Upending media, another journalist becomes story in arrest for Jewish threats

M Calderone on Thompson arrest

On social media, writers like Mr. Calderone weighed in on Thompson. (via Twitter)

Social media has been abuzz with debate about threats to Jewish centers, and bad actors on both sides of the aisle made it personal. Now that an arrest has been made in the case, the journalist who is the alleged perp upends a number of claims, including those about “white nationalism.”

For starters, the suspect is not a Trump supporter. Nor is he white. He brought a murky resume along with him on his ride to face charges.

PayPal contributions link adJuan Thompson made news last year when the publication he wrote for, The Intercept, admitted Thompson had “fabricated quotes” and even “created email accounts in order to impersonate people.” Some of Thompson’s reportage on mass murderer Dylan Roof turned out to be false.

Roof’s despicable story didn’t need embellishing for any sane American to realize the horrific act he committed. Roof is white. Thompson is black. The crime Roof committed was against humanity.

No mention in media coverage is made of Thompson’s religious beliefs if he had any.

The Intercept acknowledged Thompson’s fabrications. That publication is best known for its coverage and advocacy for Edward Snowden, the whistleblower or traitor depending on your own impression of what we really know about him versus what is being withheld by the government.

On Thompson’s Twitter page there are numerous rants, and they apply to both Democrats and Republicans although he seemed to have special anger towards President Donald Trump. Thompson appears to fake sympathy for the Jewish centers receiving threats—at least we think it’s fake considering what he appears to be charged with. He also assailed capitalism.

The threats aren’t the sole charges Thompson faces:

“Thompson is also accused of stalking a romantic interest. He allegedly made some of the threats in her name, officials said.  The eight threats against Jewish Community Centers he allegedly made still account for only a small portion of those recently made to such institutions.”

If you read various accounts of Thompson’s work and remarks, it becomes clear he hated just about everyone and everything. Although he ranted about white people and Trump, Thompson overall appeared to be an angry, hate-filled individual who blamed the world perhaps for his own shortcomings and failures.

For Americans, there’s a lesson here. When something bad happens, media tend to fuel speculation on both sides of the aisle, with an emphasis on skin color or faith. What we should be doing is bemoaning the action of any individual, regardless of skin color or faith, who harms or threatens innocence. We should accept truly settled science—there is only one race, the human race, and we are capable of horrific bad acts as well as momentous good ones.

We make the choice as individuals.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 3, 2017)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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