Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daniel Hernandez of Arizona

If you haven't heard about Daniel Hernandez yet, I'm here to help. Click here to read The Arizona Republic's account of what the 20-year-old did during and after the rampage outside Tucson on Saturday.

If you're pressed for time, here's my abbreviated version: Hernandez, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' intern for five days, ran toward the gunshots. He applied pressure to Giffords' entry wound and held her upright so she wouldn't choke on her own blood. He may have saved her life.

Time be damned—you really should read the whole story. If you're late for something, blame me.

Hernandez, a junior at the University of Arizona, is openly gay. He's also Latino and a naturalized citizen. Some have argued over the last couple of days that his orientation and ethnicity are irrelevant.

It would be nice if they were, but both seem to be darned important to many Arizonans. In 2008 voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and in 2010 the state government approved SB 1070, the controversial anti-illegal immigration law that could well lead to racial profiling of Hispanics.

Arizonans tossed gays and Hispanics onto the cacti. Now Arizonans are experiencing a gay, Hispanic hero. It couldn't happen to a more annoying state.