Jarret Maupin II, in an impassioned phone call to New Times and in a comment posted today on our blog, now says that he "unequivocally" believes the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office commits racial profiling.
Maupin claims his quotes to the contrary that turned up in a deputy's report were "completely taken out of context." Maupin denied that he supports the sheriff's actions against the immigrant community, though "I don't go far as to say he's a racist."
"I absolutely feel, without any shadow of a dobut, that I feel the sheriff is racially profiling," he says.
Maupin adds that his wife and mother are of Mexican descent, he's helped organized immigrant-rights activists and that he was once on the board of Somos America.
"I was on my knees praying for [Arpaio] to leave the immigrants alone," he says.
If it wasn't for his current legal troubles, [Maupin faces sentencing next month for his conviction for lying to the FBI], he'd be "doing the activism." He says he's happy Al Sharpton is coming to Phoenix.
"I hope the entire civil rights community comes down on Sheriff Arpaio," he says. "There should be black and brown solidarity in terms of the immigrant-rights movement."
Just one thing, though. While Maupin's statements today do seem to be "unequivocal," the quotes in the deputy's report don't appear to be taken out of context. He may not have meant what he told the deputy -- but there it is.
Below is Maupin's entire written comment [with formatting probs corrected]:
To Phoenix New Time's Readers and My Community:
I am writing this letter to respond in my own words, regarding a recent post on the Phoenix New Time's website. Let me begin by saying that I have never (in the history of my career as a political, religious, and civil/human rights leader) responded to articles written about me or the controversies that surround the lives of people who walk my walk. But today, I am making an exception. I want to start by saying that I am beyond the most furious of emotions after reading that I allegedly do not feel that the Maricopa County Sheriff's office discriminates against people of color, especially Latinos. This characterization/quotation is so far from the truth that, this time, it actually hurt. I have spoken with Ray Stern, the author, and he knows where I stand. I also fully support the Rev. Al Sharpton and welcome his presence and much needed courage to our local/regional struggle against law enforcement misconduct and our push for humane immigration policies.
For years I have advocated for the rights of immigrants in Maricopa County and around the country. For the sake of individuals who question my motives and sincerity, let me share with you the fact that my mother is Mexican-American. One half of my entire family is Brown. I am a person of bi-racial heritage and I proudly claim both as my own. That aside, even if half of me and half of all I that I know and love wasn't Mexican, I would still be outraged by the immoral behavior of MCSO and would stand against the racial hate that has permeated my community's struggle for progressive immigration reform.
I have marched, been arrested, had citations issued, I've been fined, and I've been threatened. I did it all in the name of Justice, Freedom, Respect, and Christian Duty to my brothers and sisters in the Immigrant Community. I will not tolerate my dedication to serving and helping to liberate any children of God's children who are unjustly persecuted, being questioned or probed by anyone. I have three words to say: KEEP THE FAITH!
KEEP THE FAITH that the U.S. Justice Department will find the evidence and testimony it needs to stop MCSO from immorally harassing and abusing the immigrant community. That our righteous struggle will soften hearts of stone and break the chains of Law Enforcement Brutality & Racial Profiling in Maricopa County.
KEEP THE FAITH that through our solidarity Black or Brown; Jew or Gentile; Citizen or Non-Citizen we can overcome the bigotry, hate, and injustice imposed upon us by the Children of Jim Crow.
KEEP THE FAITH that the Federal Government will put in place new progressive and humanistic immigration reforms that reconcile families and deliver on the promise of the American Dream to the thousands of immigrants, especially children and students, who wait in silent suffering for their Human Rights to be recognized.
Remember who we are. We are the children of Martin Luther King Jr. & Cesar Chavez! We are children of God, just as good if not better than anyone that walks the streets of our county! People may attempt to smear our leaders, present us in unfriendly light, fuel rumors, gossip, and misinformation to discredit individuals and our cause. Brothers and Sisters we are stronger than this. I promise you that if we continue to stand together, march together, go to jail together, and risk our lives for each-other's freedom then we will walk together in the Promised Land. I pray for and that we will all KEEP THE FAITH!
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Deuteronomy 27:19 "Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien..." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
Your Servant & Brother in Christ,
Rev. Jarrett B. Maupin, II Phoenix, AZ June 17th, 2009