Joining the chorus of voices criticizing Donald Trump’s pardon of racist ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio, Arizona’s largest newspaper – the Arizona Republic – eviscerated the president, calling his exoneration of Arpaio a “slap for Latinos – and everyone else.”
The newspaper pointed to the Arpaio pardon as proof that “institutional racism is clearly Trump’s goal” and said the move “resurrected” the disgraced sheriff’s offensive views at a time when most Americans are trying to do away with the country’s dark history of racial prejudice.
More from the editorial:
His pardon of Joe Arpaio elevated the disgraced former Maricopa County sheriff to monument status among the immigration hardliners and nationalists in Trump’s base.
This erases any doubt about whether Trump meant to empower them after the violence in Charlottesville.
Arpaio is their darling. Arpaio is now back on his pedestal thanks to their president.
The Arizona Republic said the pardon isn’t just something that should offend Latino Americans – it’s a slap in the face to all Americans who believe in “justice, human dignity and the rule of law.”
The vast majority of Latinos in Arizona are not undocumented, yet they all fell under heightened scrutiny as Arpaio honed his image.
The pardon was a slap to those who worked through the judicial system to make Arpaio accountable, too. It robbed the people hurt by his policies of justice – even before a judge could mete out a sentence.
The pardon was a sign of pure contempt for every American who believes in justice, human dignity and the rule of law.
This isn’t about one group of people. It’s about all Americans.
Trump’s post-Charlottesville rhetoric and his despicable pardon of the racist ex-sheriff have made it clear that he never had any intention of being the president for all Americans. Instead, he seeks to turn back the clock to a day when it was acceptable to discriminate against minorities.
As the Arizona Republic editorial board wrote, “That should trouble every American who believes that our duty as a nation is to continue working on behalf of equal justice.”
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.