Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are two newsmen who decided that they needed to do something to stop the discrimination that people of minority communities in the United States face. To pursue their goal, they started the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund which has become an incredibly notable organization that fights for the rights of people in society. Read more: Jim Larkin | Angel.co and Michael Lacey | Twitter
The organization was founded after Lacey and Larkin got to experience what it was like being discriminated against at the hand of Joe Arpaio, who was considered to be someone who targeted members of the Latin American community in the state of Arizona.
Lacey and Larkin were working for the Phoenix New Times, a well-known publication that thousands of readers all over the state had access to. They had heard of the acts that Arpaio had been committing, and decided to write about it to inform the people.
This was particularly needed because the city of Phoenix had an incredibly large Latin American community who could become a target of Joe Arpaio at any time, even without reason.
A day after the article hit the stands, Lacey and Larkin were forcefully taken from their homes in the middle of the night by a group of men dressed in black. They were put into a van with tinted glasses so that they could not see where they were going. Thereon, they were kept in a prison that was being run by Arpaio himself.
This further cemented the statements that people were making about Arpaio and the atrocities that he had been committing. The duo was released after a period of forty-eight hours, after which they decided to take action against Arpaio for the wrongs that he had committed.
The case took an incredibly long time to reach a resolution, and Lacey and Larkin were given a three million dollar settlement each by Maricopa County.
The fact that Arpaio got away with just a settlement and was allowed to resume his role as the Sheriff of Maricopa County was evidence enough that the government at the time was not working in favor of the people.
Lacey and Larkin knew that if something needed to be done, it had to be done by the people themselves since the government is unlikely to take any actual action.
Lacey and Larkin finally thought that they had reached their goal when Arpaio was given a prison sentence in October 2017. It seemed like he was finally getting what he deserved for the twenty-five years that he spent disrupting the lives of countless people all over the state of Arizona.
However, just a month after the sentence was given to Arpaio, Donald Trump announced that he would be granting presidential pardon to Arpaio. This meant that he would not have to serve his sentence, and would be free from all charges pressed against him.
Even though Arpaio was pardoned, Lacey and Larkin aren’t stopping here. They plan to continue to fight to hopefully one day, seek justice for all the people of minority communities in America.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:
Larkin and Lacey Launch Front Page Confidential to Preserve Free Speech
Back in 1970, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey were students at Arizona State University seeking to find a way to get their voice out to the masses. What a better way than to start their own newspaper? The pair thought it was grand idea, so they pitched in and started the New Times alternative newspaper out of their apartment.
The small weekly newspaper quickly caught onto readers in the Phoenix area. 40 years later the couple had grown their small newspaper into a media conglomerate with 13 newspapers across the United States. In 2006 they acquired New York City’s Village Voice newspaper and changed the groups name to Village Voice Media.
Just a year later, Larkin and Lacey would make headlines across the world when Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio unlawfully arrested them. The basis for the arrest was later ruled unconstitutional and they won a civil lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for nearly $4 million.
They used that money to launch a new venture they called the Frontera Fund. The purpose of the fund is to supports groups that are seeking to keep the First Amendment alive and well. The pair feel that the First Amendment is crucial to the success of the United States. They launched a new online newspaper called Front Page Confidential which reports on news that is associated with the First Amendment and free speech.