But some residents of Arizona, in their latest of fascist fear responses, are objecting to local media’s use of the term “haboob” in recent weather reports.
Haboob, a term for a specific type of sandstorm, is derived from Arabic.
Its origin is not just pertinent to a regional language, however, according to some folks in the state. “Haboob” is … Middle Eastern, according to a resident from Gilbert, who told of his objection to the term in a letter to the editor.
“While other countries in the world may call them that, this is the United States,” wrote Don Yonts, who stressed “this is Arizona, not some Middle Eastern nation.”
A few days earlier, another from the Grand Canyon State complained to the Arizona Star that use of the word “robbed” local residents “of our culture.”
Use of the word isn’t new in the area, either. According to a climatologist from Arizona State, “Meteorologists in the Southwest have used the term for decades.”
And you wanna know another interesting fact on this topic? “Haboob” isn’t the only word of Arabic origin frequently used in the United States, either.
Just fish the almanac out of your alcove to verify the historic occurrence of those haboobs striking the adobe style homes in Arizona. Those terms are Arabic, after all.
If you’re a closet meteorologist attempting to use algebra and algorithms to determine when another storm might strike, you’re using Arabic then, too.
You’ll have to skip the sugar from your coffee and the syrup from any candy, if Arabic words bother you so much, and refrain from eating any artichoke, apricot, lemon, lime or orange, too. Those are all Arabic (… I mean, “Middle Eastern!”) words.
Protest near the gazelles and giraffes at your local zoo; cancel all your magazine subscriptions; throw the saffron and tarragon from your spice cabinet; scrape those sesame seeds from the bun of your Big Mac; yank your children from chemistry class; put the cork back in your carafe of wine; remove the sequins from your wife’s satin dresses; and burn all of your own clothing made of cotton.
If this Arabic word usage in the country, not to mention its long and lengthy contributions to the English language, still bothers you so much, then maybe you’d like to step down from your patriotic rank of Admiral, only to become an assassin after robbing the arsenal to load up your .22 caliber rifle. Yeah, those are Arabic terms, too, pal.
This is only the latest xenophobic attack from rightwingers in Arizona, albeit a new format (linguaxenophobia?). It’s also the home of SB1070, the bill passed into law earlier this year that allows police to detain folks simply for not looking Caucasian enough, on the phobic proposition those persons may be illegal aliens.
Arizona Republicans want to remove the 14th Amendment, too, due to its granting of citizenship to persons who are born in the U.S.
This state also has large presence of privatized prisons detaining illegal immigrants, and which delay their deportation as long as possible – only to score as much money as possible from the government.
Before long, these rightwing Arizonans need to come to terms with fact: they have thousands and thousands of non-Caucasian neighbors whose families have lived in Arizona longer than their own families – and who’s families have held U.S. citizenship longer than a wide majority of white American families, too
And those Arabic words you now protest? They’ve been used in our English language for centuries – and for longer than most white American families have used English.
So give it up, already.
(Read more about Arizona rightwingers here and here.)