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A look at the presidential pardons

SUSAN K. SMITH | 6/11/2018, 8:08 p.m.
The current president, who said during his campaign that he was the “law and order” candidate, has shown and is ...

Crazy Faith Ministries

The current president, who said during his campaign that he was the “law and order” candidate, has shown and is showing that his concept of the same is far off the beaten path.

Or is it?

As so many people languish in American prisons because of felony convictions for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses, the president is not only attacking the primary law and order institutions of this country, but he is also pardoning people who have been convicted of white collar crimes, people the president said have been treated “very unfairly” by the government.

The pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio was hard enough to swallow, but the pardon of Indian American conservative pundit, author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, a rabid racist who was convicted of violating federal campaign finance laws in 2014 and sent to prison, was a slap in the face of justice.

The fact that both Arpaio and D’Souza have the reputation of being racist makes their pardons all that more difficult to take. D’Souza, who relentlessly attacked former President Barack Obama when he was in office, was quick to pick up his racist rhetoric, tweeting, “Obama and his stooges tried to extinguish my American dream and destroy my faith in America. Thank you @realDonaldTrump for fully restoring both,” reported CNN.

Meanwhile, almost half a million people are in prison for committing drug offenses; nonviolent drug offenses are a defining characteristic of the federal prison system, according to a report issued by the Prison Policy Initiative.

A staggering 1 out of every 5 people are incarcerated for these offenses, the report stated. Were they, too, treated “unfairly” by the government?

The president is within his rights to pardon whomever he pleases, but what is troubling is his dismissal of “the law” as it concerns people who have committed serious felonies and who espouse hateful and racist rhetoric. Arpaio, convicted of a misdemeanor criminal contempt of court for refusing to obey a court order that he stop racially profiling Hispanic Americans, wasted no time in picking up his “birtherism” rhetoric once the president pardoned him, and is running for Senate in his state of Arizona.

We don’t know what project D’Souza will pick up now that he has been let out of prison, but we can be sure it will reek of racism and hatred and now, an arrogance that comes with his pardon. He, Arpaio, and even the president have communicated the message that “law and order” only apply to some people, certainly not any of the president’s friends and loyalists.

The impudence and arrogance of this administration’s disregard for the law, for the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI, is so much a part of what it does and does not do is so toxic and disturbing that it is stifling. This administration believes in law and order for just some people. He believes in the Second Amendment, but seems to have little respect for the other freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press.