Feathered Bastard

Klan Grand Wizard Joe Arpaio?

KTAR's Darrell Ankkkarlo ain't on Sheriff Joe Arpaio's payroll, as far as I know, but he might as well be. Seems Ankarlow-brow made a big deal about the photoshopped pic above on his show today, as if this might be beyond the pale somehow. Looks like a very legitimate political parody to me. Arpaio recently christened an illegal immigrant hotline, which is focused on kicking the brown out of town. On August 2, he was the toast of the racist rabble at one of Rusty Childress' United for a Sovereign America meetings, where they've welcomed white supremacists like J.T. Ready, John Watson, aka John the Scot of the White Knights of America, and assorted skinheads-a-go-go. I don't know if Sheriff Joe is a prejudiced asshole or just an asshole, but like the Good Book says, "By their fruits, ye shall know them." He's certainly pandering to a bigoted crowd now, even if he's not an actual sheet-wearer.

The pic's been making the rounds with the slug, "cosas curiosas en maricopa county," or "curious things in Maricopa County." From the string I got, it went to Elias Bermudez of Immigrants without Borders, and he forwarded it on to others with the comment, "Just the plain truth from the eyes of the Hispanic Community." That comment seems quite mild considering Arpaio's recent anti-Hispanic activities.

Valley boosters shoud beware: Maricopa County has already earned a negative rep because of the growing racial tension between Hispanics and redneck whites. There is A LOT of skinhead and neo-Nazi activity in the area, and it is being encouraged by local businesspersons and politicians. Now the Sheriff's kissing the keisters of these racist wing-nuts. Like it or not, Arizona has become the Alabama of our nation's anti-immigration donnybrook. Maybe Mesa is its Montgomery. Where's our MLK hiding, I wonder?

The pro-immigrant rights people need to kick it up a notch with political commentary, symbolic protests, boycotts and so on as we head towards the Super Bowl in Glendale next year. This is the best chance we have to turn over the rock, and let people get a gander at the slimy racist insects beneath.

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