Sheriff Joe Arpaio is Obama’s George Wallace (Update)

In: African-Americans|barack obama|immigrants|latinos|politics|racism

16 Feb 2010

***Since Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been in the news lately, I was thinking that it might be time to write another post.  But to be honest, except for Linda Rondstadt and Zack de La Rocha joining the fight against Arpaio last month and a federal judge imposing sanctions on him Friday for destroying evidence in a racial profiling case, not much has really changed since the last time I posted.  Thus, I am re-posting my last piece on Arpaio, only adding this link to a great new video by Nezua, the Unapologetic Mexican.  Enjoy.***

First posted October 8th, 2009:

If you aren’t familiar with George Wallace, for several decades he was the poster child for racist, white southerners who wanted to maintain the institution of segregation. He was a polarizing demagogue who attacked the federal government for meddling in states rights. According to many who lived through the Civil Rights Era, he was a guy who easily made one’s skin crawl. Maggie Riechers says:

Within a year of becoming governor, Wallace made national headlines by standing against the federal government on the issue of integration. He stood at the doors of a building at the University of Alabama, threatening to block the entrance of two black students to the school. Facing him was then Assistant Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, sent by President John F. Kennedy to enforce a federal court’s decision to integrate the university. In his statement to Katzenbach and the press, Wallace said: “The unwelcomed, unwanted, unwarranted, and force-induced intrusion upon the campus of the University of Alabama today of the might of the central government, offers frightful example of the oppression of the rights, privileges, and sovereignty of this state by offices of the federal government.”

As an activist, I have always had a bit of nostalgia for the 1960s. Compared to that era, the present is pretty tame when it comes to race relations. I mean, no elected official today would have the gall to say something akin to what Governor Wallace said in his 1963 inauguration: “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.” Well, at least that’s what I thought until I caught Sheiriff Joe Arpaio’s press conference on Tuesday. His attitude and rhetoric is eerily similar to that of Wallace as he cast his eye on the Democratic nomination for president (yes, Democratic). Perhaps Arpaio (the same guy who brought you pink jumpsuits and tent-living) is also preparing himself for a national race. Arpaio’s popularity in Arizona has increased (perhaps in proportion to his turning up the rhetoric) even with all the negative national attention. The Huffington Post quotes him as saying that he will “continue to crack down on illegal immigration” by enforcing state laws. He says he will arrest people who are in the country without authorization and if ICE will not take them, he will “load them on a bus and drive them to the border.”Wallace

I’m usually pretty forgiving of the President because he is still new on the job and he has more stacked against him than any other president in history (duh, he’s black!). But this is an opportunity for him that he must not miss. It’s an opportunity to show his sincerity for the cause of liberty for Latinos and all immigrants by meeting Arpaio’s challenge. If removing Arpaio’s 287(g) powers won’t stop him, then I dare say it’s time to federalize the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.

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4 Responses to Sheriff Joe Arpaio is Obama’s George Wallace (Update)

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XOLAGRAFIK theater » Blog Archive » News With Nezua | Arpaio Coming Undone

February 17th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

[...] WE GRANT THE STAGE ENTIRELY TO THE INFAMOUS Sheriff Joe of Maricopa County, Arizona! Covering the latest headlines and happenings involving Mister Arpaio, this vid was crafted mostly before my trip the Canadian border…which will be chronicled in next week’s episode! The fun never ends here, but you know this. Check the video above for some insight into the rogue lawman, a character our amigos over at Cockroach People call “Obama’s George Wallace.” [...]

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News With Nezua | Arpaio Coming Undone | UMX | El Machete

February 17th, 2010 at 1:05 pm

[...] WE GRANT THE STAGE ENTIRELY TO THE INFAMOUS Sheriff Joe of Maricopa County, Arizona! Covering the latest headlines and happenings involving Mister Arpaio, this vid was crafted mostly before my trip the Canadian border…which will be chronicled in next week’s episode! The fun never ends here, but you know this. Check the video above for some insight into the rogue lawman, a character our amigos over at Cockroach People call “Obama’s George Wallace.” [...]

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Elián Maricón

February 17th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

I cannot find one redeeming quality in Obama when it comes to immigration or most other issues. I hope that you will ultimately be proven right and that I will have to eat a whole lotta crow.

Great blog!

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Do you look like an ‘illegal immigrant’?

April 14th, 2010 at 9:09 am

[...] In my eyes, this law is just a progression toward more profiling and will empower people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio in [...]

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While some people look at cockroaches as disgusting pests, We view them as resilient organisms that predate humans and will likely outlive us as well. People of color, the poor, the downtrodden, and the oppressed, much like cockroaches, are often despised, feared and in some cases have been the objects of extermination.

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