It didn’t take Donald J. Trump very long to once again show his true colors. With the entire country glued to their television screens in despair over the damage created by Hurricane Harvey, our president pondered a prime time announcement that had nothing to do with Mother Nature. This, he reasoned, was the perfect moment to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
“I figured the (television) ratings would be high, so it would be a good time,” Trump said with a shrug. “Sheriff Joe is a good guy and a great American patriot, and he’s been treated very unfairly.”
As most of us are aware, Joe Arpaio has always enjoyed his reputation as a “tough hombre.” To back up that claim, he has waged a hateful vendetta against Arizona’s sizable Latino population since 1993 with illegal tactics that included racial profiling. If you appeared to be Hispanic, chances are you would get pulled over by one of Joe’s deputies and detained without cause while they checked for legal documents and forms of identification. A sheriff department’s job is to protect the local community and has nothing to do with federal law enforcement. But a brazen Arpaio continued to proceed with his practices, even after being found guilty of contempt by a federal judge.
After winning six terms as sheriff of Maricopa county, the 85 year old Arpaio was finally booted out of office last year, falling out of favor after civil suits against him became costly for taxpayers. Perhaps the most bizarre act committed by Arpaio was building his infamous “Tent City” out of surplus canvas materials from the Korean War. The sprawling outdoor camp was erected adjacent to the main jail. If Old Joe didn’t like you, that’s were you went, no matter what the alleged crime happened to be. And although it housed prisoners of all backgrounds, the majority were Latinos. The conditions were filthy and almost unbearable, with the summer heat at times rising to 130F. Inmates were sometimes chained together, attired in striped black and white jumpsuits. They were also forced to wear pink underwear and sandals for further humiliation.
Newly elected sheriff Paul Penzone says Tent City will be dismantled by October, although over 300 inmates still remain there as part of Arpiro’s “legacy.” Scheduled to be sentenced on October 5th, Arpaio could have served as long as six months behind bars. But this racist old fool will never have his day in court because he has a loyal ally in the White House.
HispanicHorizons.com believes in law and order. We do not condone criminal activity in any form. Our main objective is to promote good will among Latinos and their neighbors all across the country. Harmony among folks of all races and cultures has always been part of America’s fabric. That’s why we wonder why President Trump, who says he wants to unite and make America Great Again, would thumb his nose to us all and pardon Joe Arpaio? Such an arrogant gesture is not helpful and only serves to divide us.