Trump Pardon Of Sheriff Joe Arpaio Is An Assault On The Judiciary, US Constitution; Embrace Of White Supremacy, Racism & Cruelty
Just shy of 2 weeks having elapsed since the Charlottesville white supremacist protests and Trump’s infamous failure to condemn neo-nazis, the KKK and white nationalists by name, while stating that there was a moral equivalence between the racists and those who were present to oppose them, Trump adds to his embrace of racism and disdain for an independent judiciary by pardoning the cruel, criminal Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Joe Arpaio is the infamous Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona from 1993 – 2016 who openly and brazenly racially profiled and detained Hispanic American citizens he and his officers suspected of being illegal immigrants with no other probable cause than their appearance and the color of their skin.
If people “looked” like they may be an illegal immigrant, the Maricopa Sheriff’s Department under Arpaio would stop, search, and demand documents proving legal status. Many citizens were unjustly humiliated, intimidated, and detained, many equating the experience to feeling terrorized.
As Arpaio and his merry band of racial profilers continued to roll the dice, they would sometimes roll snake eyes and find and jail illegal immigrants. His jails were notoriously cruel. NPR reported in 2009 that Arpaio, “deprived the inmates of basic necessities and reduced the meals to two per day while cutting the cost of each meal to 30 cents… Under such conditions, inmates are always hungry and have suffered drastic physical repercussions; one teenager reported losing 50 pounds since he was incarcerated.”
As Arpaio’s abuse of power, willful neglect of the US Constitution, and cruelty became more public, a 2011 court order barred him from detaining individuals based on suspicion of their legal status. Arpaio nonetheless defied the courts and this past July, Arpaio was subsequently ruled to be guilty of being in criminal contempt of court for ignoring the court order. This was touted by civil rights advocates and legal experts as a huge victory, a rejection of unlawful racial profiling and an upholding of the rule of law.
Back in December 2016, Arpaio very publicly made a President Obama birther conspiracy last stand (well after even Trump himself rejected the birther conspiracy). He claimed that he arrived at “profound” evidence that President Obama’s birth certificate issued in Hawaii was a forged document. He based this proof on the conspiracy rabbit hole of “evidence” compiled by Mike Zullo, the head of a non-profit called Cold Case Posse.
Trump’s pardoning of this racist, abusive, and cruel criminal in the wake of Charlottesville, his executive order today banning transgender citizens from serving in the military, and Trump’s commitment to the Mexican border wall (that Mexico is NOT going to pay for) that is so steadfast that he declared he would shut down the government to achieve (during his raucous, angry Phoenix campaign rally); all solidify Trump as a racist, white nationalist president who has no regard for civil rights, due process afforded by the US Constitution, or the independence of the judicial branch.
Beyond being a sad state of affairs in 2017 in our increasingly diverse country following so many decades of progress, Trump’s assault on the institutions that have long protected our democracy only 8 months into his presidency should chill every American citizen to his/her core.