Unearthed: In racist posts online, Juan Mendez celebrated “white flight” from public schools, compared Arizona to Jim Crow South

PHOENIX — State Senator Juan Mendez published racially charged posts on social forums in 2016, celebrating what he called “white flight” from public schools and deriding those Arizonans as “evil.”

Mendez, a Democrat, retweeted several Twitter posts this month calling on a colleague to resign for making other racially charged comments at a fundraiser about the number of white children in public schools. However, the Democrat made similar comments online celebrating “white flight from the public schools” just months before entering his position in the state legislature.

His comments, reported on for the first time today, were quietly published by the Democrat on the social forum website Reddit in 2016.

Responding to a user who asked what it was like in Arizona, Mendez wrote that the state is “pretty bad” and that living here “takes it’s [sic] toll” on him.

“People who supported Jim Crow laws of our racist past would be proud with how we’ve pretty much instituted and brought about the effects that they were hoping for,” Mendez wrote under his username.

The Democrat added that the only reason some areas were “not so bad” is “because of the economic segregation and the white flight from the public schools — the evil and ignorant people pretty much keep to themselves.”

In another forum post, Mendez again derided Arizona, saying that “if it wasn’t for this racist state and it’s [sic] backwards politics I would [sic] be as liberal as I am today.”

“I think everyone should come to AZ like people did with the South,” the Democrat added, another reference comparing his home state to the Jim Crow South.

Mendez faced significant scrutiny earlier this year after admitting that he had plagiarized a candidate questionnaire while running for office. However, his serial plagiarism went on for at least five years, something for which the state senator — who works as a co-instructor at Phoenix College — still has not provided an answer.

Mendez is running for re-election in November 2018. He is scheduled to debate his primary opponent, Debbie Manuel, on June 27.