While Jon Justice continues to enjoy full privileges as a radio host after posting mock sexual assault videos in which he made racist comments about Latinas and immigrants while assaulting a piñata with public defender Isabel Garcia’s face pasted to it (see my original post for more), his efforts to have Garcia dismissed from her job as a public defender in Arizona have gone forward. Garcia is currently under investigation by the AZ state bar for participating in a protest against a book signing for a book that supports active discrimination against immigrants and subversion of their rights. “Justice” and others, have misrepresented the events to say that Garcia’s “toting of a severed piñata head of a police officer” constitutes violation of the bar’s code of conduct. Garcia was actually picking up the head after protesters split the piñata open in traditional form. She and others actively protested the incitement of anti-immigrant sentiment and abuse of immigrants and the Latin@ community in AZ which they felt were being exacerbated by the event and the author. Should the review board decide that Garcia is guilty of violating codes of conduct, she could lose her license to practice law in the state of Arizona and would also lose her job as a public defender.
Garcia is a decorated Human Rights Activist and strong advocate for immigrants in the judicial. She is the only US based activist to win an HR award from the Mexican government. She has spoken out against conditions in both the US and Mexico that are causing what is essentially economic forced migration and exploitation. She actively takes cases in Arizona involving immigrants whose rights may be in jeopardy or who may not know what their rights are. If she loses her job, Arizona will lose an important legal advocate for immigrants rights and immigrants will lose an ally at a time when they need her most.
The message that a decision against Garcia sends, while Jon Justice continues to be on the air, is ultimately detrimental to everyone. What it says about the rights of brown people in Arizona and brown women in particular is clear: racism and sexism are not only irrelevant in Arizona they are supported by the state. No one benefits from living in a state where this is how outsiders and insiders alike view the legal apparatus. John Justice can simulate sexual assault on two separate occasions while making derogatory comments about Latinas, immigrants, and Chican@ culture, post them on his workplace website, and defend his actions through his workplace – radio show and workplace owned blog without consequence. Garcia loses her license and her job for participating in a protest and picking up the remains of a piñata.
The conflict has already encouraged hate groups to target woc bloggers defending Garcia as well as to circulate her picture on their sites. (you can do a google image search for evidence as I am not linking to them.) This targeting makes it clear that John’s behavior encouraged listeners to lash out against both Garcia herself and women of color in general and that is part of the social definition of hate speech.
Anyone who is concerned about sexual violence, racism, and/or the place where these two things intersects needs to take action to support women’s rights in Arizona. You can make your voice heard by joining the write in campaign I mentioned in the previous post AND by doing the following:
- Contact Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry in support of Isabel Garcia. 520.740.8661 or e-mail: email@example.com
- Contact the Journal Broadcast Group, expressing your opinion of Jon Justice and the tactics of 104.1FM, and your concern that local KGUN 9 would be associated with an outlet that is so obviously NOT an objective media source. Contact Julie Brinks: 520.290.7600 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact the Board of Supervisors, voicing your support of Isabel Garcia, who has broken no rule or regulation as a Pima County employee.
Pima County Board of Supervisors
30 West Congress Street, 11th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Receptionist – (520) 740-8126
Fax – (520) 884-1152
Ann Day, District 1
Ramón Valadez, District 2
Sharon Bronson, District 3
Ray Carroll, District 4
Richard Elías, Chairman, District 5
Still from Jon Justice video assaulting pinata with Garcia’s face with quote from video. from Kai.
Pima County website image of Isabel Garcia.
Justice is for Everyone. co. Ricardo Levins Morales