Earlier today, R-N’s own Tayari Jones posted a letter on her site explaining her reasons for canceling an appearance at the Pima Summer Writer’s Conference in Tuscon, Arizona. Tayari is protesting the recently signed anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070 by joining in the economic boycott of Arizona. She writes, “As much as I was looking forward to participating in the Pima Writers Conference, traveling to Arizona would be tantamount endorsing these draconian policies.”
Tayari’s eloquent criticisms of the bill caught the attention of the LA Times blog Jacket Copy, who called her decision “notable.” Her Twitter reflects the buzz around this decision, and some have suggested she use her engagement as an opportunity to publicly speak against the laws. When I asked Tayari for her response she said, “Absence is speech. To be there without fear has become a sort of skin privilege. I don’t want to trade in skin privilege.” In case you aren’t already aware, Tayari did her MFA at Arizona State University, making her boycott all the more poignant.
by Kiira Mancasola