In a recent police report, an officer with the Maryland State Police determined that Washington Post reporter and Ferguson protest activist Wesley Lowery was “White, Caucasian, Asiatic Indian and Arab.”
Since Lowery, who writes extensively about race and calls out pubs for not being black enough, but refuses to answer questions about his own race, The Mirror sought guidance from the Maryland State Police. By all visual accounts, Lowery has a white mother and a black father. But questions remain: Why would the officer leave out African American, why is a race line included in the report at all and how is it decided? The officer who stopped Lowery for speeding in October determined that he was driving on a suspended license — a story first broken by GotNews‘s Charles Johnson.
If the officer got Lowery’s race wrong — and we don’t know that he did since Lowery won’t talk — why didn’t Lowery correct him? And why all the mystery — why not talk about his suspended license, the police report line on race and how he feels about it?
The Maryland State Police officers I spoke with explained how their officers determine a person’s race.
“Usually we do [ask], sometimes it’s on the individual’s license. I’m not sure. Each individual stop is different,” said Sgt. Williams, who did not want to give his first name for safety reasons. ‘I can’t speak for the actual stop. Every stop we encounter is different.”
Sgt. Mark Black, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, said race can be determined in a wide variety of ways, but stressed that there are no set guidelines an officer must use when deciding it. The only requirement is that the race line be filled out — that’s a must.
“They can ask the person, by observations, there are various ways of finding it out,” Black told The Mirror. “There is no set way in finding out. We can’t go by genetics, it’s whatever best suits that person. If the person objects, then at that point in time we may be able to change it. There are various ways to obtain that information.”
Asked why the line is needed at all, he replied, “It’s required because it’s used as an identifier.”
If only Lowery could be as open about race.
On Tuesday he took to Twitter to attack MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a TV host he routinely lambasts for not being the journalist Lowery thinks he should be. In previous scoldings, Lowery has blasted him for not going to Ferguson. In this one, he doesn’t like Scarborough saying there is no proof that Michael Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was shot to death.
As confirmed by conflicting grand jury testimony, Scarborough said on TV and wrote, “The fact is there is no credible evidence that remotely supports the absurd claim that ever happened.” See a longer explanation of what the TV host thinks in his Politico column published Tuesday. Noting that the criminal justice system clearly discriminates against blacks, he asks, “When the truth is on your side, why resort to a cheap lie?”
Injecting race into Scarborough’s motivations, Lowery snapped, “Joe Scarborough sets out to teach you silly black people a thing or two about Rosa Parks.” I see. So now Scarborough is speaking down to black people? Lowery added, “It’s almost as if that guy just runs his mouth on TV without any grasp as to what he’s talking about.”
Yeah, it’s almost as if Wesley Lowery just runs his mouth on Twitter without any grasp as to what he’s talking about.