A major newspaper in Texas said it wouldn’t provide a description of a suspect in a mass shooting incident in Austin because it wants to avoid “perpetuating stereotypes.”
“Editor’s note: Police have only released a vague description of the suspected shooter as of Saturday morning,” said the newspaper, which was flagged by some conservatives on social media.
It added: “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 Austin Police Department, in a statement to news outlets, described the suspect as a black male wearing a black T-shirt. The department further described the suspect as having dreadlocks and having a “skinny build.”
A number of other media outlets, including CBS News, included the description of the suspect. He was ultimately arrested but his identity wasn’t released by police because he’s a juvenile, officials told local media outlets.
On Twitter, commentators, including Post-Millennial editor Andy Ngo, claimed that the American-Statesman refused to print the description of the suspect due to ideological purposes.
The Epoch Times has contacted the Austin American-Statesman for comment on the editor’s note.
Throughout last year, a number of legacy news outlets, including newswire service The Associated Press and CNN, have opted to capitalize the “b” in “black” following the death of George Floyd, which triggered widespread riots and demonstrations.
While several news outlets last summer opted to capitalize the terms “white” and “black,” AP’s editors decided the agency would not capitalize the “w” in “white.”
“After a review and period of consultation, we found, at this time, less support for capitalizing white,” according to AP in a statement posted on its website. “White people generally do not share the same history and culture, or the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color.”
The multinational news agency did not explain why “the experience of being discriminated against because of skin color” would warrant the capitalization rule changes. Without providing evidence, AP also asserted last year that “white supremacists” capitalize “the term white.”
For the rule changes, AP drew considerable criticism for what some have described as a capitulation to leftist organizations amid rioting.