Which side are you on?
The recall effort is underway, and even Sheriff Joe Arpaio's campaign guru Chad Willems has acknowledged that if the recall committee Respect Arizona scores the needed signatures for the ballot, then, "Joe Arpaio goes away."
I'll grant you that scoring more than 335,000 valid signatures by May 30 is a massive task, and solidarity is always a difficult thing to achieve, even in the best situations.
See also: -Joe Arpaio Cozies Up to Latino Pastors, Prensa Hispana, and Michael Nowakowski Days Before Employer Raid (w/Update) -Joe Arpaio Prayed Over by Latinos, and Michael Nowakowski Doubles-Down (w/Update) But all politicians, pastors and activists should all be on notice: While the recall effort is ongoing, and the Respect Arizona people are in the trenches, working their rears off to achieve their goals, no one should be parleying with the enemy.
No one. I don't care if you are executive vice president of the mighty Cesar Chavez Foundation, as Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski is.
In this campaign, titles do not matter.
So if you seek meetings with Arpaio and those in his camp, do deals with them, pose for photo ops, your behavior will be duly noted, and, to your shame, you will forever be reminded of it. Particularly if, as Willems fears, Arpaio falls.
You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no middle ground. No compromise. No suing for peace on bent knee.
"You cannot go negotiate with the devil," civil rights activist Sal Reza says in Dennis Gilman's brilliant new video. "The only thing that's going to change things is the recall, getting [Arpaio] out of office through public pressure."
Reza's remarks and Gilman's video are aimed directly at Nowakowski, who recently brokered a meeting with scores of local Latino pastors and Arpaio. The meeting occurred just days before a raid on a Tempe clothing company that nabbed 27 persons.
The resulting photo ops from the powwow were splashed across the internet, Fox 10 news, and on the front page of the Spanish-language tabloid Prensa Hispana.
In other words, it was a major publicity coup for a monster responsible over the years for separating hundreds of moms and dads from their sons and daughters, all for the bogus "crime" of working.
You need only see the crying children in this video, whose parents were caught in the latest Arpaio raid, to know that there is no forgiveness for the damage Arpaio has done and the terror he has inflicted on the Hispanic community.
Nowakowski has refused to apologize to his own community, choosing instead to rationalize his actions, saying he wanted to "foster a dialogue" with Joe, so the "healing can begin."
No way, councilman. There can be no dialogue, no healing as long as Arpaio continues to conduct these raids, which result in mothers and fathers, sons and daughters being held nonbondable under class four felony charges (thanks to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery), until they plead guilty and are turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.
Best get on the freedom train, councilman, where you belong. Otherwise, you won't be welcome at the celebration party, when Arpaio's last day in office inevitably comes.
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