LULAC Demands Resignations of Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh and Sheriff Joe Arpaio for Racially Charged Jokes Made During Roast for Arpaio

February 28, 2014

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta at, (202) 812-4477

Washington, D.C. – Today, LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes released the following statement in reaction to the racist remarks made by Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh at a roast for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“The racist comments regarding Latinos, Asians, and Muslims made during a roast for Sheriff Arpaio were morally reprehensible. State Representative Kavanagh and Sheriff Arpaio were elected to serve the very communities that are the subject of their racist remarks. It is also disappointing that the comments were so well received in a room full of conservative public servants.

“According to news reports, neither State Representative Kavanagh nor Sheriff Arpaio is taking responsibility for the offensive rhetoric. Instead, they are dismissing the public outrage regarding their behavior as simply the public's lack of understanding of satire. Their refusal to take responsibility for such racist comments is as disturbing as the comments themselves.

“As the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the country, LULAC stands with the victims of such racist remarks and hereby call for the resignation of State Representative John Kavanagh and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The hate filled rhetoric that took place at Sheriff Arpaio's roast demonstrates that these two individuals are unfit to serve in public office."

About LULAC:
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit


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