Sheriff Joe Arpaio is facing contempt charges over his record of racial profiling. Is he just a poster child for our problems in law enforcement?
The Federal Government is filing charges against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. That shouldn’t be a surprise at all, and the move may or may not have political motives surrounding his upcoming re-election campaign. While there’s a fair amount of hand-wringing and legal analysis of the case against Arpaio, what really should be happening isn’t.
Because we have become so polarized as a nation, dealing with issues like illegal immigration have become all or nothing situations. Either we throw them all out, or let them all stay, if you pay attention to both sides of the aisle. Yes, they’ll claim that it really isn’t that simple – which it isn’t – but the sound bites on the issue tend to land on one side or the other.
The problem is that people like Arpaio make it impossible for anyone who opposes him generally to admit when he’s actually right. Granted, that is a rarity, since we’re talking about a man who has apparently stooped to the point of turning a blind eye on theft by his officers and may have hired private investigators to look into the wife of the judge on his case. However, the one thing that the government keeps saying he is guilty of – racial profiling – might be the only right thing he does.
We have reached the point where political correctness is getting in the way of protecting the public. People don’t even think about it, until someone points out the little changes to them – like how local TV news stations tend to describe wanted felons on air. Races aren’t mentioned anymore, and have been replaced by “dark” or “brown” skinned, if an accurate verbal description is even attempted in the first place. We’ve all seen the ridiculous stories of the TSA singling out people for extensive searches based on nothing at all. If there have been statements about potential terrorists, or if they witnessed suspicious behavior, it’s difficult to believe they would stray from their program of picking on people based on chance. When it comes to Arpaio, yes he was right to target people based on race. The problem was that he wasn’t using any other reasoning.
Illegal aliens who are committing other crimes definitely should be placed under arrest, and the federal government should be placing them at the front of the line for being deported. The point of sanctuary cities was to stop arrests based purely on race, like what Arpaio does. It was not meant to provide havens for criminals, which is what is happening. The middle ground would do that, but we’re too busy taking the radical positions on the issues, because the politicians are.
Arpaio is nothing more than a politician. The rounding up of potentially illegal immigrants that he does is purely for political points. It has nothing to do with public safety, which theoretically is the primary portion of his job description. He and men like him have been the cause of the severe polarization of this particular issue, because they have been playing to the baser instincts of the people who agree with them. They are the reason why race cannot be mentioned in the context of finding people who are real threats to society, because they cling to the concept that just being of a particular race makes one a potential criminal. Yes, this does carry over to other issues between law enforcement and other races.
The bottom line is that Arpaio has made his way promoting hatred and fear for his own benefit. If the government ends up taking him down on simple charges of contempt of court, history might view this like the fall of Al Capone from tax evasion.