Besides the announcement of plans to deploy armed posse members at schools, another Sheriff Joe Arpaio story that broke yesterday concerns his acceptance last year of an award by a confederate group.
Salon, an online magazine with a national presence, published an article yesterday about the mini award ceremony in Arpaio's office back in October of 2011. The magazine got the tip from a researcher who says the group, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, "has an interesting history of white supremacy which continues to this this day."
The Salon story even includes the accompanying picture from the SCV newsletter of Arpaio accepting the award.
Edward H. Sebesta, who researches the neo-Confederate movement and has edited several books on the subject, passed along the newsletters to Salon. "The SCV has an interesting history of white supremacy which continues to this day," he said, noting that magazines published by the group have advocated against immigration and Muslims, and argued that blacks have lower IQs. Sebesta is now working to establish an Anti-Neo-Confederate Institute.
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The Arizona chapter of the SCV proclaims that it stands in opposition to any groups that "promote hate and discrimination," going so far as to include a small illustration of a white-hooded figure within a ban sign.
Arpaio has gotten in trouble in the past for appearing to endorse racist groups in the past, posing for a picture with an anti-immigrant protester who turned out to be neo-Nazis and claiming it was an "honor" to be compared to the KKK. Arpaio's also considered to be one of the worst discriminators of Hispanics in law enforcement, and is now the subject of two racial-profiling lawsuits, including one filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Lisa Allen, the sheriff's longtime spokeswoman, told the Arizona Republic that Arpaio receives awards from a variety of organizations throughout the year and that his acceptance of an award does not constitute an endorsement of any group. She added that this was another attempt by Salon to "smear" the sheriff.
He does a pretty good job of doing that himself.