Feedback from the Issue of Thursday, December 31, 2009
The president isn't the enemy here: I read your article about Barack Obama's lack of impetuosity concerning Sheriff Arpaio's heavy-handed administration. The article was well written, but I have some concerns. First, President Obama's presence in the article seems superfluous.
The article was mainly about Sheriff Joe's unfair (and illegal) treatment of both Mexican immigrants and dissidents, but President Obama was periodically mentioned as if to keep readers aware that he has some tangential involvement in the affairs of a relatively small county in an inconsequential (except for the immigrant "problem") region in the contiguous states.
I suppose my question is: Why does President Obama make the cover of the issue when your highly slanted piece clearly is meant to criticize Sheriff Joe? I understand that there is a federal task force here to examine the Arpaio issue, but why is it the president's personal problem to deal with him?
Arpaio is, after all, an elected official. The scared white people of Maricopa County take comfort in his [so-called] tough stance on crime and commitment to keeping Arizona free of "disease-ridden" Mexicans.
If you were trying to channel Norman Mailer's shock-factor "journalism," then the cover did make me pick up the magazine, but the article left me disappointed and a little confused.
Let's be honest: The president isn't the enemy here. He has the unpleasant task of cleaning up someone else's mess and has had neither the thought-space nor time to make his own mark on American presidential history. He is trying to figure out the best options for winning two different wars, slowing climate change, and passing a universal healthcare plan. Do you really expect him to take time out and say, "Gee, this Sheriff Joe Something-Or-Other really needs to be forcefully removed from his elected position?"
Anyway, I'm not saying that your article isn't echoing my own opinions about the police state that is Arizona, but that I think your attacks on the president are unfounded.
I think the only way to make Joe Arpaio responsible for his extreme abuses of power is to keep yelling about it and follow up with our state legislators on the matter. We have to do this ourselves.
Kiara Williams-Marks, via the Internet
You're welcome: Thanks, New Times, for the courage and wisdom to write this great article.
Victor Moreno, via the Internet
Wow, and he's just from Utah: It's been a long time since I have read your paper. I moved from Phoenix several years ago and missed quite a few articles about your Sheriff Joe. I am not surprised to read that nothing has changed.
The Maricopa County sheriff has broken every civil right the people should expect under the U.S. Constitution. It's a shame that those people who still vote for him can't see him for what he is — a power-hungry little man who is a racist hiding behind a badge.
Anyone with common sense who cares about their community should get rid of him and his Gestapo deputies. They have cost the county millions of dollars in legal fees and lawsuits. Who pays for all of that? You and your tax dollars.
Wake up, Maricopa County, and see the light. You could do a lot better. Stop letting this man set the state back 200 years. When you live somewhere else, you realize what a joke Arizona is. Believe me when I say I am glad to be out of there and in a state where there is not so much corruption.
D. Thompson, Salt Lake City
At least we put our names on what we write: Look here, asshole, traitor, motherfucker — how dare you talk like that about our president?! He's been elected by a majority of the people. And for you, piece of shit, to talk about him like that — you should be put in jail.
However, this is a free country and you have freedom of speech. You [at New Times] can all go to hell, though, because you are absolutely out of your fucking minds, you bastards, assholes, and Mexican ass-kissers.
Best piece on the topic: I just read your piece on Obama's lack of action, and think it might be the best thing I've read on the subject.
Try reading the whole thing: Michael Lacey, I just read part of your article about Sheriff Joe and President Barack Obama, and I don't understand what you're talking about when you say "The Pink Negro." I mean, I'm just appalled that you would bring up this old-fashioned racism.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.