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Rewarding Racism

Rewarding Racism

Rewarding Racism
August 31
14:35 2017

Eva Reinoso Tejada

Sometimes I think this “Trump” thing will never end. I hope I am wrong. It’s just that it never ceases to surprise me how bad things can be when coming from this guy.

It is particularly appalling to see that someone in a position of power has the nerve to be so racist in the face of an immigrant nation. I could be talking about Trump right now, but I am not. I am referring to a former sheriff of the Maricopa County in Arizona, Joe Arpaio. This old man has been feared and has terrorized the immigrant community in Arizona with his aggressive, abusive, and racist policies. So much so, that a judge ruled that he could not continue to use his racist policies in law enforcement. So, basically, a judge said “You are a racist. Stop it!” But he continued. And because of that, he was convicted of contempt of court. This is a literal case of someone being convicted of being a racist.

His key strategy was to profile those who “looked illegal”, particularly Latinos or “brown” people. For many years he spent his law enforcement budget on ‘cracking down on illegal immigrants’ while letting go unattended many cases of bigger crimes, like sexual assault and others. The local government cut his budget for not being applied as it should, and in the end, the people of Maricopa County will have to foot the bill. His legal issues began way back under the Bush administration, and continued throughout the Obama administration until the present time. Now that he was found guilty, the president issued a pardon. Not only Trump pardoned him, he referred to the sheriff as a hero. In his own words: “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him. … Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” What I read between those lines is “It is ok that he profiled those immigrants, their civil rights are worthless, it is ok to be racist.” And with all the recent issues Trump has had condemning white supremacist groups, I am not surprised of his words.

Many people have called on this pardon as being wrong. Paul Ryan, John Kasich, John McCain, top the list of many who condemned Trump’s actions. But it was Paul Charlton, former U.S. attorney in Arizona under the Bush administration who, in my opinion, explained it the best: “If you pardon that kind of conduct, if you forgive that behavior, you are acknowledging that racist conduct in law enforcement is worth the kind of mercy that underlies a pardon — and it’s not,” said Charlton. “And it’s an abuse of the president’s discretion. It’s an injustice, and speaks volumes about the president’s disregard for civil rights if this pardon takes place.”

If there were any doubts of the president’s racism, even after all that went down in Charlottesville, this proves one more time how un-American this guy is. And what an insult to all of us, Latinos of many colors and shapes. I just hope that his actions continue to be an eye-opener to those who voted for him, and those who still support him. Especially Latinos. What a sad place to be at!

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Edición Virtual | #315 | 21 de Junio 2018

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