Jimmy Zuma

Jimmy Zuma
Location
Washington, District of Columbia,
Birthday
August 01
Bio
After ten years haunting online political forums and much longer as a disability rights advocate, Jimmy Zuma started the online political journal, Smart v. Stupid. Since then, he has emerged as one of the left’s most direct new voices. Almost immediately, Jimmy was offered the opportunity to join the political team at Technorati where he writes DC Water Cooler, a weekly feature on what the politicians and pundits are talking about. Most recently, his columns began appearing in the Tucson Sentinel in Tucson Arizona. He is also an occasional contributor to OpEd News. Jimmy's goal is to return vetting to the marketplace of ideas, by elevating the status of smart ideas and debunking dumb ones.

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MAY 3, 2012 8:25PM

The ignoble death of Arizona racist J.T. Ready

Rate: 7 Flag

Last week I offered Russell Pearce’s anti-Mexican jihad as an example of the kind of overt racism that is no longer tolerated in politics. Now just a few days later we learn that J.T. Ready, Arizona’s leading white supremacist, appears to have killed himself. He also allegedly murdered his girlfriend, her 2- year-old daughter, her adult daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend.

JT Ready

Ready (seen above) was a protégé of Russell Pearce. Though Pearce has consistently  claimed to have disavowed him in recent years, Ready called Pearce his “substitute father.” Last year, Pearce was recalled by his conservative Republican district for his stewardship of legislation that many have called racist (including SB1070, Arizona’s “papers-please” law.) Ready was prominent at pro-Pearce rallies leading up to the recall election.

Southern Poverty Law Center named J.T. Ready as one of the national leaders of America’s Neo-Nazi movement. He’s the founder of US Border Guard, an armed vigilante group that doesn’t actually patrol the border, but does sneak around (wearing camo and ghillie suits) in the Pinal County desert, some 140 miles to the north. He had recently threatened to run for sheriff of Pinal.

Ready was also the subject of speculation that he was involved in last month’s ambush killing of two illegal migrants. They were murdered in the Pinal County area where he was known to “patrol.”

J.T. Ready embodied the vile white-supremacist underbelly of Arizona’s anti-migrant movement, consistently promoting the notion of white supremacy and Neo-Nazi beliefs while pretending to stand for law and order. He was anti-Jew, anti-Latino, and pro-white – and he spoke adoringly about Adolf Hitler on at least one occasion.

He and his ilk are part of the same continuum of racial opportunists as some of Arizona’s top lawmakers, including Pearce, Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. All of them operate from the same playbook of imaginary threats:

“Sheriff Arpaio continues to crackdown on immigration and will not be deterred by activist groups and politicians for [sic] enforcing all immigration laws.”
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

“This is the minuteman project on steroids. We’ve got people with assault weapons. We will use lawful, deadly force when appropriate.”
J.T. Ready, reported by KOLD News 13 via Southern Poverty Law Center

"The simple truth is that the majority of human smuggling in our state is under the direction of the drug cartels, which are by definition smuggling drugs"
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

“This is a white, European homeland. That’s how it should be preserved if we want to keep it clean, safe, and pure.”
J.T. Ready at a National Socialist Movement rally via Southern Poverty Law Center

Except for Ready, perhaps no one has been more of an opportunist on illegal migration than Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I believe SB 1070 was originally concocted not to reduce illegal intrusions but to give Arpaio legal cover from a mountain of civil rights lawsuits. At the time, Arpaio was threatening to challenge Jan Brewer for the nomination for Governor. When the law was passed, he changed his plans.

In 2010, the same year that Ready was promoting his vision of the white homeland, Arpaio was busy deputizing an “Illegal Immigration Posse,” ostensibly to round up illegal migrant workers, but maybe just to get some more publicity:

“Hollywood actors and real life law enforcement professionals Steven Seagal, Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk) and Peter Lupus (Mission Impossible) all signed on to work this detail. A retired Chicago police official aptly named Dick Tracy who now lives in Arizona has also joined this posse. And Wyatt Earp, a local resident whose uncle was the famous lawman, is joining the posse as well.”
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

Despite attempt these officials will make to distance themselves from J.T. Ready they still occupy the same side of the same street. Pearce, Brewer and Arpaio campaign by demonizing Mexicans. They invented an imaginary pestilence 180 miles to the south (the actual border) and invented phony crime statistics about it. Like J.T. Ready, they aggrandize themselves in white Arizona through the lies they tell about brown Arizona.

The takeaway, of course, is that there is not a lot of sunlight between the recognizable racism practiced by a J.T. Ready and the obscured racism of ethnicity-based lawmaking. Brewer, Arpaio and Pearce all dealt cards from the same deck as Ready. They just hid behind the Arizona flag while doing it.

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Comments

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Well, "they" try to hide behind the flag. Kind of like when children hide behind curtains and believe you can't see them.

Anyway, I'm sorry that his life was so poisoned by hate. What a terrible way to live and die.
A truly horrible story. I guess when you are that consumed by hatred, you will eventually self-destruct. It's too bad he destroyed others in the process.
People like this are so consumed by hatred that they almost always self destruct. Guess he couldn't live the lie anymore.
It's horrible that he might have murdered his girlfriend's children and awful to think that he might have murdered other people in his lust for power and supremacy. There are a lot of dangerous people running loose in the world.
let us remember the family who lived with this hatred day by day, increasingly marginalized as the hatred grew, reaching out several times when the abuse grew too great but with no one reaching back and then foully murdered and still shadows in the great dark of this man's "life".
Make no mistake -- the 'good' citizens of Aryanzona didn't dump Pearce because of his overt racism -- the recalled him because of his over corruption.

And speaking of recall, do you recall the uproar on the wingnut Right when the report came out stating that the US faced great danger from the Radical Right? By now, the evidence is pretty damn clear that the Radical Right is a clear and present -- and growing -- danger. That's even more the case, when one understands the obvious truth that Al Queda and the Taliban are also rightwing outfits.

Of course, understanding is in short supply on the Radical Right, where empathy is seen as a character flaw and people cheer at Repugnant primary debates at the suggestion we should just let sick people die. Talk about death panels!

As for JT Reddy (not a typo), I wish when these suicidal paranoiacs go on a killing rampage, they'd start with themselves.
You could ask Amy, Tom. She was directly involved in the effort to recall Pearce. The corruption issues played a minor role. His embarrassing and disruptive anti-migrant politics ended his senate career.

Your monolithic views about Arizona are also a little flyover. It may look that way from distance, but rabid conservatism only rules with an iron fist in the central part of the state, owing largely to the tipping point created by retirees from other states. I believe you'd feel right at home in Tucson.

Lastly, JT Reddy is a tool company. Jason Ready is the guy in question here.
You're more kind to Aryanzona than that state deserves. After all, it isn't just Pearce that's troubling -- Jan Brewer and her second amendment solutions strike me as more than a little over to top, too. Then there was her total minutes-long space-out during the debates, but she still got elected. That indicates to me a majority of voters in that state are -- how do I put this nicely -- less than discerning.

Living as I do in Tennessee, I certainly could be accused of throwing rocks from a pretty fragile glass house. But I didn't mean to suggest that Aryanzona is the only wingnut state, but it is one of them -- along with MS, AL, SC and TN. Oh, and I can't fail to mention Utah and Texas. And Florida -- what other state would elect a governor whose company paid $1.7 billion dollars in fines for Medicare fraud?

Now that I've pissed off everyone in those states, let me conclude by saying my misspelling of Reddy was an attempt at graveyard humor. Sorry you didn't think it was funny.
The curious thing about "racists" is how they get that way, what path they follow that leads to a life of extreme hatred of defined "others." I think a good metaphor is the "Aryan Brotherhood," which has its roots in prisons, mainly in California and the Southwest. Criminals need something to give them self esteem, and on the level of crudity that permeates life in prison, identity with an imagined "superior" group is an easy option.

Beyond the prison walls, perceived superiority to some identifiable group is an easy way to focus one's consciousness on a pretend way of living, avoiding the effort of living a true, integrative existence. By integrative I don't mean "racial," though living peacefully among different groups would be evidence of integrative life. I mean living lives of genuine pursuit of inner and outer harmony, delving ever deeper into truthful existence. It can be a scary pursuit, and "racial" hatred is a convenient way to avoid facing oneself and others meaningfully.

For an entire state to move in this direction says something about mass pathology. I suspect that the environment in Arizona puts a certain existential pressure on people to face reality, and that the need to escape into fake existence is stronger there than most other places. Of course, the people might just be lower on the evolutionary scale. So many have migrated there to escape other challenging environments, they may have created a gene pool of cowards.