Jarvis DeBerry, deputy opinions editor for NOLA.COM wrote a column Sunday headlined,
You can feel the anger in DeBerry’s writing. It comes off the page like steam rising from the ground on a typical humid New Orleans morning. Mr. DeBerry obviously considers Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to be a very, very bad man. I doubt Mr. DeBerry’s ever met Sheriff Joe nor has he had a conversation with him but the columnist is convinced Arpaio is no good and a racist. A really, really bad racist who takes pleasure in his racism.
DeBerry describes Sheriff Joe as a man who made a sport of hunting down, jailing and humiliating nonwhite people. Pretty harsh, huh? It gets worse. DeBerry also characterizes Sheriff Joe as a man who waged a hateful and racist campaign against immigrants. According to DeBarry, Sheriff Joe is not only a racist, but he also enjoys hunting, jailing, and humiliating nonwhite people and immigrants in general.
Most of you know by now President Trump pardoned Sheriff Joe over the weekend of a misdemeanor criminal contempt charge. Arpaio refused to stop patrols targeting illegal immigrants. Funny how DeBerry left out the “illegal” part of the equation making it seem like Arpaio just didn’t like immigrants.
But Mr. DeBerry isn’t satisfied with just labeling Sheriff Joe a racist, anti-immigrant, and hater of nonwhite people. He accused the President of being a white supremest for pardoning the sheriff.
“White supremacy is looking kindly upon a sheriff who waged a hateful and racist campaign against immigrants and giving him a reprieve from the consequences.” DeBerry wrote.
The truth is there is no evidence Sheriff Joe is a racist or anti-immigrant. There is a mountain of evidence he is obsessed with arresting illegal immigrants which is his job. Under the Obama administration the feds did everything they could to limit Arpaio’s ability to stop the flow of illegal immigrants flooding into his county. And as we’ve seen many times Mr. Obama very often had the support of activist judges with no regard for the rule of law backing him up in his quest to provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. The 85-year old Sheriff Joe was caught in the middle of it all.
I realize many leftists and libertarians who advocate for open borders say Sheriff Joe should be held accountable and not get a pass for refusing to obey the law even if that law was twisted by an activist judge to further his political agenda. They have a point.
But to attack Sheriff Joe in such a savage way as DeBerry has done is inexcusable. If you want open borders then argue the merits of it. Describing those who want our illegal immigration laws enforced as racist is wrong. Very wrong. Stooping to such baseless, mean spirited, and vicious attacks only reveals the weakness of their case.
Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. If you have a news tip for Mr. Fagan you can reach him at [email protected] or 504-458-2542.