In the wake of the surprising death of superstar pop icon Prince, thousands took to Twitter and other social media to express their sadness and share what snapshot of Prince’s life and career meant the most to them. But then came Sheriff Joe Arpaio who not only insulted the man who was not yet 24 hours dead, but used it to make a political endorsement for himself. “Condolences to Prince family. He allegedly was treated for a drug overdose days ago. I celebrated 20 yrs of drug rehab in my jails today. Drugs are killing our nation!” he tweeted.
Naturally, his Tweet caused outbursts of anger and counter-insults from thousands of people online, which prompted the sharp-tongued Arizona sheriff to speak with several media outlets and explain his actions (even though he had previously deleted his insulting tweet). Arpaio attempted to justify his words by claiming he was “misunderstood,” adding that “even if I wasn’t, I was still right.” “Look folks, people can be mad about it all they want, but the fact to the matter is the man was a long-time addict. I understand and recognize his greatness when it comes to the music he created, but when you look at it through the eyes of an ordinary man, he was nothing more than a junkie. And that’s final.”
“And drugs really are killing our nation, one innocent person at a time,” Arpaio added. “Therefore, I don’t care what that person is doing in their day job, whether they’re a doctor, a firefighter, a fighter pilot, a soldier or the President of the United States himself – if you are using drugs, you’re a bad guy. And while we’re on the subject, who says Prince didn’t also deal drugs? He was well-known, powerful, influential and people loved him; those are the qualities of a person who other drug dealers and addicts rely on to be carrying narcotics at all times. And that means he was potentially never drug-free. For Christ’s sake, the man was treated for an overdose days before he died. You mean to tell me that that was an accident? Come on.”
Arpaio then had the audacity to state, “In fact, when I really think about it, I take back my condolences. No, I instead congratulate his family because now, thank God, we finally got rid of another black drug dealer.” “And like I said before – he was more dangerous than your typical black dealers because he was trusted, loved and influential. Hell, he probably single-handedly created more addicts during his career than hundreds of ‘ordinary’ drug dealers. So, when you really think about it, it’s actually a good thing he’s gone. I mourn the artist and the person, but I despise the drug-spreading evil that he eventually became. So, his family shouldn’t mourn. No one should mourn. We should celebrate the fact that our world is now a healthier place. And it will continue to be that way, one black drug dealer at a time,” the sheriff concluded.