Joe Arpaio: There Is Nothing Racist About 'Make America Great Again' Hats


All this talk about people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats being racists, including the Covington Catholic High School students, is ridiculous.

This is all geared to go after President Donald Trump.

You had a panelist proclaiming on CNN, “I’m so triggered” by MAGA hats and saying she looks at them like a “KKK hood.” How ludicrous.

This week you had a restaurant owner in the San Francisco area announcing he would refuse to serve anyone wearing a MAGA hat because it is a symbol of racism and hate, only to backtrack later in the day, probably because he knew the lawsuits could be coming in his near future.

I was so pleased to see the retractions rolling after the rush to judgement by many in the mainstream media regarding the Covington High students.

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Though the damage was done, so it was a little too late.

Of course the threat of being sued likely helped spur at least some of those about faces from people like CNN’s S.E. Cupp and Jake Tapper, “The View’s” Meghan McCain, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

An attorney representing students and alumni from Covington High days after the incident said that his clients had given the journalists and celebrities 48 hours to either retract false statements made about them or face libel lawsuits.

Those boys weren’t the ones being the racists at the Lincoln Memorial, it was a group of African-Americans calling themselves the Black Hebrew Israelites, who were throwing the racial slurs.

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Further, it wasn’t the students who surrounded Native American Nathan Phillips; he was the one who approached the boys.

The media saw what they wanted to see until the truth came out and shamed them into retractions.

I expect Covington High students’ attorney to follow through, because the media needs to be held accountable.

I am currently suing, with the help of my attorney Larry Klayman, The New York Times, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Huffington Post, and Rolling Stone because of the defamatory reporting they have done about me.

The latter three either accused me of being a convicted felon or going to prison because of how I performed my job as sheriff.

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These media outlets owe me a retraction and apology. I have never been a convicted felon or served time.

In my whole life, I think I have had two parking tickets.

It is very unusual for me in my 55-year career to ever file lawsuits, but in this case it had to be done.

In my 24 years as sheriff, many frivolous lawsuits have been filed against me.

Sixty days after President Barack Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder, took office they started investigations on me, leading to multiple negative headlines about alleged racial profiling.

In October 2016, Obama Justice Department prosecutors filed a misdemeanor contempt of court charge — so they could refuse to allow me to have a jury trial — as Arizonans were voting by mail in my bid for a 7th term as Maricopa County Sheriff. It was an obvious political ploy to help my Democratic opponent.

A Clinton appointed federal judge then refused my request for a jury trial and convicted me herself of misdemeanor contempt of court. The same penalty you can receive for allowing your dog to bark too much. Give me a break.

During my re-election campaign, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, decided to come over to Phoenix to campaign against me wearing a red shirt, with white large letters saying “Arrest Arpaio.” The same color scheme as the MAGA hats. It had an image of me in jail clothes.

Apparently, it’s freedom of speech in the eyes of the media when Garcetti marches in the streets of Phoenix in his red “Arrest Arpaio” shirt, but it’s hate speech when Covington kids like Nick Sandmann (or anyone else in the eyes of the media) wear red “Make America Great Again” hats with white letters.

Garcetti had been contemplating a run for the White House.

About a week ago, I made a post on social media about him wearing his obnoxious shirt, and this week he announced he would not run for president. It would be satisfying to me to think I had something to do with it, but he couldn’t win anyway.

Democrats are the ones engaging in hate speech like freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib who called our president a “motherf–ker” and a racist.

The “Make America Great Again” hat is not hate speech, and it doesn’t stand for racism. It stands for restoring the country as a place of opportunity for all Americans, which President Trump and his supporters are well on their way to achieving, despite the opposition of the Democrats in Congress and the media.

I am proud to have been with President Trump since Day One. I think I’ll buy a thousand MAGA hats and make sure I send some to folks like Mayor Garcetti.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio had a long and decorated career in law enforcement before being elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, in 1992. He is now a Special Contributor to The Western Journal.
Known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio had a long and decorated career in law enforcement before being elected to Sheriff of Maricopa County in 1992.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1953, and as a Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas, NV, police officer, Arpaio went on to build a law enforcement career as a federal narcotics agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For almost a decade, Arpaio was stationed in foreign countries where he headed the DEA combatting the drug trade in which, even by today’s standards, are highly volatile and dangerous in Turkey, the Middle East, Mexico and Central and South America. He was also a diplomatic attaché. In his last years with the DEA, Arpaio also gained invaluable expertise on border issues and enforcement as the head of the DEA in the border states of Arizona and Texas. He concluded his remarkable federal career as head of the DEA for Arizona.

In 1992, Arpaio successfully campaigned to become the Sheriff of Maricopa County, becoming the head of the nation’s third largest Sheriff’s Office which employs over 3,400 people. He served an unprecedented six 4-year terms. During his tenure as Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arpaio consistently earned high public approval ratings.

In August, 1993, he started the nation’s largest Tent City for convicted inmates. Two thousand convicted men and women serve their sentences in a canvas incarceration compound. It was here that Arpaio launched his get-tough policies for inmates. He banned smoking, coffee, movies, pornographic magazines, and unrestricted TV in all jails. It is a remarkable success story that has attracted the attention of government officials, presidential candidates, and media worldwide.

Of equal success and notoriety were his chain gangs, which contributed thousands of dollars of free labor to the community by picking up litter, painting over graffiti and burying the indigent in the county cemetery.

Another program Arpaio was very well known for is the pink underwear he made all inmates wear. Years ago, when the Sheriff learned that inmates were stealing jailhouse white boxers, Arpaio had all inmate underwear dyed pink for better inventory control.

As chief law enforcement officer for the county, Arpaio continued to reduce crime with hard-hitting enforcement methods. He began an all-volunteer posse of 3,000 members, making it the nation’s largest volunteer posse. Posse men and women help in search and rescue and other traditional police work as well as in special operations like rounding up deadbeat parents, fighting prostitution, patrolling malls during holidays, and investigating animal cruelty complaints. The posse’s contributions are invaluable and essentially free to taxpayers.

In addition to these tough measures, the Sheriff launched rehabilitative programs like “Hard Knocks High,” the only accredited high school under a Sheriff in an American jail, and ALPHA, an anti-substance-abuse program that has greatly reduced recidivism.

He is now a Special Contributor to The Western Journal.

On a personal note, Sheriff Arpaio and his wife Ava have been married for over 56 years and have two children, both residing in the Phoenix area. The Arpaios have four grandchildren.
Topics of Expertise
Drug Enforcement, Law Enforcement, Politics