On Racial Profiling

profiling.jpg

Regardless of the overwhelming facts, statistics and every other indicator in between that point to the ongoing problem of racial profiling in America, there are groups of people, mainly on the right, who somehow think the problem rests alone in one Harvard professor’s mind or in President Obama’s “stupidly” comment. It is not surprising that these same “conservatives” were also hell bent on labeling Judge Sotomayor a racist. But I am not sure if it is more ironic or pathetic that these individuals feel the need to cry reverse-racism at the drop of the dime, quicker even than their so-called “victimized” minorities do.

Uncharacteristic of the media these days, there was actually a decent discussion of the issue, including a criticism of how the press covered the issue, on This Week with George Stephanopoulos today, in part because the conservative panelists – George Will and David Brooks – are probably the only ideologically consistent and intellectually honest conservative journalists on the market. The same can be said on the side of the spectrum of Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. For example, I would agree with George Will that it was stupid for Obama to allow himself to get drawn into the controversy. Nevertheless, Paul Krugman also made the obvious point that Obama’s “stupid” remark was inopportune precisely because it is was so fundamentally accurate, and we all know that saying truths is politically dangerous.

The way I look at it, we are confronted with two issues: the problem of racial profiling, of which Mr. Gates’ case arguably pales in comparison to the real problem of racial profiling, and the relationship between the police and citizens.

As mentioned, there is absolutely no doubt that racial profiling is a problem in American society. It is even a problem in Europe. In Spain, for example, non whites and non Europeans, especially blacks and Arabs, are consistently stopped by the police and required to produce their papers, essentially equating looking foreign to probable cause of having committed a crime.

Recently in Madrid, the police have been given orders to meet strict monthly quotas detailing the numbers and countries of origin of undocumented immigrants to be detained and deported (with a preference for immigrants from countries that are closer and cheaper to deport to). The initial reaction of citizens is that this is a good idea. The standard argument is that if you’ve not done anything wrong, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Right? The conceptual problem with that argument is that it sounds brutally like Orwell’s 1984. The practical problem, as many of my friends have attested to, is that anyone who fits the physical profile is constantly being stopped by the police. I have already heard countless stories about the police hanging out at elementary schools and checking the papers of maids walking children to school, at bus stops, in front of foreign embassies. Parents come back from work to find that their children never came home because the maid, who had forgotten her papers when she went out, was taken into police custody.

I mention the Spanish example because it perfectly describes what the Founding Fathers intended with the Fourth Amendment. With their experience of colonial rule where the authorities could freely search your person, enter your home, or take possession of your belongings, the Founders hoped to protect the citizens of the newly developed nation from unreasonable governmental interference into our persons, property and privacy.

Unfortunately as a practical matter, the Fourth Amendment creates no cause of action for the citizen whose rights have been violated. So while one of the goals of the Amendment is to protect us from being hassled by the police, the only practical protection that the Amendment affords us is that any evidence derived from the illegal search or seizure cannot be used against us at trial. The police officers are even granted qualified immunity against civil suits. In other words, when we have done absolutely nothing wrong but the police have illegally and unconstitutionally searched us and interfered in our private lives, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

Now imagine that being stopped and searched by the police is not an isolated incident but an inevitable and commonplace reality for which you are absolutely powerless.  It is no wonder that your entire community distrusts the police. White people like myself and all the poor-me white conservatives crying Obama is a racist do not have this relationship with the police. It would be both disingenuous and intellectually irresponsible to claim otherwise. As Donna Brazile explained on This Week, she grew up in a household where her parents gave her brothers very specific instructions on how to stay safe when being stopped by the police. That kind of conversation does not occurs in white families. Why? Look at the numbers.

As Charles Blow wrote last week in the New York Times,

In fact, last year the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York law firm specializing in human rights, released a damning study of the racial-profiling practices of the New York Police Department. It found that more than 80 percent of those stopped and frisked were black or Hispanic. The report also said that when stopped, 45 percent of blacks and Hispanics were frisked, compared with 29 percent of whites, even though white suspects were 70 percent more likely than black suspects to have a weapon.

This doesn’t even take into account the huge disparity between African Americans and whites with regards to criminal sentencing and incarceration. The facts are there: African Americans disproportionately go to jail more often and for longer prison sentences than whites who have committed the same or similar crimes. As a nation, we should be embarrassed by these numbers. Furthermore, racial profiling is ineffective as a remedy against crime. As a matter of fact, a recent study on the use of racial profiling in Europe to stop terrorism has shown the tactic to be “worse than useless in combating terrorism”.

With regards to Gates, it is possible that he was not profiled. But even if he was nothing more than a pompous Harvard intellectual, that itself does not mean we should ignore the reality of racial profiling as a dispiriting trait of American reality.

There is another part of our culture with respect to the police that the Gates case highlights. In the U.S., you cannot disagree with the police. Period. In Europe, I have witnessed countless examples of citizens engaged in lively disagreements with the police, for which in the U.S. they would have been immediately neutralized, handcuffed and taken in.

But my favorite story is from going through security at the airport in Casablanca, Morocco. A man in line was very upset that the police, after having x-rayed his luggage, insisted on opening his suitcase. A huge argument erupted between the officer and the passenger to the point where I was expecting that the man, true American fashion, would be beaten down on the spot and dragged off to a harsh interrogation room. Rather, another police officer and passenger intervened to mediate in the dispute. Ultimately, the scene was resolved by having the mean literally two hug it out. Yes, the police officer and the passenger gave each other a big hug and that was the end of the story. Everyone went on with their lives, no harm, no foul.

In the U.S., though, we are expected to be fully obedient to and even intimidated by the police no matter what. Now, I understand that police officers must treat every situation with extreme caution and severity because they never know the dangers that may lie ahead. But that fact itself – that America is populated with potentially armed and violent people – is unique in the industrialized world and is not something to be proud of.

But for the sake of argument, let’s assume the facts in the best light of all parties involved. Imagine that the Cambridge police did not in fact profile Gates and that Gates arrived home after a long trip, was exhausted, cranky, even rude. There was no racism, just one limping middle age man yelling that it was his house. Once the police ascertained that it was his house, why didn’t they just leave him alone to continue his rant in peace behind closed doors? Had they done just that, instead of arresting him for being obnoxious, this entire story would have ended. If we take race out of the picture, all we are left with is a Soviet style police force. And as Paul Krugman argued, arresting a man for his temper is stupid.

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29 Comments

Filed under Essays, Living la vida española, Obama 44

29 responses to “On Racial Profiling

  1. ReWrite

    I just got finished discussing this faux-controversy w/ some friends, including a friend that is a journalist in Boston.

    It seems that the Right’s only argument is that racial profiling and police misconduct are just part of the system and cannot be fixed. B/c they cannot argue that it doesn’t happen, nor can they contend that it is justified. So they are left w/ the argument that minorities and low-income communities cannot consider themselves victims b/c this is a long-standing problem that is inherent to the ‘criminal justice’ system.

    A misunderstanding is when police respond to a 911 call, see the Professor’s Harvard ID and either him help him gain entrance to his home or leave. Instead, the Professor explained the situation, showed his ID, they continued to question him, they entered his home w/out permission and w/out a warrant, they handcuffed him and then arrested him. And we are shocked that after flying over 14hrs in plane that he may have lost his cool? At least once a week a see one of these ‘misunderstanding,’ in Flatbush or the South Bronx. The people (and the police) don’t view it as a misunderstanding, it is racial profiling, police misconduct and unconstitutional. And it is part of the system, but it is also something that needs to be changed- and this is what the media should be covering.

    I would love to see the reaction of rich white communities if the same police presence and (mis)conduct that exists in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, in the South Bronx or in any low-income Urban neighborhood in the US, were to exist in their neighborhood. Don’t forget to add ACS and other governmental agencies in the mix b/c they too violate the 4th Amendment on a alarmingly regular basis in these communities.

  2. Oh how I love total and absolute misrepresentation of the facts.

    But, first let’s have some full disclosure: this is going to come across as highly acerbic and possibly containing punitive overtones, and well, the world I live in is complete irrational/illogical shit, so be it.

    Phase One: definitions

    Game on!!!

    “white person”: Wrongapedia says: “a person of primarily, or wholly, European ancestry.[2] However, the term is sometimes used more broadly, so that it becomes similar to the concept of the Caucasian race or Caucasoid people, which includes people with ancestry from the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Central, and South Asia […]”

    Because I realise both of you are clueless as to the actual definition of “Caucasian”, I’ll just help this along to show how moronically inclined racial definitions are, especially as used by society, government and media, to wit:

    Error #1: “In the United States, the term Caucasian has been mainly used to describe a group commonly called White Americans, as defined by the government and Census Bureau.” Never use any definition supplied by the cretins from government, they haven’t the cognitive capacity to use a dictionary/do research resulting in facts.

    How to flush out morons, and misappropriation and misuse of words:

    “North Caucasus comprises:
    Russia (Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Adyghea, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachai-Cherkessia, North Ossetia, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai)

    South Caucasus comprises:
    Georgia (including disputed, partially recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia)
    Armenia
    Azerbaijan (including disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic)
    Iran […]”

    Hmmm, seems strange, doesn’t seem like “white people” territories exclusively … hrmmm.

    racism,:
    rac⋅ism [rey-siz-uhm]

    –noun 1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others. (Well, yeah, no shit … “bottle of history and a glazed donut, to go!!!”)

    Ooopss!!! Check the f’n etymology, and what do we find … oh noes!!! Middle Eastern word, shit, that sucks: footnote ~ the first written distinctions/classifications of homo sapiens by skin color were by … “I’ll take Sumerians, Scythians, Egyptians, and Persians for $1000, Alex … ftwFTW!!! By the way, nice hair piece, Alex …” Bandy tosser, no shags or snogging for you!!!

    Just for reference, the commentary by Sotomayoron, definitionally correct being labeled racism; sorry boys, definitions, learn them.

    Back on task. “white people” is a racist bit of terminology well accepted in America. If I have to explain why, the offending inquirer receives the complimentary bag of flaming dog shit on their stoop, come next family reunion.

    Error #2: “reverse racism” … LMMFAOROTFLMMFAO … oh holy hell. Anyone, and yes I mean EHN-EE-WUN, who is actually such a fool/tool/wanker as to use this phrase, should be shot dead upon first utterance; seriously, we don’t need this type procreating, they aren’t helping the species. “Hey you, out of the gene ool, there wasn’t any p in it until you arrived!!!”

    “reverse”: well, I can’t just give one part of the definition, because it is one of those terms that has taken on a great measure of variance/utility in defined meaning.

    The main ones are:
    1. converse: as in opposite, which is stupid to no end, cognitive dissonance exponentiated; “opposite racism” … ? “I R da UN o racism, jus ax me!!! Sheeet dawg, I is da 7Up ah dat racist shiznit, foshizzle … holla dawg, UN in da howze!!!”

    2. deconstruction: to take apart, to piecemeal … hrmmmm, how do you take apart a societal action predicated upon a thought pattern?

    3. position/direction: ummm, yeah, racism is a definition of an ideology, which is nothing more than a construction by means of cerebral process … sooooooo, what to do, what to do ~ NUFF SAID. “Man dawg, I canst be plottin dis racism on da teachz graphs … wtf man? Yo, yo, teach is whack, ya feel me, sheeet, holla.”

    Fun with Logic101:

    “reverse racism”:

    hypothetical 1. Racism is a forward moving, progressive state, it must therefore exist that a converse/opposing state can be proven.

    hypothetical 2. In order for “reverse racism” to exist, there must be a condition, whereby a particular group has taken ownership of “forward racism” as a default operating social activity.

    hypothetical 2a. It can be shown that all members of the “forward racism” group have agreed to act in the default manner.

    hypothetical 2b. Only members of this particular group can exhibit this action, “forward racism”; no members of other possible groups have the ability to exhibit this activity, as under default condition, being utterly incapable of such, because the particular group holds absolute ownership of said activity.

    Anyone who believes this to be the case, in the actuality of human interaction, is a cosmic dumbass, without the possibility of parole from the prison of Ineffable Stupidity.

    If you find yourself to be said dumbass, please review this small, brief video presentation, as it is useful for “teachable moments”.


    Two things for plebeians to consider:

    Genetic Consanguinity of homo sapien

    Consistent patterns of homo sapien group/social behavior patterns; both historically and in modernity.

    Need more diatribe? Just ask Kitapsiz, he got yo back, brevity be damned!!!

  3. P.S.

    Try this on for size, I can play anecdotal reference too:

    I have actually raised a biracial child, in America … have you?

    OH, that’s right, you don’t have ANY children/offspring/genetic progeny at all … let alone having the grand experience of being “white people” parents of “biracial” child … ***OH F’N LAFFFFF***

    So, lemme break it down fo ya!!!

    The greatest amount of racist attitude, racist speech, racist agendising against the middle boy, Q, and “she and I” as his horribly racist parents, has been perpetrated by ….

    ….

    ….

    OH NOES!!! Black Americans! Wannabe professionals who are more concerned with trying to prove to the parents, formerly “us”, now “she and I”, that he was unequivocally “African American”, that we needed to “honor and respek” his “African American” roots, and further, on three separate occasions, “she and I” were told that we couldn’t possibly raise him correctly because we couldn’t understand the “African American” condition ….

    Awwwwwww shit, but there’s yet another problem with the f’n logic!!! I do so love the catastrophic nature of combining “The Stupid” with agenda, and sprinkling in irrationality based on victimhood status:

    He ain’t f’n “African American” ~ Hungarian, Israeli, Greek, Irish, Welsh, Native American, and Black … ain’t shit of “Africa” in the boys bloodline for at least 600 years of the family history …

    “Pat, I’d like to solve the puzzle now …

    The phrase is ‘Genetic Mongrel’ …”

    But try telling that to a black lawyer or two black social workers … it wasn’t a concern about his mental health ~ his racial distinction being pronounced to us poor, uncultured, uninformed white, Caucasian racist parents … now that, yeah, that shit was important.

  4. eric

    I am not saying that racism doesn’t exist 360 degrees. It does and I have seen it closely, though not as closely as Q. But that is not the conversation here. Because racism may exist all around, should not serve as a justification for profiling.

  5. Listen to the 911 tapes and then do your own research cugino, this man, Henry Louis Gates, has a long and sordid history as a racist and racial profiler …

    “Hi pot, I’m kettle … but you aren’t as good as me, because I’m pot, and you’re just a lowly kettle …”

    Remember this phrase every time you listen to a race story from the media: “genetic consanguinity” ~ end game. Everyone profiles, everyone discriminates, it’s called genetic disposition/survival adaptation.

  6. Gates “profiled” Officer Crowley: “White cop is automatically a racist”.

    Show me your logic. How is that not the case?

  7. ReWrite

    This is not one of those situations where the Pot, even if it is more racist than the Kettle, justifies the actions of the Kettle.

    And I do think that one should assume the worst about any interaction with the police, particularly if you a person of color or in a low-income neighborhood. That to me is prudence more than anything else. If you think less talk to Sean Bell.

    And for those that think the police’s actions were prudent (although I addressed this earlier), they were prudent to come to Mr. Gates’ home and investigate; they were prudent to ask for his ID. But upon seeing his ID, upon seeing his luggage, a cab driver, etc; I don’t know why they then entered his home w/o his permission or a warrant and violated his constitutional rights. In the past two weeks in Flatbush I saw the police violating the Terry Stop laws (they searched the trunk w/o apparent probable cause) and less than 1hr later I was eating at the Jamaican spot around the corner and the police stopped a guy walking and just immediately put him against the wall and searched him. And Saturday in Park Slope (a fancy neighborhood in BK) the police had stopped a white person for biking on the side walk and it was like they were talking to their best friend… almost apologizing for doing their job. And the police have set up look-out towers in various neighborhoods in the city… the only neighborhoods I have seen them in are Flatbush, all over the South BX and all over Harlem. I have never seen one in Park Slope or anywhere on the West Side of Prospect Park (for that matter), anywhere South of Harlem in Manhattan, although I wouldn’t be surprised if they had one in Times Sq. I am sure they have them in Bed-Sty, Jamaica Queens, East New York (which is in Brooklyn), Queensbridge, Brownsville, etc.

    Anyway

  8. This is not one of those situations where the Pot, even if it is more racist than the Kettle, justifies the actions of the Kettle.

    Unless of course, the offending individual is white, then I am certain that your skewed parameters, stemming from utter irrationality, would say it IS justified.

    And I do think that one should assume the worst about any interaction with the police, particularly if you a person of color or in a low-income neighborhood. That to me is prudence more than anything else.

    Then there’s a two fold error that you get to take ownership of, in totality:

    1. You wouldn’t know logic if it bit your head off. Incapable of logic, incapable of wisdom, prudence is not a process that can be applied, apprehended or even understood.

    2. You have an absolute lack of intellectual integrity, which means any opinion offered, beyond being emotional/irrational, is dismissable as unsupported, factless tripe and hogwash.

    Take a philosophy course and then come back. Your “every black person is a victim, and racism and profiling are only one direction” borders on prepubescent thinking …

    And for those that think the police’s actions were prudent (although I addressed this earlier), they were prudent to come to Mr. Gates’ home and investigate; they were prudent to ask for his ID. But upon seeing his ID, upon seeing his luggage, a cab driver, etc; I don’t know why they then entered his home w/o his permission or a warrant and violated his constitutional rights.

    And here’s where the asshat goes on for you.

    When an officer is sent out because a neighbor reported to 911 that there were 2, TWO, people attempting to break into the home, it changed the protocols.

    Another point that you are so willingly oblivious to; the area has been suffering from breakins as of late, so again; change of police protocols.

    They were told to look for 2, TWO, individuals, and upon finding only one, that raises issues:

    1. Was the report erroneous?
    2. If this is the owner of the home, are there possibly two suspects still around?
    3. Is it possible the two suspects are in the house?
    4. Does the possibility exist that this might have become a hostage situation?

    Not withstanding, criminals never lie, steal identities, engage in subterfuge, or any other such ludicrous activity, because criminals are really just good people who are victims of society … **laff**

  9. But that is not the conversation here. Because racism may exist all around, should not serve as a justification for profiling.

    Ummmmmm, next logic question, cugino:

    How can “racial profiling” exist separate/distinct of “racism”?

    Doesn’t one have to have an existing bias to make the active determination to “profile” by means of prejudice predicated upon race?

    Splainificate that for me, I’m wearing the asshat today, and don’t even get that thought pattern … ?

    I’m hearing Golden Earing’s “Twilight Zone” in my head right now.

    Cognitive dissonance!!!
    Cognitive dissonance!!!

    AG-GOW-NEE
    AG-GOW-NEE

    Jebus save me. ::somewhere, the sounds of an infant prophet weeping::

  10. ReWrite

    If only I had taken a course in filosophy… maybe I will sign up for class as I can’t even process the highly non-cynical, open-minded and uber-intelligent discussion we are having about the Prof Gates incident. And I certainly cannot piece together a filosophical argument to support my position. As I am slowly understanding lojic the police are justified in violating the constitution in such incidents. And filosophically minorities and poor folk should just turn the other cheek when the gov’t violates their rights.

  11. eric

    By definition, racial profiling exists only where there is state action. As you, Rewrite, Professor Gates and I are are not state actors, we are simply not qualified to profile. We don’t have badges, we do not have the authority to make arrests, detain or interrogate. We are just ordinary, undeputized citizens.

    In our private capacities we have the right to be racists. We have the limited right (depending on state law) to discriminate. We even kind of have the right to freedom of expression. We can join the KKK and or even an anti-white hate group, as long as we don’t take steps in furtherance of a crime. Well, I guess the exception there applies to non-Christians. While it is legal to be involved with any number of anti-minority hate groups under the auspices of the First Amendment, simply expressing one’s sympathy for Al Qaeda, without taking any material steps in furtherance of a terrorist act, is a crime under our anti-terrorism laws. So you can go on talk radio and say that abortion clinics and doctors should be murder, you’re safe. But being a Muslim and saying the same things and you have committed an act of terrorism.

    Anyways, you get the drift.

    So to make a long story short, the logic is pretty obvious. You, as a private citizen, cannot violate the police’s constitutional rights, but they cannot violate yours. Clinton cannot claim that it was Monica who sexually harassed him.

    Yeah, that’s a good one. Instead of calling it the “kettle calling the pot black” we should call it the “president calling the intern the sexual harasser”.

  12. Rewrite

    The reason you need to understand logic is apparent; your arguments fail, because they are emotional, not reasoned.

    Cynicism is my brand, you are correct. I do quite love the pre-Socratic Ionians, and their abrasive rebuttal styles.

    Human existence comes down to three very basic principles: what you think, what you know, what you can prove.

    Every human thinks to greater, or more often, lesser degrees. That’s the “so what” category. Anyone can think anything, it doesn’t make it actual or useful.

    What you know is based on experience, (anecdotal reference/inference), and is important to the overall process, but because it is individual, it still must have supporting evidence.

    What you can prove is the most difficult task, and the one that is rarely used/exercised by modern humans. The greatest majority are too busy in, and never leave, the “what I think” category.

    So, yeah, philosophy is important. Scoff all you want, it won’t change the actuality of the situation. To move past philosophy and step into critical thinking, the highest level of reason, you have to add pragmatics and skepticism ~ critical thinkers are the rarest breed of all, yet the most important, and least in number.

    Call it “food for thought”.

  13. Cugino,

    First off, well played. But the last word hasn’t yet been written.

    Let the battle begin!!!

    By definition, racial profiling exists only where there is state action. As you, Rewrite, Professor Gates and I are are not state actors, we are simply not qualified to profile. We don’t have badges, we do not have the authority to make arrests, detain or interrogate. We are just ordinary, undeputized citizens.

    If, by definition, the condition is “statism”, as Maobama wants; but we aren’t there yet, the Constitution still lives.

    You are ignoring three very prominent aspects of Constitutional authority:

    1. Freedom of Speech
    2. Freedom of Press
    3. Right to Bear Arms

    On another aspect, you are ignoring the social authority, wille zur macht, and positions in the socio-economic caste.

    On your matter of expression and what constitutes “rights”, I think you understand that I won’t/don’t support most of what is in the Patriot Act; it is an example of statist legislation, and should be struck down by the impotents of the SCOTUS.

    So to make a long story short, the logic is pretty obvious. You, as a private citizen, cannot violate the police’s constitutional rights, but they cannot violate yours. Clinton cannot claim that it was Monica who sexually harassed him.

    I understand why you are saying this, and from the purely “legal” perspective, it would appear correct. But, we don’t live in a purely “legal” world, so that isn’t the actuality of it. If every human interaction took place only in a court of law, you’d have it.

    Two things you miss here: genetic imperative and social contract.

    Under the auspices of sex drive, the female has more power than the male; hence why the major religions are inherently patriarchal ~ can’t have the women folk undermining our physical power with their strength of sexual conquest. (IF you’re not getting it; Monica had it, WeeWillieBillie wanted it ~ power goes to Monica)

    Fun with Social Contract Theory!!!

    Game on!!!

    According JS Mills, Locke, Rawls, Rousseau, Hume ~ and every armchair philosopher since ~ all human interaction is economic transaction. The prime mover, (allegedly), is that man is contained of nascent goodness under the auspices of created being from Divine Agency.

    BULLSHIT. But, it is the premise for this entire society; blankly “give fairly, get fairly” … except OH DAMN IT, that funky, pesky little tosser, genetic imperative.

    We don’t want 1 for 1, because all interaction is competitive, and we don’t like to play fair ~ more is better.

    So, was Monica the “innocent waif”, so deluded by the powerful and enigmatic William Jefferson Clinton?

    No, she wasn’t, because it ain’t that simple. She knew what she was doing, she most likely had subliminal cues given by means she didn’t even understand, and she was willing to sacrifice a bit of non-descript snogging and shagging for P-O-W-E-R. She knew what she was doing, and for want, played the hand.

    Was Clinton “harassed”? Hell no, can’t rape the willing. Was he conned by his own bollox over brains? Yes. Did he think he was conned? No, he’d actually have to have an IQ to understand he was being used.

    So, can a citizen violate the rights of a police officer? Yes.

    I’m all for lex parsimonae cugino, but when you are dealing with unending facets of social interaction, it is hard to apply.

    1. Freedom of Speech ~ Gates exercised this right, as was duly his choice as citizen. He just wasn’t smart enough to understand that as long as he was within the confines of his home, he held more power than the officer ~ his error, so too bad for him.

    2. Freedom of Press ~ do you actually think that now that this is out in the media, Officer Crowley has any power left? If you answer “yes”, you’re an idiot. More powerful than the Constitution, the Feds, the police ~ the “Court of Public Opinion”, holds sway over Idiot Amurika ~ the price the nation pays for not understanding education.

    3. The Right to Bear Arms ~ although it didn’t come into play here, it well could have.

    So, take a step back, look at the media spew on the matter, and then look at Officer Crowley again ~ he’s been permanently profiled, just like the eight boys from the DU Lacrosse team ~ they will never get their dignity back, nor will this fellow. No matter what, the label will hold, the stigma will follow.

    Profiling is labeling, another thing we humans love to do, we label everything ~ once the label is applied, it never leaves. In the social context, it does more damage than any police/professor instance can measure.

    So did the “state” and the officer with the gun win? Did they have the power? No, the vultures of media had all the power, and plebs, god love ’em, will make the final judgement. The private citizen thinks he wins, but we all lose.

  14. ReWrite

    Yes my anecdotal references clearly lacked lojik… I couldn’t even keep from crying as I wrote those pure inductive posts.

    Wow, I wish I was a filosofer too… that way I could shoot down everyone’s argument by questioning their lack of lojik and maybe I would be more practical and empirical.

    Here is just a few references, I hope they aren’t too emotional, next time I will cite to the empirical data like Hume or Socrates did, but for now here is some links to emotionally charged statistics:

    http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/raceprof.pdf (see p.7)

    http://www.state.nj.us/lps/intm_419.pdf (see p.23; 27-29)

    http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/bja/184768.pdf (p. 4; 6-8)

    http://www.neonjoint.com/your_rights/facts/racial-profiling-stats.html

  15. Link #1: and I quote, It would seem predictable, then, that the results of nearly any racial profiling study will also be
    controversial, particularly given the ambiguities that almost necessarily arise from the fact that
    there is typically no perfect baseline measure against which to gauge police stop practices.

    Summary: it is an attempt to psychologically profile profiling behavior; i.e. soft science behavior modelling, more aptly ~ non-empirical bullshit.

    Error #2, Link #1: There appears to be a consensus in the literature to date that the majority of data required for
    racial profiling studies should be collected by the law enforcement officers themselves. This
    practice is driven by practical considerations, since the alternative of assigning a ride-along
    observer for each squad car would likely be both intrusive and quite costly.

    Summary: This is a direct violation of protocols for accurate data collection. Absence of double blind methodologies inherently causes data bias.

    The first link is trash, summarily.

    Link #2: and I quote, pg. 23, the Review Team
    sought production of records from the State Police concerning traffic stops on the
    New Jersey Turnpike, including analyses, compilations, and internal audits of the
    racial characteristics of stopped motorists.

    Statistical data with experimental backing.

    Summary: meaningless statistics, partial bias behavior modelling, non-empirical.

    Error #2, Link #2: We are especially disturbed by the fact that some troopers falsified data
    concerning the race of the occupants of stopped vehicles.

    Summary: absence of properly enforced data collection protocols, resulting in corrupted data. Non-empirical, useless information.

    Link #2 dismissed, summarily.

    Link #3: and I quote, pg. 4, According to
    a Gallup Poll released on December 9, 1999

    Summary: Polls have zero empirical protocols, sample sizes are irrelevantly minute and inquiry biases abound. Non-empirical, useless information.

    Reading pgs 6 – 8 lends no usable information, as psychological studies do not have empirical grounding, even when so claimed, because any behavior modelling “survey”, “poll”, “study” does not use proper protocols, i.e. double blind, meaning neither the inquirer or the respondent(s) are aware of the basis.

    Link #3, summarily dismissed as having no empirical information.

    One left to go, are you ready for it?

    ….

    ….

    ….

    I’m not even going to bother with that link, there’s nothing there that can be substantiated.

    Ummmmmmmm, sic, next?

  16. michael10sley

    First of all, to ‘rewrite’….it ain’t ‘here is just a few references’. If you’re going to be ‘erudite’, use ‘here are…’.
    Secondly, blacks are more empowered than ever before yet the _majority continue to play the race card at every oppuortunity thus evoking the appearance of alsharpton and jessejackson.
    Apparently the _majority didn’t get Bill Cosby’s message.
    Gates _especially didn’t get it as he is ‘considered’ an educated black and _still(admittedly) acted irrationally.
    As long as blacks are imprisoned (after being convicted) for violent and drug related crimes at a seven to one ratio to whites, there will be _correctly applied racial profiling.
    You can discuss philosophy and cite legal references all you want but you can’t refute facts.

  17. ReWrite

    My lojik and stats do not compare to yours, this is true. Your review of links was spot on. The police are likely to falsify data to make themselves look more like profilers. You have destroyed my three minute google search on racial profiling. I give up, racial profiling doesn’t even exist… it is a leftist conspiracy.

  18. ReWrite

    Another flawed illojikal link.

  19. eric

    Michael,

    So you are saying that as long as there is racial profiling then there will rightfully be racial profiling?

    What’s the big deal with recognizing that racial profiling exists and is a problem?

    I think one of the great things about the U.S. constitution is that it works to prohibit profiling not just on equal protection grounds but also on a 4th Amendment, no government interference basis. People should not be consistently stopped and searched by the police. As I mentioned, in Europe, if you look foreign, the police pretty much have probable cause to search you. We should be celebrating our “freedom” by striving to live up to it.

    The reluctance to believe the obvious borders on the pathological.

  20. michael10sley

    Policemen doing their jobs only became ‘racial profiling’ in the 80’s when a term was needed to explain crack cocaine use among blacks in inner-cities crime statistics.
    Eric, I’m saying policemen and women doing their jobs will be profiled as racist _because of racial profiling when blacks paly the race card.
    Refer to the seven to one ratio.

  21. eric

    Michael,

    I am sorry, but I don’t think I understand your point.

    First, a person who is not in the position of authority, who is not a state actor, cannot by definition profile.

    In very general terms, under U.S. law, the police can only stop you and search you without a warrant when they have an articulable reason to stop you and then probable cause to search you.

    Being black, white, Hispanic, a Muslim, a man, a woman, driving a nice car, having a Grateful Dead sticker or long hair are “profiles” not articuable reasons to stop someone.

    Sure, the police may think that they are more likely to catch someone for possession of marijuana by stopping cars with Grateful Dead stickers. The problem is that that means that simply by having a Grateful Dead sticker in your car, you become a suspect of a possible crime every time you drive down the street. At least in this case, you can always get rid of the sticker. But still, you should be free from being profiled just because you like a certain type of music.

    Now imagine when profiling is based on race or ethnicity, there is nothing you can do to change your race, and the police will continue to stop you over and over again. For example, something like 75% of all traffic stops in Maryland are of African Americans. That number doesn’t seem to support an argument that the government should intervene less, not more, in the lives of its citizens. Furthermore, as referenced in the original post with respect to profiling for terrorism, stopping, searching or wire taping someone just because they fit the profile does not prove effective.

    The term “racial profiling” may be new, and it may refer to the police department’s official or unofficial policies that are later executed by officers or to the actions of the individual officers themselves, but to say that the phenomena is new is borderline pathological.

  22. My lojik and stats do not compare to yours, this is true. Your review of links was spot on. The police are likely to falsify data to make themselves look more like profilers. You have destroyed my three minute google search on racial profiling. I give up, racial profiling doesn’t even exist… it is a leftist conspiracy.

    If that is your best response, the red herring fallacy, then you’re correct. Equivocate and walk away, that’s the Amurikan thing to do.

  23. ReWrite

    Even the fascist agrees that racial profiling is the reality… his only gripe is that black people shouldn’t complain about profiling, if as a race they more likely to be ‘convicted’ of crimes. Another excellent and lojikal conclusion. We are full of uber-deep and forward-thinking filosofers on this blog.

  24. I would think that someone who spends their professional time in litigation, (legal argumentation), would have the maturity and common sense to understand that philosophy makes a better debater/orator/litigator.

    Logic and reasoning are actually key to someone in that position. Instead we get political labels, puerile misspellings of words and the cynicism of the asinine.

    Well done; maybe for your next act you can get on a political committee where people actually want to hear “liberal” “leftist” “right wing” and conspiracy.

    Nothing like the incessant whining of the “standard of no standards” ilk.

    First, a person who is not in the position of authority, who is not a state actor, cannot by definition profile.

    Incorrect.

    “Can” means ability; if it has a brain with basic functions that allow for awareness, profiling is done deal.

    It takes no power to discriminate.

  25. ReWrite

    As a ‘litigator’ I wish advocacy based in ‘logic’ was more heavily considered by the trier of fact. Instead, ethos and pathos, rather than logos, are much more effective tools of advocacy. Lawyers are known for a lot things, I don’t think logic is one of them… and litigators are the most extreme form of lawyers.

  26. Blame the profession; it promotes “the better liar”, (i.e. not the better lawyer), as the most often winner.

    Much like the SCOTUS; corrupted mentalities, those not rooted in facts and actuality, destroy the law.

  27. ReWrite

    I wasn’t (and I don’t) blame the profession. I was merely stating that logos usually plays a smaller role than ethos and pathos in litigation.

    As far as the ‘destruction of the law’ goes… that statement seems to presume that the law was in an ideal or even just a better state. And as long as the US has a system of gov’t where special interest groups and corporations have so much influence on elections and even draft a large portion of the laws that ultimately get passed, the US will have a body of law that is inherently against the taxpayer and in favor of those who wrote the law.

  28. As far as the ‘destruction of the law’ goes… that statement seems to presume that the law was in an ideal or even just a better state. And as long as the US has a system of gov’t where special interest groups and corporations have so much influence on elections and even draft a large portion of the laws that ultimately get passed, the US will have a body of law that is inherently against the taxpayer and in favor of those who wrote the law.

    That’s where you miss the point of the critical thinker: he/she isn’t at all concerned with agendas, only what is correct.

    It just shows how deeply ignorant this nation has become. Here’s a perfect example: how many people do you know that can cognitively actualise that “illegal immigrant” is:

    a) an untenable oxymoron
    b) has no legal definition; the Constitution is quite clear that no such “person” can exist.
    c) is an attempt by the media to alter “reality” for the sheepled masses, to achieve their agenda; summarily, equivocation.

    Any individual who believes that “illegal immigrant” is anything but an agenda item from the media ~ should have a nice cocktail of arsenic, hemlock and cyanide, and call it a day.

    The great new American tradition; destructive ignorance without cessation.

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