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Paul A Duginski
Paul A Duginski
Paul Duginski is a political cartoonist and veteran newspaper staff artist. He enjoys reading history, literature and going bodyboarding whenever he has time.
 

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Posted in Politics / Elections / National

'America's Sheriff'

Aug. 28, 2017 10:54 pm
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In a classic Friday news dump, President Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio as a huge hurricane churned toward the Texas Gulf Coast. Trump undoubtedly hoped the storm would give him cover, providing a distraction from what he knew would be controversial. He hinted at doing the deed Tuesday night in Phoenix, but he said he didn’t want to cause any controversy at that time.

And why wouldn’t it be controversial? After all, the racist former Maricopa County sheriff and his posse of racial profilers were a throwback to Depression-era Alabama, when civil rights were reserved for whites only. Arpaio, who reminded me of the sanctimonious, Bible-quoting warden in 1994’s “The Shawshank Redemption,” even brought back the chain gang. Arpaio’s deputies hurled racial epithets at minorities, particularly Latinos, and some inmates died at the hands of Arpaio’s officers. Inmates were forced to live in tents under the hot Arizona sun and to wear pink underwear as a means of humiliating them. Arpaio’s terrible treatment of people in his custody included illegal immigrants and people who were citizens or in the country legally — it didn’t particularly matter to the man who styled himself as “America’s Sheriff.” He rounded up anybody who he thought didn’t look right.

Arpaio detained people without legal cause, and was convicted of willfully ignoring federal court orders to stop the practice.

Trump admires a guy who feels that the law applies to other people.

Maybe when Arpaio calls himself “America’s Sheriff,” given our long, difficult history of race relations with law enforcement, fraught with bloodshed and misunderstanding, Joe is a more accurate representation than we dare to think.

Certainly, the racist Joe Arpaio, and the racist president who pardoned him, show us how much more work we have yet to do in this country.

 
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