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Dear tourists of the world: Please come to Arizona

Dear Tourists of the World,

As an Arizonan, I understand that some of you don't like us very much these days. Many of you have called for boycotts of my state—public officials from Los Angeles, Austin and even St. Paul, Minn., refuse to visit or do business here.

I think of all the everyday workers being hurt by the boycotts—the waitresses with fewer customers, the shop owners waiting for vacationers, the taxi drivers with empty back seats, the museum workers hearing silence.

Arizonans are struggling with the recession like the rest of the country, and not visiting or doing business here only hurts us more. You can disagree with our legislators and shout your opinions while still supporting our residents.

For all of you who want to stay away, I've revised Dave Loggins' "Please Come to Boston," now also sung by Kenny Chesney. I've taken the liberty to insert your current feelings where called for.

Please Come to Arizona

Please come to Arizona for the scenery
We're livin' here with some legislators and they haven't got lots of friends
You can protest our laws on the sidewalks
By a café where we hope you'll be eating soon
Please come to Arizona
You said no, would you come to your senses for me?

And you said, hey, voting pols, why don't you mend the wounds
Arizona ain't our kind of place
There ain't no respect, and there ain't safety for us
We're the No. 1 fan of human rights

Please come to Arizona with change in your pockets
We'll show you our Grand Canyon as far as you can see
And shout "We want you" so it echoes down the canyon
And then lie still to hear your reply
Please come to Arizona
You said no, would you come to your senses for me?

Now tourist money is going down and down
And we doubt that it's gonna end soon
But of all the treasures we have to share
And all that we hope to give you
We still need to hold on to
Your friendship and business

Please come to Arizona to live forever
Life in those cold states is just too hard to bear
We live in a place where the clouds rarely appear
And there's a great view of the stars in the sky
Livin' up on sunshine's shoulder
Please come to Arizona

Now won't you reconsider?

One of the problems with this boycott is that pure emotion overrides logic. Early on, people were boycotting Arizona Iced Tea and Arizona Jeans. Neither item is manufactured here. Are geography teachers going to erase the word "Arizona" on the U.S. map and replace it with "Awful Zone" so they don't have to utter the word?

If you dislike what the lawmakers have put into motion, don't punish the average Arizonan by ceasing business or travel here. Making a blanket decision about Arizona and its residents is like judging a book by its cover—or a face by its color.

More by Irene Messina

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