Monsters Win U.S. Elections. Arpaio’s Bid for Senate May Be No Different.

Yesterday, convicted criminal and former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that he is running for U.S. Senate in the state of Arizona. Just a few months ago, Arpaio was facing a jail sentence for violating a judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinxs. Trump later pardoned Arpaio, and now the man who called himself the “the toughest [i.e. most racist, violent, evil] sheriff in America” is running for office to “support the agenda and policies of President Donald Trump in his mission to Make America Great Again.”

Recent elections have reminded us that U.S. citizens overwhelmingly elect monsters, which is why we need all hands on deck to defeat Arpaio and his anti-immigrant campaign.

In case you need a reminder, Arpaio has a long track record of terrorizing and torturing Latinx and migrant communities in Arizona. The Justice Department’s lawsuit against Arpaio detailed countless civil rights violations against Latinxs, including the unlawful and unconstitutional targeting and detention of people because of their race, color or national-origin. Federal prosecutors argued that the Sheriff and his officers created a “pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos.” The man refused to investigate over 400 sexual violence crimes between 2005 and 2007, including molestations of undocumented children as young as two. He forced undocumented women to give birth in shackles and blocked detained women’s access to abortion care. In fact, he openly boasted that his prisons resembled “concentration camps.” For 24 years, Arpaio devoted his career to harassing, targeting, and destroying Latinx communities. This man deserves to be behind bars, but instead he’s running for public office.

This, of course, isn’t the first time a monster has announced his candidacy — or won. Here is your daily reminder that 13 women have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment. More recently, Roy Moore, a sexual predator, narrowly lost the election for Senate in Alabama. These men are not only attacking women and children; they believe the last time America was great was when slavery existed and they want to outlaw homosexuality. And yet, they continue to win elections.

White people, including the overwhelming majority of white women, will vote for these monsters even if they have a track record of abusing people of color and attacking children. Trump won 57 percent of white voters. Moore, despite losing, won 68 percent of the white vote — including 63 percent of white women. We can’t shrug off Arpaio’s candidacy or assume that people will vote against him because of his criminal record. Arpaio and others like him will continue to win if not for massive community organizing, especially from people living within communities who have access to voting. Moore lost because of Black-led grassroots political organizing. Community organizers in Alabama focused their efforts on registering and mobilizing disenfranchised communities and on challenging the systems and structures that keep Black voters away from the polls. If Arpaio is going to be defeated, we have to follow their lead.

Arpaio is a racist, white supremacist, xenophobic criminal who led a “reign of terror” in Arizona for 24 years. Time and time again, it has been proven that monsters win U.S. elections. Let’s mobilize and keep this one out of the Senate.

If you’re interested in campaign efforts in Arizona, follow Puente Arizona, a grassroots migrant justice organization based in Phoenix.

Header image via Rolling Stone.

Durham, NC

Barbara is a doctoral student at The University of North Carolina interested in im/migration and migrant activism and organizing.

Barbara is a doctoral student at The University of North Carolina interested in im/migration and migrant activism and organizing.

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