Today, Donald Trump made the unconscionable decision to pardon Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, who was convicted for defying a federal judge’s order barring him from detaining individuals based solely on suspicions about their legal status. This disgraceful pardon of a man who for years persecuted, terrorized and denigrated Maricopa County’s Latinx and immigrant communities and violated the most basic civil and human rights of the hundreds he detained, comes less than two weeks after Trump refused to repudiate white supremacists after events in Charlottesville.
By pardoning Arpaio, Trump is sending a message to the country, to the politicians, sheriffs, police and others that racism and racial discrimination are permissible, justifiable and absolvable. OUR message to Trump and Arpaio is that we will NOT stop organizing against hate, racism and white supremacy. Stay strong, Arizona-- your struggle is an example for the South and the rest of the country.