The Mirror

TheDC Investigates: Is WaPo’s Wesley Lowery Black?

WASHINGTON — Back in October, WaPo‘s Wesley Lowery had quite a mouth on him when he blasted Politico for not being a black enough place for him to call home.

“Bro, black ppl don’t work at Politico,” he cracked when someone dared to suggest he may want to someday work for the suburban Virginia publication.

Except, well–should someone tell the policeman who pulled him over in October that he may want to examine Lowery’s roots before declaring him not black? The WaPo reporter appears to be part black and feels most comfortable with people who have dark skin. His mother and grandmother, however, are white. A brief perusal of his mother’s Facebook page shows that Wesley looks nothing like his caucasian mother and more closely resembles his dark-skinned father. Wesley appears to have a brother whose nickname is “Grasshoppa” who could easily pass for his twin.

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Oh, if only Lowery wasn’t stopped by police in Garrett County, Maryland in mid-October, we wouldn’t be so perplexed by his race.

Over the weekend, GotNews Charles Johnson broke a story about Lowery’s driver’s license getting suspended. On Twitter, Lowery shot Johnson’s story down, claiming it was a rental car. The story reports that Lowery is still driving with Kentucky plates but is listed as living at his parent’s home in Ohio.

The police report lists Lowery’s physical vitals — his height (5’9″) and weight (145 pounds) along with other standard information that included race. As you can see below, it reads: White, Caucasian, Asiatic Indian, and Arab.

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The Mirror contacted the District Court of Maryland to find out how an officer determines the race of a defendant — does he use the individual’s driver’s license or just visually determine what it is? The woman in communications department, Terri Charles, had no idea how the whole thing worked, but insisted that she’d find out. She did not get back to me by press time.

According to a story in the The Monitor, a publication of the National Association of Black Journalists, Wesley became a NABJ rep because he wanted to feel more at ease with people whose skin looked like his.

“Currently the outgoing NABJ student representative, a position he’s held since 2011, Lowery got some of his earliest breaking news experience when he served on the student projects, which he did for most of his time as a student at Ohio University. For him, the NABJ student project was critical to his development. ‘It gave me one of the first mentors I ever had, especially the first mentors that looked like me,’ Lowery said. ‘And the importance of that can’t be overstated.'”

Humorously enough, Breitbart News, not exactly known for their sensitivity toward anyone, calls Lowery a “snowflake,” which is actually technically just about right.

GotNews‘ Johnson, who has publicly and bitterly fought with Lowery on Twitter over his Ferguson coverage, suggests there is a great metaphor between Lowery’s speeding and his life. Johnson thinks Lowery, something of a Ferguson protest organizer and a severe media critic, is speeding through his life and career and is headed for a crash.

“This is his black Woodstock, but the civil right’s movement has a long past,” said Johnson. “The problem is that his reporting isn’t serious reporting. It’s stenography for the people in Ferguson who want their story told in the way they want it told. Wes Lowery is a 24-year-old kid who was advanced rather quickly. I feel badly for the guy. There are going to be consequences. Unfortunately groups like the NABJ have decided to award him with journalistic awards well ahead of the time that you would have actually earned them. Wes Lowery is basically running around trying to be the spokesperson at the same time that he’s covering it. I have to call bullshit on that. He had Thanksgiving dinner with the pastor he covered. He’s basically becoming such a part of the story that he can’t now write a critical piece bout Michael Brown. [His work is] also basically propaganda for the cause.”

The Mirror requested comment from Lowery regarding his actual race. “I’m not commenting,” he replied by email. “I would ask, however, that you please redact the address if you re-post the image concerning the speeding ticket – that is my parents’ address.”

UPDATE: From Terri Charles of the District Court of Maryland communications department: “I apologize for the delay. I was pulled into meetings. The information you have is from the Judiciary’s Case Search database, which contains part of the case record. The court clerks key in information provided and do not alter it in any way. The information provided would have come from the police department.”