A conversation that didn’t happen: “Rosa, why didn’t you just go to the back of the damn bus?”
Another: “Patrick, are you sure about that give you liberty or give you death line? Is that your final answer?”
A letter that was never written from a Birmingham jail…
What if the founding fathers said “eh, taxes” no big deal…
Sheriff Joe Arpaio did something very wrong- he ignored the Constitution, under the power of law. In other words, he swore an oath to protect the constitution and then used his power and authority to violate it. Every soldier swears an oath upon enlistment:
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
Source: Oath of Enlistment – Army Values
Wording first adopted in 1789. Let that sink in.
Standing up to authority and calling them out on misbehavior is difficult enough when it’s a school board or mayor. When it’s a sheriff, you’re arguing with a man with a gun and a badge.
What Arpaio did was tantamount to what the Nazi’s did pre-WWII- stopping people on the streets to see if they were Jewish. You know what happened to 6 million of them. The idea of stopping someone and asking to see their papers is about as un-American as it gets- yet that’s exactly what Arpaio was doing- even after he was told not to. The issue is covered clearly by the 4th Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
And if that wasn’t clear enough- they stuck another Amendment on-
Section 1 All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Sheriff Joe broke the law. He was awaiting sentencing. Then, the president pardoned him. Some people say, well other presidents have pardoned people- and reel off some of the more egregious examples- however, there is a process to this, and most of the time, pardons are in the works for 5 years.
Yes, but Ford pardoned Nixon is the next thing out of your mouth. And while there is no one who would have rather seen Nixon go to prison than my father, he explained it to me long ago- the trial, the distraction, at that level, it wouldn’t have been good for the country. Or as a friend likes to say, “the juice ain’t worth the squeeze.”
When President Trump pardoned Arpaio, he was circumventing the constitution, and letting a little bit of our democratic foundation be eaten away. Yet, we don’t see the venom on this issue like we do on any infringement of “god given 2nd amendment rights to bear arms.” What Trump did was give tacit approval to round people up without any other probable cause other than looking Hispanic. Substitute Black, Jew, Japanese and this should offend you. A lot.
Trump has already attacked the media relentlessly, calling it fake news. One of the keys to our whole system of checks and balances used to be a free press. Now, it’s the enemy of the president. Who will inform of us these transgressions- and who will take a stand?
Do we expect congress to do it? They’ve stood by for the most part, while he’s dismantled treaties that protect the environment, they didn’t denounce him when he stood up for Nazi’s in Charlottesville, and now this?
Remember, they swore an oath too.
This happened late in the day on Friday. Congress isn’t in session. You can stand idly by and let this slide, because, well, it doesn’t really affect you- you aren’t Hispanic- and old Joe, ain’t even the Sheriff anymore. But to that, all of us must remember the words of Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Source: First they came … – Wikipedia
It is time to speak out.
This post is dedicated to my friend and fellow veteran, Zack Sliver, who stepped in and up when others wouldn’t. Wishing him a quick recovery, and justice.