An Arizona State Representative is claiming that the press has a double standard when it comes to how they report crimes, especially if the victim is white and the perpetrator is black. He has turned to Twitter to express his displeasure in a series of tweets this week.
Arizona State Rep. Bob Thorpe recently tweeted that the media has shown its bias by under-reporting a recent incident that involved three black teens who are accused of beating up a white peer. He has also accused Attorney General Eric Holder of pandering to his Black constituents with his recent announcement about the federal government’s shift in minimum sentencing laws and its war on drugs.
Earlier this week, The Phoenix News Times shared Thorpe’s Twitter stream, which is now protected. Rep. Thorpe used his Twitter account to question why the incident, in which the three black teenagers attacked a 13 year old white boy on a school bus in Florida, received so little news attention. Describing the media as the “liberal press,” Thorpe questions why this violent act did not garnish the same outcry as George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin.
As with all criminal cases, the three young men have yet to face a criminal court so Thorpe’s presumption of guilt seems premature.
This is not the first time that the elected official has used race to bait the general public. Thorpe, who is affiliated with the Tea Party, has also questioned wither Eric Holder is racially biased. Shortly after Holder’s announcement earlier this week, he tweeted, “Why is Holder now Soft on Crime? Perhaps: black = 12%-13% US population, but make up 40.1% (2.1 million) of male inmates in jail or prison.”
Later when he was questioned about the caustic tone of his tweet, he responded by saying: “What’s Holder’s motivation for reversing extremely low crime rates? Could harm minorities the most!”
Many would conclude that Thorpe’s analogy that the incident on the school bus is comparable to an unarmed 17 year-old being killed just reflects his unwillingness or inability to see beyond his own lens of white privilege.