Faith, Labor, and Immigrant Leaders Demand IL Republicans Keep Sheriff Arpaio, Hate Out of GOP Picnic
WASHINGTON - Today, members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, joined by other religious, labor, and immigrant leaders are denouncing Illinois Republicans for including Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the Kendall County Republican Party Picnic.
Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, will be the featured speaker at the event. The Sheriff is well-known as a disgraceful figure with a long history of constitutional violations, corruption, and racial discrimination.
Yesterday, the diverse coalition of leaders sent a letter to Illinois elected officials and Republican Party leaders invited to appear at the picnic. The coalition maintains that there is no room for Sheriff Arpaio’s anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, and anti-Muslim actions in Illinois – one of the most diverse states in the union. The coalition is calling upon Republican leaders to stand against the unconstitutional tactics of Sheriff Arpaio in two ways:
1) For those who organized the picnic, to withdraw their invitation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
2) For those who have been invited to attend, to decline and refuse to endorse the Sheriff’s record.
Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago comments:
“Drawing on our sacred Scripture, we see that each person is created in the image of God and therefore, deserving of dignity and respect. It is not worthy of Illinois citizens to have someone come into town to spread hate. Would we have invited Bull Connor to speak to Illinois citizens during the Civil Rights Movement? The people of Illinois are better than this. We call on the event planners to withdraw the invitation to the Sheriff and for the good people of Illinois who have been invited to attend, to refuse to attend.”
“We call on Republican leaders to uphold the values of justice, civility, and unity in all public discourse.”
THE LAST FIREWALL AGAINST THE LIES
Independent media has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support our critical Winter campaign now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing.
Arise Chicago builds partnerships between faith communities and workers to fight workplace injustice through education and organizing and advocating for public policy changes.