SB1070 and Sheriff Arpaio Bring Arizona Downfall
Pan Left members Jason Michael Aragón and Mary Charlotte Thurtle have been producing the documentary Under Arpaio that deals with the effect Sheriff Joe Arpaio has on Maricopa County, Arizona and the nation. In light of the enormous spotlight being put on Arizona at this time from SB1070, this statement from Jason and Mary with video clips of Under Arpaio (currently in production) reflects the producer's sense of urgency for the community to come together to defend against hate and division. A trailer can be viewed at underarpaio.com Image courtesy of Ernesto Yerena.
On July 29, Arizona will take center stage in the national debate on immigration. All eyes will be on us as the chaos and confusion from SB1070 will officially be in effect. The new state law mandates ID checks and targets workers in predominantly Latino communities. The law allows local police new powers and responsibilities, endorsing police and sheriff activities that have already affected our communities.
SB1070 is nothing new to Maricopa County. Racial profiling and abuse of power under the guise of immigration reform is what we have seen under Sheriff Joe Arpaio. For over 15 years, the famous Sheriff of cable news and television has won fans in Arizona for his tough talk on crime and wild style with tent city jails, chain gangs, and pink underwear for inmates. He has become more notorious for his rogue style of immigration enforcement. The possible indictment by the Department of Justice and the possible injunction against SB 1070 has not slowed Sheriff Arpaio. He has vowed to conduct patrols on July 29th. With this endorsement of his actions by the enactment of SB1070, the ramifications are horrifying.
Consider this. SB1070 mandates more police arrests related to immigration enforcement. If you're unfortunate enough to be arrested by one of Arpaio's deputies then you face a deadly possibility (Warning: the video in this clip is graphic).
Or consider this. If you're living in a community wrought with violent crime, you can expect police efforts to be dedicated to looking for immigrants without ID's more than violent criminals.
And if you are just driving your family through an area unlucky enough to be within a crime sweep, and you are brown, then you might have an unexpected and traumatizing experience.
SB1070 is already transforming Arizona and the nation. We have a state riddled with fear and politicians exploiting it for power grabs with election campaigns that support the soon to be law. But even more disturbing is the promotion by Arizona officials to force all law enforcement into the same style of policing as Sheriff Arpaio. We need to act now.
It's simple. This July 29th take a stand wherever you are. Don't work. Don't buy. And don't comply with SB1070 from that day forward. And most of all demand accountability. If there are no consequences for our leader's abuses than we have no claim to call ourselves free.
J.M. Aragón and Mary Charlotte Thurtle