James E. Garcia

James E. Garcia

James E. Garcia is a Phoenix-based journalist, playwright and communications consultant. He is the editor and publisher of Vanguardia Arizona, which covers Latino news statewide, and the weekly newsletter Vanguardia America. As a journalist, he has worked as a reporter, columnist, editor and foreign correspondent. He was the first Latino Affairs correspondent for KJZZ, and the first Latino editor of major progressive news weekly in the U.S., The San Antonio Current. James has taught writing, ethnic studies, theater and Latino politics at ASU. He is the producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co. and the author of more than 30 plays.


In the GOP fight for the White House, the unvaccinated and children are collateral damage

By: - August 9, 2021

Some days, I don’t know whether to scream or cry about the surge of the COVID-19. The national death toll from the virus has now topped 616,000 — more people than live in Tucson, Milwaukee or Baltimore.  And experts say that, unless we take dramatic steps to curb the spread of the Delta variant of […]


Mr. Potato Head ruminates on Trump, coup tourists and Sasquatch

By: - July 27, 2021

It’s been awhile since Arizona Mirror columnist, playwright and sometimes satirist James E. Garcia has checked in with Mr. Potato Head, America’s favorite gender-neutral tuber turned high-dollar consultant for Republican politicos. Garcia recently caught up with Head backstage at the Arizona Federal Theatre, where thousands had gathered for a weekend rally in Phoenix by former […]


The through-line from the Big Lie to the lies about critical race theory

By: - July 9, 2021

The mounting attack by Republican lawmakers across the country against multicultural education is the lie behind the “Big Lie” that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.


For today’s GOP, our democracy is no longer worth defending

By: - June 23, 2021

Today, the courage and willingness to protect the idea that everyone who’s qualified to vote deserves a chance to vote has all but vanished in the GOP.

stop deportations dream act coalition

Biden’s approach to immigration a welcome change, but still fundamentally flawed

By: - June 11, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris’s whirlwind swing recently through Guatemala and Mexico will do little to quell concerns in the short run about the latest surge of undocumented immigrants crossing our southern border, but it’s as good an occasion as any to take a measure of President Joe Biden’s emerging immigration doctrine.


‘Auditland, USA’ is not your parents’ theme park

By: - May 27, 2021

Welcome to Auditland, USA! It’s America’s newest mega theme park, located in sunny, ozone-laden Phoenix. A lot of people say it’s the most tremendous amusement park ever!  


The closing act of George Floyd’s story hasn’t been written yet

By: - May 25, 2021

I’d like to believe that the Black Lives Matter marches against police brutality that erupted a year ago in the U.S. and around the world in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer were the first act of that show.


Liz Cheney was right: We must defend America from Trump’s election falsehoods

By: - May 12, 2021

The Republican civil war is raging and the party’s defenders of democracy are losing. On Wednesday, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who’s best described as a traditional, establishment conservative, was unceremoniously booted from her job as the third most powerful GOP leader in the House of Representatives by the sycophantic, white-supremacist-coddling, fascist wing of her party. […]


The GOP is now the Grand Old Potato Head Party

By: - April 30, 2021

In the wake of the recent uproar by GOP leaders over Hasbro’s decision to  add a gender-neutral Potato Head to its traditional Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head toy collection, Mr. Head has apparently found a new vocation moonlighting as a high-dollar consultant for Republican politicos.

derek chauvin kneeling on george floyd

This time, at least, the system got it right

By: - April 20, 2021

It was the only logical and moral conclusion, and still it seemed almost unimaginable.


Get the shot, before the coronavirus gets you

By: - April 16, 2021

It’s been a little more than two weeks since I got my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. So, this is as good a time as any to take stock of how the greatest health crisis in hundred years is affecting our lives.


How do we resolve humanity’s perennial sin?

By: - April 1, 2021

White Europeans didn’t invent supremacy, though it’s probably fair to say that an ugly lot among them perfected it.