color. It was easy to be manipulated into thinking the same state that elected John McCain, doesn’t use daylight saving time, and had an issue with celebrating Martin Luther King Day until 1992, was also against Hispanic people. That is how it is colored. The mainstream media did a good job of convincing us of that. If you don’t have a lot of time to make a decision, and are not good on the retort, what you hear in the news can be believable.

The fact is that Arizona was a state I wanted to move to when I left the military but troubles at home deferred that dream. Arizona has been a gateway to human trafficking, drug wars and smuggling. Arizona has been under siege by vicious professionally trained gangs that move within the ranks of hopeful illegal immigrants seeking a better life for themselves in America. The fact is that there have been heinous acts of violence perpetrated against American citizens like rancher Robert Krentz and according to one report from Maricopa County, ninety-five illegal aliens are in jail for murder. The only good thing is that law abiding Arizonians at least have the right to protect themselves with firearms, unlike many of us here in the east.

The fact is that law enforcement is usually playing catch up when a crime spike occurs. As Americans we are always reactionary which tactically is slower. And on top of that, we often have to explain ourselves during a fight, which takes up both time and resources, not to mention betrays our intentions.

The threats in Arizona include Mara Salvatrucha also known as “MS 13,” which is bigger than the kid gangs of old, and is today a local brand of terrorist. Phoenix law enforcement is facing some bad dudes while we make jokes and wax philosophically.

I forgot I wanted to be among the law enforcement officers there at one time. For my friends in AZ, I ask for your forgiveness. Arizona needs our support to stop the violence. An “ill-egal” is not a sick bird but a criminal. I get it now Arizona.