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Trump pardons Arpaio: The hypocrisy of American justice

Marissa Barber, Contributing Writer

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There’s a new sheriff in town. As of August 25, 2016, President Donald Trump made the questionable move to pardon Joe Arpaio, an infamous sheriff from Arizona who recently “earned a criminal contempt conviction” as a result of his career-long unconstitutional actions. When reading about this particular pardon, it almost seemed like a joke. Picture the irony here: a sheriff known for his inhumane abuse towards both inmates and innocent streetwalkers is pardoned from the law he obsessively enforced during his professional career.

One of the ideals that Arpaio is most known for is his stance on illegal immigration. On February 22, Arpaio tweeted “Proud of @realDonaldTrump stance on illegal immigration. I stand by him 100%.” Furthermore, Arpaio has been known for excessive racial profiling, which includes stopping young Latino men at random locations with no clear intention rather than to seek out the legitimacy of their residency.

Not only is this an explicit example of ethnic prejudice, but it’s also an enormous waste of time. According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010, there were approximately 33,700,000 Mexican origin Hispanics legally residing in the U.S. This figure isn’t even close to representing the total Hispanic population including legal residents and illegal aliens. This figure is simply too large to allow government paid officials with personal vendettas against brown skin (particularly sheriffs like Arpaio) to focus their whole career on.

However, my mathematical analysis is a moot point in regard to this conflict, because President Trump has a deep admiration for Arpaio; upon releasing his pardon decision to the press, Trump tweeted that he honors Arpaio as “an American patriot” who “kept Arizona safe!” Needless to say, a large portion of the American population is outraged by this exploitative use of a pardon. Even Senator John McCain was critical of this presidential action, saying, “No one is above the law, and the individuals entrusted with the privilege of being sworn law officers should always seek to be beyond reproach in their commitment to fairly enforcing the laws they swore to uphold.”

Of course, with every flare of denouncement comes a pseudo-patriotic applause aimed at President Trump, most commonly from his loyal supporters. When reading through the nonstop praise sent to Trump on Twitter, one must wonder, “Was this pardon a campaign tactic to show his supporters that he still has a strong hand on the illegal immigration issue?”

Regardless of Trump’s intentions, it’s clear that the people of the U.S. are merely pawns within the complex game of Trump’s career. Rather than protecting common folk, Trump expends most of his time and energy on the very politics that he so strongly claimed to hate during his 2016 campaign. What will the future of our country be if this senseless exploitation of power continues? The answer is nothing like the admirable and free place we dream of.

Let’s face it, in modern America, the best we can hope for is to avoid the evils that are roaming the streets, especially the ones who receive “pardons” from a man who cares more about his own agenda than the delicate inter workings of the country that’s been senselessly placed in his hands. I urge us, as the American people, to stay true to our personal beliefs and to protect those who have been unjustly targeted by our government.

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Trump pardons Arpaio: The hypocrisy of American justice