Did ya hear about the big ol’ drug bust carried out in Fortuna and Hydesville?
You can check the press release, straight from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, over at the Times-Standard by following this link: Two arrested with multiple narcotics during drug bust
Did you read those numbers? Sounds like a lot of hooch that was confiscated, in THC’s estimation. So, what should the message to the greater community in Humboldt – minority or majority, liberal or conservative, law-abiding or criminal – be in this case?
If you guessed, “Huzzah, we got those drug-slanging criminals before they could do further damage to our community! Good job for once, authorities! Up with hope, down with dope!” – well, you’d be dead wrong.
True North Organizing Network – Patrick Cleary’s political lovechild over at Humboldt Area Foundation – was quickly on the scene with one of their organizers, Fernando Paz, to decry the ways in which the Humboldt County Drug and Task Force, the Sheriff’s Office, and ICE agents were storming through neighborhoods and removing people from their homes.
Of course, none of that is true – but it still managed to find its way into print. However, even after fruitlessly searching for a victim to connect with legal services due to their imagined danger of deportation, Paz is still using True North’s weight to organize a press conference outlining the rights of people facing deportation. Which is all great – educate away, THC says – but misrepresenting the recent drug-arrest incident as something that will be used to galvanize anti-ICE, anti-Sheriff’s office sentiment is pretty darn low. One might even say willfully negligent.
The LoCO piece, by Ryan Burns, which looks at the “fear-inducing” tactics of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force and the supporting ICE agents can be found here: Drug Task Force Arrest Triggers Fears of Deportation
Of course, the fears of people who may be subject to deportation are very real, and not the type of thing THC would belittle. However, it is absolutely despicable to use an instance in which law officers and authorities are doing their job – and doing it well, rationally, and with restraint – to stir up the fears of an already agitated populace. Ridding our crime and drug plagued County of drug dealers is something to be celebrated by all members of our communities (except drug dealers, we guess?) – and not something to be used as an opportunity to contribute further to a sense of mistrust between authorities and a community that, believe it or not, are also served and aided by law officers and government agencies.
As you could tell from reading the press release over at the Times-Standard, there were no arrests made due to illegal status and no deportation actions were taken at all during this arrest – but True North Organizing is more than happy to use this chance to create as much of a firestorm as possible because it aligns with their mission to portray such legal and justified actions as evil.
Grandstanding on the evils of immigration policy while using this instance as a prop is misleading to the people who are in fear, the reporting of the facts is downright inaccurate, and the whole affair is indicative of the fact that True North (and HAF, by extension) are willing to obfuscate the facts and even resort to fear tactics aimed at the people they are claiming to help in order to frame the political perceptions of the Humboldt community. Shame!