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A liberal newspaper out of Texas is refusing to provide a description of a mass shooting suspect for reasons that appear to be rooted in critical race theory.
Around 1:24 am early Saturday morning, two suspects opened fire in downtown Austin “as partygoers crowded the sidewalks and bars,” wounding 14 people, two of them critically, according to local news station KXAN.
During a press conference later that afternoon, Austin authorities confirmed they’d arrested a suspect but were still searching for another one “described as a black man with a thin frame and locs-style hair,” as reported by KXAN.
There was a mass shooting overnight in an entertainment district of Austin, Texas. 13 were injured. One suspect, described by police as a slim black male with dreadlocks, escaped the scene. pic.twitter.com/g7nbVlg7uB
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 12, 2021
Most local outlets followed KXAN’s lead and reported the facts to the public. The Austin American-Statesman, the Texas city’s daily newspaper, didn’t. In its official report on the shooting, the paper replaced the suspect’s description with an editor’s note.
“Police have only released a vague description of the suspected shooter as of Saturday morning. The Austin American-Statesman is not including the description as it is too vague at this time to be useful in identifying the shooter and such publication could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes. If more detailed information is released, we will update our reporting,” the note reads.
Below is a screenshot of the editor’s note courtesy Andy Ngo, one of several independent journalists who spotted the note that afternoon:
Liberal newspaper Austin @statesman says it refuses to print the description of the mass shooting suspect for ideological reasons. The at-large suspect is described by police as a slim black male with dreadlocks who wore a black shirt. pic.twitter.com/7Ec3GSdQCP
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) June 12, 2021
This refusal to report the facts provoked anger on the basis that the paper was endangering the lives of local residents — particularly local black residents.
“Given that the victims of a criminal who happens to be black are also statistically more likely to be black themselves, the paper is actually putting the black community at risk by refusing to publish information that could assist in his capture,” one Twitter user noted.
This is true. The latest “Criminal Victimization” report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that in 2019, 70 percent of crimes committed by black criminals targeted black victims.
“The description is for possible witnesses that were present at the time and this so called vague description could jog someone’s memory and possibly lead to capturing the guilty party,” another Twitter user added.
View some of the criticism below:
Given that the victims of a criminal who happens to be black are also statistically more likely to be black themselves, the paper is actually putting the black community at risk by refusing to publish information that could assist in his capture.
— Torbin Quinnette (@_Innovation_) June 12, 2021
The description is for possible witnesses that were present at the time and this so called vague description could jog someone’s memory and possibly lead to capturing the guilty party.
— 🇺🇸 Whut? 🇺🇸 (@Snotttgrass) June 13, 2021
The guy as still at large and they want the public’s help finding him. Maybe it’s just me, but I think that requires a description.
— Shay (@ShaylanaWalker) June 13, 2021
Protecting criminality because of race is dangerous and will only lead to more. With an open border these gang crimes will only escalate.
— Pizza Czar (@PizzaWanchovies) June 12, 2021
The description wasn’t vague, and none of you are hesitant to perpetrate stereotypes when it’s a white male. The fact you’re running cover for this is disgusting. #CriticalRaceTheory
— Watcheronthewall (@Watcheronthew15) June 13, 2021
For all the people who don’t already know this, this @statesman tweet is 100% brought to you by Critical Race Theory.
CRT applied in real life = pseudo-Marxist disinformation campaigns. https://t.co/cEu1DC2I5T
— BBPH 9: Exhumed ⭐️ (@BOCCult1965) June 12, 2021
Pay particular attention to the latter two tweets.
Protecting criminality is a side effect of the racial essentialist ideology known as critical race theory. This ideology defines every person by their race and then doles out certain privileges/punishments based solely on race.
In this instance, because the suspect is black, he gets to benefit from the “privilege” of not having his description be published by the media.
Most believe that if the suspect were white, the Austin American-Statesman would not have thought twice about publishing his description.
If it would have been a skinny white guy with blonde hair they absolutely would have shared it
— dylan (@dylan50042981) June 13, 2021
Giving the person’s race is still better than nothing, as it eliminates potential suspects.
If he were white, media would blast it non-stop.
— DeSantis 2024 for President (@ChipotleExtra) June 13, 2021
Why did they hide his skin color? I’d bet big money if he was white it would’ve been mentioned several times.
— kd (@OklaOutlaws) June 13, 2021
The media do in fact eagerly publish descriptions when the suspects are white. In some instances they’ve even prematurely published descriptions of white suspects despite the suspects later being found to have been minorities:
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 23, 2021
As of Sunday morning, it appeared that the Austin American-Statesman wasn’t alone in granting the suspect racial preference. NBC News, CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post were also not publishing the suspect’s description.
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