The Board Responds to the Arpaio Pardon

The Board of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies expresses its determined objection to the Presidential pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.

For 24 years, Sheriff Arpaio directed the most racist and unjust elements of law enforcement, targeting communities of color, in particular the Latino communities of Arizona. From his Tent City Jail to his aggressive pursuit of undocumented immigrants, Arpaio has continually perpetuated the ideals of white supremacy, racial profiling, and institutional racism. For these actions, he was eventually voted out of his office and convicted for violating a federal judge’s order that he cease and desist these practices.

The President’s pardon of Arpaio reinforces the ongoing criminalization and demoralization of Black and Brown communities in the United States. The pardon also interrupted an important element of the rule of law, for Arpaio had been found in contempt of a federal court, a crime for which he awaited sentencing. The pardon reinforces the lawless nature of the current administration by circumventing just and reasoned punishment for breaking the law, a state of grace wholly unavailable to Black and Latino citizens, who suffer disproportionate punishment under the criminal justice system. It is important to recall that Arpaio was convicted for his crime, yet he will not be punished for his actions, which were not victimless.

The Presidential pardon of Arpaio represents an unseemly presidential endorsement of overt institutional and personal racism. The Board of NACCS opposes this pardon, and calls unequivocally for significant and meaningful criminal justice reform for Black and Latino citizens.

Fall 2017, Volume 42 No. 1

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation