Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, December 24, 2009
A sad state of affairs: It has come to this! We are so desperate in Maricopa County that we are calling on the president of the United States to step in and stop obvious violations of civil and human rights by Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
It's a sad state of affairs, and I pray Barack Obama — whom we voted for because we trusted he had the courage to do what it takes — will do what it takes to restore the rule of law here in Ari-bama.
Elizabeth May, Tempe
Make an example of Arpaio and Thomas: It appears from your article that the feds are, indeed, investigating. To what extent is the Mississippi Burning question.
It would truly be a feather in Barack Obama's cap if his Justice Department made an example of Arpaio and Thomas. Nationally, even if the redneck element agrees with Thomas and Arpaio, the Obama administration would lose nothing politically by taking bold action. That element doesn't control politics nationally. Far from it!
And, locally, it doesn't matter whether a majority of voters would agree with federal action against these two. Obama will never win Arizona in the next election, no matter what he doesn't do. What better place to come down on demagoguery than your former opponent John McCain's stomping ground?
And even if [Obama] were to lose Arizona because of this, it's a small price to pay for looking like a civil rights hero to [his] moderate-to-liberal national constituency. Such action would summon the ghosts of the dead Kennedys in the national consciousness!
Thanks to Michael Lacey for calling out Obama on this obvious and very important point as he received the heralded Nobel Peace Prize!
Arturo Gonsalves, Phoenix
Arpaio is breaking "human law": Our families are suffering because our soldiers (whites, African-Americans, Hispanics) are fighting and dying defending the ideals of this country. We condemn Cuba and Iran because they do not respect human dignity. Yet, as our president receives the Nobel Peace Prize, Joe Arpaio and others violate the human rights of minority Hispanics in our country.
Is it a crime to be Hispanic? No matter whether he or she is an immigrant, legal (born in America) or illegal, a Hispanic has no rights when facing ignorant and malicious, Nazi racism. This amoral behavior shows us the real heart of Arpaio and the way politics works. Arpaio is breaking "human law" while Obama is busy receiving the peace prize. Ironic.
Maria Alvarado, Miami Lakes, Florida
No constitutional authority?: I was never aware that presidents were in the habit of confronting local sheriffs.
In fact, the president has no constitutional authority to interfere in a state matter like this.
Lacey must be getting old. How in the hell [does he], in any form, shape, or fashion, shoehorn The Savior into New Times' hatred of Arpaio?
You know, Lacey, Arpaio's poll numbers prove, unmistakably, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Beware, lest you get what you most fear: posse ad esse.
Chris Long, Columbus, Georgia
Yes, constitutional authority: Not only does Barack Obama have the authority to intervene [against Arpaio and Thomas], he has the obligation to do so — having taken an oath to uphold the Constitution.
For example, when President Eisenhower saw blatant violations of civil rights in Little Rock, he exercised federal power against a state. That's the point of Lacey's well-written and timely article.
Chad Snow, Peoria
Reader wants an apology: Your article has no bearing on the title "The Pink Negro," a title that is very discriminatory.
I know, as a journalist, you have your right of free speech, but I did not find anything in the article that validates your title. I feel it was quite insulting.
The title reminds me of what we went through in the late '50s and early '60s. Are we going through this type of media attack again? Did you have to use "Negro" to describe [the situation with] Joe Arpaio? Is being a Negro a bad thing?
I'm asking you for an apology to the black community. We did not vote Arpaio into office. People like you did. Your community asked for a hard-nosed sheriff to stand up for your rights, and it backfired.
Michael Brown, via the Internet
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