Iowa Paper Reveals Racial Bias

Imagine committing the same exact crime as six other people only to have your mugshot ran instead of your yearbook photo because of your skin color. That’s what happened to four black men who were accused of burglarizing a home in Iowa.

The Iowa Gazette made the racially biased editorial decision that was apparent in several reports filed on successive days of the crimes.

According to Raw Story, on Mar. 23, the Gazette reported that three University of Iowa wrestlers were arrested after being caught with stolen goods. The white suspects were shown in the publication’s pages in their freshman yearbook pictures, wearing matching coats and ties. They are accused of burglarizing at least seven homes in Marion, Iowa.

That same day, the paper reported four African-American suspects who were charged with a burglary in Coralville, Iowa. Instead of finding their yearbook pictures, the Gazette opted to run mugshots of the suspects.

The Iowa paper has since swapped out the clean cut images of the white suspects, but not before a screenshot of the original picture was captured.


Someone on the publication’s original Facebook thread noted the disparity, only to have another commenter say, “Good point other than it’s safe to say those blacks didn’t have school pics…”

BoingBoing’s Caroline Siede responded perfectly to the Gazette’s move by writing, “As Rafi points out, regardless of what photos were available of the black suspects, the white suspects definitely had mugshots taken. In trying to justify the discrepancy, The Gazette explained they must make formal request in order to get mugshots, yet they were clearly willing the take that extra step when it came to the black suspects.”

What a shame. I guess we should expect an “apology” from the Gazette per usual. Will the day ever come when blacks aren’t purposely made to look less than whites even when the punishment is equal?