Feathered Bastard

Al Sharpton to Denounce Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Tuesday Press Conference

The left's finally bringin' out the big dogs to take on our racial-profilin' Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Tomorrow in Harlem, Rev. Al Sharpton will denounce Maricopa County's corrupt, tin-pot tyrant in a national press conference with Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN. Sharpton will demand Arpaio's resignation by the end of May, and if Joe fails to do so, Sharpton will march on Phoenix with a coalition of civil rights groups.

"I am calling for an end to the civil and human rights violations being committed in Maricopa County," Rev. Al said in a press release issued this morning, "the termination of the 287g program through which local agencies can enforce Federal immigration laws, and the immediate resignation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The egregious nature of Arpaio's abuses, marking him as the Bull Connor of the 21st Century, demands nothing less."

Now, the average cracker out there may laugh at Sharpton, and consider him to be tainted by his reputation as a rabble-rouser. But Sharpton's National Action Network brings considerable organizing muscle to the table, and this presser taking place tomorrow will further elevate the issue of Arpaio and the 287(g) program. Also, as Arpaio will not be resigning anytime soon, we can expect that Sharpton will be coming to Phoenix, and you can anticipate Sharpton's star power alone to draw many to our benighted state in the same way that civil rights activists were drawn to places like Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s.

Sharpton's involvement is also significant as this is the first major African-American civil rights activist that I'm aware of to leap head-first into the fray. As more and more national leaders stand up against Arpaio and call him out on his racial profiling and civil rights abuses, the more Arpaio's days of unfettered power are numbered.

There's supposed to be a national media conference call after the presser, so I'll see about getting on that and report to you afterwards.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons