Trump's pardon of Sheriff Arpaio shows his true colors

The pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County (Phoenix) in Arizona by Donald Trump is outrageous and unacceptable. Arpaio was found in contempt of court for refusing to obey an order to cease his actions against Mexicans whom he and his deputies suspected of being undocumented immigrants. With no laws broken, anyone looking "Mexican" was susceptible to being pulled over in their cars and asked to prove their legal status. This was a clear example of racial profiling.

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But if this wasn't bad enough, Arpaio made every effort to disgrace and shame any undocumented immigrants or those suspected of being undocumented held in his jails. He demeaned Mexicans by using all types of profanity in speaking of them or to them. He became famous for placing those arrested in tent camps which he called concentration camps in the hot summer months with temperatures above 100 degrees, where the tents gave them no relief from the heat. He made them wear pink underwear without pants to further disgrace and emasculate the men. Instead of upholding the law and treating prisoners with respect and dignity, Arpaio disgraced his office. This is the man who, because he supported Trump in the election and because he reflects Trump's anti-Latino nativism, is getting pardoned — even though his judicial process had not yet been completed in his sentencing.

What is the message here? Trump supports anyone who takes any action, even though they may break the law and do injury to constitutional principles, as long as they support his anti-immigrant fixations. He does not accept the fact that Latinos are as American as anyone else and believes that they, along with other people of color, are injuring his vision of America — which is a "whites only" America ("I want my country back!").

Trump does not seem to believe in the rule of law, only in what advances his own interests. At the very moment when Hurricane Harvey has ravaged south Texas, an area that is largely populated by Mexican American people, Trump's main interest is to play to his base and to try to get his insensitive and racist reactions to the tragedy of Charlottesville off the media's radar and on to something else. I feel he could care less about the damage to the lives of those Mexican Americans in Texas. Why doesn't he use his pardon power to absolve the status of the Dreamers whose protected status given to them by President Barack Obama he continues to suggest he might summarily terminate? These young Latinos are more deserving of being pardoned than an un-American racist sheriff.

Latinos need to take note of what Trump has just done which is an anti-Latino act and mobilize to overthrow Trumpism beginning with voting against those in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures who support him and his anti-Latino, anti-minority, and anti-immigrant beliefs and actions. Latinos should especially remember the pardoning of Arpaio in three years, when hopefully a new more pro-Latino president will be elected. 


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