Anti-immigrant, xenophobic, far-right former Maricopa County, Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio welcomed the furry convention to his state in a video without apparently knowing what the furry community is, a fetish subculture, often sexual in nature, in which people dress up as anthropomorphized animals, such as those in mascot uniforms.
Said Arpaio in a clip recorded for Cameo, the platform in which public figures including celebrities and politicians charge a fee for short personal messages on video: “Good luck organizing the Arizona furry convention, which is for animal lovers. … As far as what animal I’d like to be, I’m kind of partial to dogs, but I love all animals.”
The Arizona Republic reports, “Arpaio’s tenure in the Sheriff’s Office was marked by racist, anti-immigrant law enforcement policies that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in legal expenses, earning him enemies within and beyond Arizona’s borders. When President Donald Trump offered him a presidential pardon in 2017, protesters gathered in downtown Phoenix to make their outrage known.”
Arpaio told the paper that he was not aware of what goes on at furry conventions and after being told, “brushed off the jokes.”
Said the former sheriff: “I get these requests all the time — people wanting me to say happy birthday, this and that. I think I’ve gotten over 240 already. With my popularity, I could charge $1,000 for each one, but I only charge $30. I have to do something to take up my time. (Cameo) is a good way to get to the people and answer their questions. I’ve got a lot of followers all around the nation.”