You know, every time I see a news item about Arizona, I cringe a little, because I don't want to seem like I'm harping on how delightfully unhinged those leathery racists are, but this one is just too good: some Arizonans are up in arms about the media referring to their recent rash of dust storms as "haboobs," objecting to the term's Middle Eastern origins.

"I am insulted that local TV news crews are now calling this kind of storm a haboob," Don Yonts, a resident of Gilbert, Arizona, wrote to The Arizona Republic. "How do they think our soldiers feel coming back to Arizona and hearing some Middle Eastern term?"

I would imagine they feel bewildered that they went from one desolate, sun-baked, desert to another, but apparently not.

However, the real reason I picked up on this news item was this sublimely poetic letter from one Diane Robinson, also to the Republic.

"Excuse me, Mr. Weatherman! Who gave you the right to use the word 'haboob' in describing our recent dust storm? While you may think there are similarities, don't forget that in these parts our dust is mixed with the whoop of the Indian's dance, the progression of the cattle herd and warning of the rattlesnake as it lifts its head to strike."

Holy. Shit. First of all, dust is dust — the similarities are that it's dry, gritty, and flying around really fast. Secondly, people still use the phrase "in these parts?" I thought that died with Lee Van Cleef. And finally, what the hell do you know about the "whoop of the Indian's dance?" I wasn't aware "Robinson" was a Native American name. And please, don't get me started on the hypocrisy of defending your xenophobia by citing a vaguely stereotypical characteristic of another culture.

Arizona's two biggest exports: cheap tea and racism.

Tags Arizona

Commentarium (38 Comments)

Jul 22 11 - 11:45am

Ahh, racist. What silly things you get up to...

Jul 23 11 - 9:19am

We don't need to import any fucking Arab words. We're already importing half their people.

Jul 22 11 - 11:46am

Yes, let's take all the words out of our new Freedom dialect that has any origins in the middle east.
Pretty sure everything will be Smurf you, you smurfing Smurf!

Jul 22 11 - 12:49pm

Yeah, no more algebra, cotton, or alcohol.

Jul 23 11 - 3:01pm
Bosun Higgins

Whoah whoah whoah. Alcohol?

Jul 22 11 - 12:51pm

Kind of sensitive about Arizona, aren’t you Heigl? What’s the problem? Can’t find anything else to write about? Aren’t there any other nits to pick anywhere else in the world? Or, are you just Nerve’s resident expert on drivel concerning Arizona?

Jul 22 11 - 1:01pm

Well good-grief, is there anything but drivel concerning Arizona?

Jul 22 11 - 1:21pm

If there is, Heigl can’t seem to find it.

Jul 22 11 - 1:39pm

I love it - an absolute non-story that digs up some off the wall comment but is really intended to allow Heigl to defame Arizona. Every time I see his name on a byline, I cringe alittle both for the violence he does to the English language and the unhinged screeds he directs toward people he disagrees with. I mean, describing Arizonans as racist. Really? Really?

Jul 23 11 - 3:02pm
Robert Paulson


Jul 22 11 - 1:45pm

Wow 2 whole people had something to say about it, I promice I get red neck Phoenicians who come into my work talking about the haboob constantly. Then they chuckle because the word boob is in there.

Jul 22 11 - 1:57pm
Tucson Guy

Please don't let a few idiots and the rag alleged to be a newspaper here represent all Arizonans! Plenty of us are decent, hardworking, intelligent people. Forget the racism in the story above, what about the stereotyping of the people in an entire State. Give me a break.

Jul 23 11 - 12:19am


Jul 22 11 - 2:09pm

How dare they misuse the term? Everyone knows that “Haboob” refers to any hack writer that constantly slanders the people of the great state of Arizona.

Jul 22 11 - 2:16pm

Hahaha… So, is the author’s name Haboob Heigl? Sounds Middle-Eastern to me.

Jul 22 11 - 2:23pm

The saddest part of this is that Heigl is probably telling Nerve that all of these comments demonstrate that his story is generating reader interest. When in fact, it makes Nerve appear to be a 2nd rate info-site that can’t find anything relevant to report.

Jul 22 11 - 2:29pm

Info-site? You go too far. Haboob Heigl is low-brow comedy!

Well okay, your point about looking foolish because he’s their Haboob is well taken.

Jul 22 11 - 2:28pm
some bitchcunt

arizona iced tea is based in new york. your wit fails

Jul 23 11 - 12:07pm

But it's only consumed by racists; everything to do with Arizona - all residents, institutions and, most likely, a majority of inanimate objects - are racist. Heigl says so.

Jul 22 11 - 3:02pm

Who's calling them "haboobs"? Not even saving a syllable from "dust storm".

Jul 22 11 - 7:00pm

Weather people, probably. After all, they love the word typhoon.

Jul 22 11 - 4:28pm

Heigl, you are a disappointing human being. You "write" for a (supposedly) liberal website that loves to jump on people for being racists and bigots. And here you are stereotyping an entire state as racists. I am more than a little offended.

As a matter of fact, I am going to protest by removing Nerve from my reading list. No more ad revenue from this reader. It may not be much of a financial burden on Nerve, but it DOES hit their bottom line by a very small amount.

To be honest, it's not entirely your fault. You're just the most egregious of the offenders. But this article is just proof to me why I need to take my time (and business) elsewhere. I hope to find another website that is a little less vitriolic when referring to those who do not share it's exact opinions and agenda.

Jul 22 11 - 4:47pm

@Cheers - May I recommend my personal approach to this brand of irresponsible journalism?

I’ve contacted some of the advertisers that I see on Nerve and let them know that I won’t be using / buying their products / services because they are supporting Nerve’s pseudo-journalists like Heigl.

Jul 22 11 - 6:47pm

I'm with you and will do the same.

Jul 22 11 - 11:59pm

Thank god not everyone believes everything they read. Thanks, Cheers, for giving me a bit of hope. I hardly come to this site any more because the writers seem to lack any type of tact. Didn't even read the article.

Jul 23 11 - 3:03pm

Fortunately, the Commenters make up for in tact what the writers lack.

Jul 28 11 - 11:17am
I'm Right.

You're all a bunch of psycho hosebeasts.

Jul 22 11 - 5:16pm

@ nonononono!..i really hope you're kidding.

Jul 22 11 - 8:52pm

Why should I be kidding? As I post this, there is an advert at the top of the page entitled: “Flagstaff, the destination for all seasons”. How do you think the City of Flagstaff, Arizona feels about their advertising investment being wasted on According to the author of the article, Arizona residents are a bunch of “unhinged - leathery racists.” Does that description make you want to vacation at Flagstaff, Arizona?

Jul 23 11 - 9:21am

We should just detach that fucking state and give it back to the Mexicans.

Jul 22 11 - 5:33pm

What next! I guess Americans should refrain from using all English words with Arabic origins such as soda, banana, orange, coffee ....

so hilarious

Jul 22 11 - 6:44pm

I think we should refrain from reacting to non-stories like this one. I'm a veteran of the first and second wars in Iraq, don't mind the use of the term "haboob" and have never met anyone who objected to the term "haboob."

Jul 22 11 - 9:59pm

I'm sick of Arizonians using the number zero. How dare they continue to use such a middle eastern number. I know that when I came home from Iraq and anyone used the number zero I got really upset at them and said "I don't want you using that middle eastern number around me!"

Jul 22 11 - 11:57pm

Just for the record, I live in Phoenix and have never, ever heard a single person object to it being called a haboob, and we are NOT ALL LEATHERY RACISTS. Every state, every country has shitty people. Please don't jump into the hive mind that a few people, specifically politicians represent every single person.

Jul 23 11 - 5:26pm

From now on and as suggested above, I recommend we refer to Alex as Haboob. It is a fitting response to his race-baiting ways.

Aug 29 11 - 7:08pm

I love reading these articles because they're short but informiatve.

Aug 31 11 - 11:57am

At last! Someone who undretsadns! Thanks for posting!

Jul 23 12 - 3:52pm

We have abused the native americans enough - the least we can do is use their words for the regional phenomenon. We decided to use the name Denali" over the stupid import name for the mountain – let's do the same here.