Like a tick on the body politic, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been pretty hard to remove. Yesterday, he might have been extracted, at least partially. Arpaio was called to the stand to testify about whether his agency, the MCSO, engaged in racial profiling. Like his testimony during the Ethics Hearing against his partner in corruption1 Sheriff Joe was subdued, clearly not his normal cocky and defiant self.
That’s because Arpaio ain’t stupid. He knows that judges are Gods in their courtrooms and he knows that witnesses that grandstand and act arrogant appear less credible. In other words, Arpaio knows that to misbehave in court, the way he does when he is facing down reporters in carefully orchestrated press conferences, would likely result in negative consequences for him. If Arpaio can get away with treating reporters, protestors, inmates, political opponents, and innocent people like crap he will, because that’s what he does. He is a bully. But yesterday, he couldn’t get away with it. The bully recognized that he was under the thumb of a bigger power and so he reined in his usual over-the-top shenanigans. Unfortunately, his respect for the power of the court did not aid him in telling the truth. Either that or his age is finally catching up to him and he is lucky to remember his own name.
It’s hard to tell what was really going on with Aprpaio since cameras aren’t allowed in Federal Courtrooms. We have to rely on the MSM filter, which has made a pattern of ignoring Arpaio’s blatantly racist behavior and statements by functioning as stenographers for Arpaio’s pre-determined narrative. Even now after all the accusations, cases against him, deaths of inmates, un-investigated crimes, settlements given out to victims’ families, etc, decent, investigative and informative stories about Arpaio in the MSM are hard to find2. The major news channels did brief stories on it and a few have some brief video and/or picture slideshows, but a fully researched and factual article that really airs out the filth? Only one does, the best investigative paper/magazine in Arizona, The Phoenix New Times.
The facts of this case, initiated by a Hispanic tourist who was here legally by the name of Ortega Melendres, needs to be widely distributed. The voters of Maricopa County should know exactly what the Sheriff is saying and doing on their behalf. Here is one little example from his book: “….second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans were not part of the American “mainstream.” Wow, I bet that would surprise the hell out of them! Using this kind of logic my own mother, who is a third-generation descendant of our illegal Irish immigrant3, shouldn’t belong. Or is she okay because she’s white?
If that doesn’t incense you, how about the letters from supporters that encouraged him to come do a sweep of their area. In one, the very angry, bigoted writer requested that he come to Mesa and he did about a month after receiving and writing a handwritten note on that same letter that he filed and kept for our edification. All of sudden I am thinking of petards and hoisting for some reason, but perhaps I digress….
My point is this. The white, middle class voters who keep putting Arpaio in office haven’t gotten the message yet. They’ve set him loose in the down and out neighborhoods that tend to be predominately brown. And so long as he stays in those neighborhoods, out of sight and out of mind, and the MSM doesn’t do their job in showing us ALL of this ugliness, then they will continue to vote him into office and he will continue to roam, hurting innocent people, and spreading his particular brand of disease–hate.
1. this is former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas who was disbarred as a result of that hearing
2. granted Arpaio creates all kinds of press on his own and the amusing thing about it is that attorney for the plaintiff in this case, Stanley Young, has been using Arpaio’s own words against him, hoisting him on his own petard
3 AND he was Catholic, the kind of people that we used to refer to as “white apes” http://suite101.com/article/stereotyping-the-irish-from-the-16th-century-to-the-present-day-a394227, note the pic on this page of John Bull and Uncle Sam discussing whether democracy can survive the influx of “Fenians” and freed slaves…..sounds pretty close to Arpaio’s view of things, doesn’t it?