Home » FLASHBACK: NPR, MSNBC, NY Times, parroted debunked claim about Border Patrol ‘whipping’ Haitian migrants

FLASHBACK: NPR, MSNBC, NY Times, parroted debunked claim about Border Patrol ‘whipping’ Haitian migrants

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NPR journalist Maria Hinojosa claimed Sunday that U.S. Border Patrol brokers had whipped Black Haitian migrants underneath the Biden administration, a media narrative that has since been debunked. 

Whereas discussing the administration’s resolution to finish its use of the Title 42 public health order that permits for the speedy expulsion of migrants on the southern border, Hinojosa mentioned it was essential to “appropriate the narrative” round immigration selections made underneath the present president. 

“Joe Biden has had so many alternatives, horrific alternatives. Like after we noticed Haitian black individuals being whipped by males on horses. That may have been his second to face in entrance of the horse and say this stops, by no means once more. We’ll reform Border Patrol completely, prime to backside,” Hinojosa mentioned, in a clip flagged by NewsBusters


NPR didn’t reply to a request for remark. 

Whether or not it’s within the newsroom or on Twitter, she is much from the primary member of the media to push this declare. Quite a few personalities and reporters regurgitated the idea that Border Patrol had whipped migrants again in September 2021 in Del Rio, Texas. The brokers have since been cleared within the investigation however have been on desk obligation because the incident.

Border Patrol has confirmed that they don’t carry whips and the objects in footage of the incident had been reins. The photographer of the images that originally sparked outrage additionally claimed he didn’t see any whipping happen. 

On two separate events, MSNBC’s Pleasure Reid claimed that Haitian migrants had been whipped, likening the controversy to the occasions of slavery. 

“In a short time, I do know funding for the federal government begins in the home. Ought to we be wanting on the price range for Homeland Safety? As a result of I used to be not conscious that whips which come from the slave period, slavery period, had been a part of the package deal that we problem to any kind of legislation enforcement or authorities sanction personnel. Had been you conscious that was being issued to individuals, that individuals had that sort of tools on them that they may use on people?” Reid requested Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. 

Omar mentioned she was not conscious and that she was “fairly appalled.” She added that cruelty has been “embedded” in U.S. immigration coverage for years, and that the alleged whipping was “clearly systemic racism at play.”


EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content material / A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to cease a Haitian migrant from getting into an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande close to the Acuna Del Rio Worldwide Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021.  (Photograph by PAUL RATJE / AFP) (Photograph by PAUL RATJE/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

In a separate interview with Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Reid in contrast the alleged whippings to the Fugitive Slave Act, an analogy that the MSNBC host has floated on a couple of event. She additionally spoke out towards the incident on Twitter.

“That is past repulsive. Are these photographs from 2021 or 1851?” she mentioned on the time. 

It appeared {that a} September 19 viral report from the El Paso Instances was the impetus for the narrative regurgitated by liberal media retailers. 

“The agent swung his whip menacingly, charging his horse towards the lads within the river who had been attempting to return to an encampment underneath the worldwide bridge in Del Rio after shopping for meals and water in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico. One migrant fell as he tried to dodge, others shielded their heads with their arms,” the report mentioned partially. 

The excerpt was shared by reporter Yamiche Alcindor, who additionally bought right into a heated dialogue with White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki over the controversy. 

“That is completely horrifying. Like one thing out of the nineteenth century,” The Atlantic workers author Adam Serwer tweeted. “I do not learn about anybody else however I wasn’t conscious border patrol brokers had been approved to make use of whips on human beings.”


“Wait… cracking whips?” Related Press reporter Jim Vertuno requested.

“My God,” Sunny Hostin from “The View” reacted.

The Instances story was moreover shared by MSNBC host Chris Hayes, Enterprise Insider reporter Eliza Relman and The Week correspondent Ryan Cooper.

“US Border Brokers Are Eradicating Haitian Migrants Utilizing Horses and Whips,” mentioned the headline of a Vice Information story. 

Haitian migrants continue to cross across the US-Mexico border on the Rio Grande as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico on September 20, 2021. 

Haitian migrants proceed to cross throughout the US-Mexico border on the Rio Grande as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico on September 20, 2021. 
(Photograph by PAUL RATJE/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

A couple of retailers issued corrections just a few days later; nonetheless the overwhelming majority didn’t. 

Critics ripped into Axios after the outlet deleted a tweet referring to Border Patrol brokers as “whipping at” Haitian migrants making an attempt to cross from Mexico into the U.S. They addressed their resolution in a later tweet. 

The New York Instances additionally up to date a report back to learn, “Photographs of Border Patrol brokers on horseback waving their reins whereas pushing migrants again…”

“An earlier model … overstated what is understood in regards to the conduct of some Border Patrol brokers on horseback. Whereas the brokers waved their reins whereas pushing migrants again into the Rio Grande, The Instances has not seen conclusive proof that migrants had been struck with the reins,” the correction on the backside of the piece learn in September 201. 


The Washington Publish, NBC, AP, USA Right this moment, Snopes, and extra all failed to handle the debunked declare with fact-checks. 

Quite a few Democrats and people inside the Biden administration additionally pushed the debunked declare that the reins had been used as whips. President Biden even asserted that the brokers would “pay” for his or her remedy of the migrants. 

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