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Aug 20 2013

Another Clueless State Legislator

I’ve said many times that state legislatures is where you find the dumbest and fringe-iest elected officials. Here’s another good example, Rep. Bob Thorpe, an Arizona Republican. Reacting to Attorney General Eric Holder’s call for sentencing reforms, he tweeted this:

On Monday, Thorpe accused Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African American in U.S. history to serve as Attorney General — of racial bias. After Holder announced drug sentencing reforms, the Arizona Republican 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.”

Most of those inmates are there on drug charges. And guess what? Blacks buy and sell about 13% of all the drugs in this country too, according to many studies and FBI statistics. So why do they make up such a high percentage of drug arrests and prosecutions? Because of racially biased policing, which focuses almost exclusively on inner cities and ignores the college kid who sells pot to his buddies and the lawyer doing coke in the executive men’s room. There are so many studies that uniformly show that the police target minorities disproportionately in almost everything they do that one has to be willfully ignorant to ignore those facts.

When called out by a colleague for the divisive accusation, he doubled-down, asking, “What’s Holder’s motivation for reversing extremely low crime rates? Could harm minorities the most!”

Huh? How is Holder “reversing extremely low crime rates”? And if you’re going to ask his motivations, why aren’t you asking why many conservative intellectuals and even ALEC now agree with him?

10 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    “Willfully ignorant of facts.” Well, it is a Republican you are talking about.

  2. 2
    skinnercitycyclist

    Just wondering, but do those lawyers ever do coke anywhere other than in the bathroom? Cuz, they won’t let me in the executive men’s room.

    Interesting documentary on this on netflux, The House I Live In, I am in the middle of it, pretty shocking the degree to which we are tossing people away for what are nonviolent “crimes” (the quotes because many of those are merely cultivating and selling pot).

  3. 3
    doublereed

    Now now, he’s not necessarily willfully ignorant. He could just be a racist.

  4. 4
    eric

    Because of racially biased policing, which focuses almost exclusively on inner cities and ignores the college kid who sells pot to his buddies and the lawyer doing coke in the executive men’s room.

    I would add racially biased prosecution, too. Though as a nod to the lawyers, I expect most of that bias is probably pragmatic/mercenary in nature (i.e., they are primarily concerned about getting convictions, not race, but think its easier to convict a poor black man than a white college-going teen), rather than reflecting some internal, personal bigotry aganist minorities.

  5. 5
    Gregory in Seattle

    @doublereed #3 – “Now now, he’s not necessarily willfully ignorant. He could just be a racist.”

    Is there a difference?

  6. 6
    zippythepinhead

    TalkingPointsMemo.com today reported ‘ According to the Portland Press Herald, at a fundraiser last week, [Maine Gov. Paul LePage] told Republican supporters that President Obama “hates white people.” ‘ Channel Glenn Beck much?

  7. 7
    petemoulton

    Gregory: “Well, it is a Republican you are talking about.” Worse. It’s an Arizona republican. I live in Arizona, and the republicans in our state lege will make you want to resign your place in the human race, and join another species.

  8. 8
    colnago80

    Re #6

    Gee, Obama must 1/2 hate himself.

    Re #7

    Not to mention murdering rapist Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa Co., Arizona.

  9. 9
    D. C. Sessions

    Bad enough that $HERSELF tells me every day what the weather is like in NM (lows down around 15C, highs lower than the lows here.) Now you two have to remind me of the fact that Tucson got the University and Phoenix got the insane asylum — and Maricopa County got Arpaio.

    Thanks. Loads.

  10. 10
    sanford

    Wonder what he has to hide. His twitter feed is protected.

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