The presidential pardon of the former Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio in the U.S. by President Trump has caught everybody’s attention and brought the fight of the Latino rights back in the limelight. The pair of Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey has emerged as heroes who have upheld the torch and led the fight for justice for the Latinos.
While Michael Lacey spent his childhood in Newark, Jim Larkin grew up in Phoenix. Both of them enrolled in the Arizona State University, but each dropped out for different reasons.
After becoming friends, both found similar grounds and thus became a team to open and run a campus weekly by the name of Phoenix New Times. While starting out, the paper was all about reporting the campus antiwar protests.
Michael started working as the executive editor while Jim Larkin took care of the advertising part of the newspaper. The paper gained population as well as higher circulation as the two worked in perfect cohesion and placed various social and political issues under the radar via New Times.
The strength of the paper was so robust that starting from Westword, Denver’s news-and-arts weekly, they went on to purchase 17 more papers including big names like the LA Weekly, Miami New Times and the New York City’s Village Voice. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey and http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/michael-lacey/
One if their noteworthy achievement is their witch-hunt of the notorious sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. Joe was a hardliner activist against the staying of illegal immigrants in the U.S. especially the Latinos which came from the southern border of Mexico.
He loved torturing them in his created concentration camps and took sadistic pleasure out of it. Being human activists, Both Lacey and Larkin detested the inhuman treatment of the Latinos by Joe. They started following the man closely and documenting his misdeeds. They even published some of his wrongdoings in their newspaper.
But, it was not well received by Joe Arpaio and he was afraid that he would be punished for it. In retaliation, he got them arrested with a false arrest warrant and gave them a taste of his concentration camp. But Lacey and Larkin were no ordinary fellows and got released within 24 hours after proving the warrant as false. Read more: Michael Lacey | Crunchbase and Jim Larkin | Crunchbase
Soon it was exposed that Joe was behind the false warrants. Thus, the pair sued Joe for wrongful arrest and received a $3.75 million as compensation which they utilized to help all Latinos in Arizona through the Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund.
Their fight finally bore fruit when Joe was imprisoned for six months at the age of 84 for all his misdeeds. The company initiated by Lacey & Larkin soon became popular as the Village Voice Media Holdings.
The paper has a solid reputation today with numerous honors under its belt including the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Even though Joe Arpaio has been granted the president’s pardon and is free; it is the hard work of human activists like Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey that inform the world about such atrocious acts and keep the torch alive to fight for justice.