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What Exactly Is Wrong With Profiling?


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Some comments in the Arizona thread got me wondering.

 

If a black guy is roaming the streets of a predominantly white suburb or a white guy is lurking around black neighborhoods at 2 AM, shouldn't it set off an alarm in an officers mind?

 

If someone of Middle Eastern decent is flying on a one-way ticket to or from this country paid for in cash shouldn't they be subject to greater scrutiny?

 

If a Latino can't speak any or hardly any English in Arizona, isn't it a probability they're illegal?

 

 

When I was young I sometimes hung out in an area that was known for some minor criminal activity, I was often stopped by the police and questioned because I fit the profile of those that were committing the crimes. Didn't bother me a bit.

Isn't this just another tool used by the police to help them do their job, or do you think it's a form of racism to practice profiling?

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Profiling... whether official policy or merely a tool subtly deployed by law enforcement is one of the single best weapons available for preventing, solving and generally fighting crime.

 

Whether we admit it or not, every single one of us "profile" daily. There is (what used to be called) common sense in doing so. A lone woman walking to her car after dark is generally not as alarmed being approached by an elderly lady using a walker as she might be by a large male in a hooded jacket. It's part learned knowledge, part instinct. Both individuals may be completely harmless and kind, but if one is intent upon wrongdoing, it's far more likely greater physical harm would come from the large male than the granny. Even though a woman may have experienced such a situation dozens of times with no negative outcome... to not be alert in such a scenario could be the difference between life and death, health and escape or a brutal outcome.

 

Certainly, there can be exceptions to all "profiles" but when the odds fall above 50%... much more so in the 90% and above range... NOT using profiling is foolish.

 

If terrorism was known to be coming from radicals in Scandinavia, NOT giving extra scrutiny to blonde haired, blue eyed, fair skinned individuals from that region and adhering to that set of socio-religious-political beliefs and practices, would be absolutely absurd.

 

The problem is, people confuse the basic concept and function of "profiling" with larger more heinous practices of racism, xenophobia, genocide and persecution. Using observational and deductive skills to determine the most likely perpetrators of crimes is vastly different from rounding up or persecuting people simply because they were born Jewish, or black or Japanese or Irish or…

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What about a black guy minding his own business stopping at a restaurant that is closed but they have a soda machine outside. He gets out of his car buys the soda. Gets back into his car drives off and then is stopped by a police officer.

 

The reason the officer stopped him? The cop said it was because of the type of hat he was wearing!

 

Want to know who the guy was? It was me. This actually happened to me. No one and I mean no one will ever convince me that I wasn't the victim of racial profiling.

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Some comments in the Arizona thread got me wondering.

 

If a black guy is roaming the streets of a predominantly white suburb or a white guy is lurking around black neighborhoods at 2 AM, shouldn't it set off an alarm in an officers mind?

 

If someone of Middle Eastern decent is flying on a one-way ticket to or from this country paid for in cash shouldn't they be subject to greater scrutiny?

 

If a Latino can't speak any or hardly any English in Arizona, isn't it a probability they're illegal?

 

 

When I was young I sometimes hung out in an area that was known for some minor criminal activity, I was often stopped by the police and questioned because I fit the profile of those that were committing the crimes. Didn't bother me a bit.

Isn't this just another tool used by the police to help them do their job, or do you think it's a form of racism to practice profiling?

 

 

1. What if the black guy was visiting friends? or vice-versa?

 

2. What if the person of middle eastern decent doesn't have a credit card?

Is it now going to be a crime to pay cash for a plane ticket or anything else for that matter?

 

3. Are we going to make it illegal for Americans who can't speak english and make them leave the country? I can tell you it really depends on what part of the country you are standing in as to whether someone can really understand you are not.

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What about a black guy minding his own business stopping at a restaurant that is closed but they have a soda machine outside. He gets out of his car buys the soda. Gets back into his car drives off and then is stopped by a police officer.

 

The reason the officer stopped him? The cop said it was because of the type of hat he was wearing!

 

Want to know who the guy was? It was me. This actually happened to me. No one and I mean no one will ever convince me that I wasn't the victim of racial profiling.

 

What harm did you suffer?

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It's wrong because American citizens shouldn't have to be subject to being harassed by law enforcement for doing nothing.

 

Everyone loves to talk about how much they hate government intrusion into people's lives until it doesn't affect them... it just affects someone else. Conservatives love to talk about how much the love the Second Amendment... but they sure don't seem to have that same affection for the Fourth, Fourteenth, etc....

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It's wrong because American citizens shouldn't have to be subject to being harassed by law enforcement for doing nothing.

 

Everyone loves to talk about how much they hate government intrusion into people's lives until it doesn't affect them... it just affects someone else. Conservatives love to talk about how much the love the Second Amendment... but they sure don't seem to have that same affection for the Fourth, Fourteenth, etc....

 

If it is a repeated pattern that occurs constantly, I could see it being harassment.

 

But if it is a one-time occurrence or if it is something that happens very rarely, I don't see it as harassment.

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I just know that we are at war with a terrorist group called al-quada (sp?) who actually want to destroy us and have already killed countless American lives. We can all say racial profiling is terrible but I know when I go to an airport and see someone that fits the criteria for an al-quada member it will always be in the back of my mind that someone that resembles this person killed 3,000 Americans. I truly wish I did not have these feelings but what happened back in 2001 will stick with me forever.

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What about a black guy minding his own business stopping at a restaurant that is closed but they have a soda machine outside. He gets out of his car buys the soda. Gets back into his car drives off and then is stopped by a police officer.

 

The reason the officer stopped him? The cop said it was because of the type of hat he was wearing!

 

Want to know who the guy was? It was me. This actually happened to me. No one and I mean no one will ever convince me that I wasn't the victim of racial profiling.

I am in no way disputing your story Brother... but I could understand how certain hats might draw the wrong kind of attention...

 

...I'm just sayin'...

nWo.jpg

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1. What if the black guy was visiting friends? or vice-versa?

 

2. What if the person of middle eastern decent doesn't have a credit card?

Is it now going to be a crime to pay cash for a plane ticket or anything else for that matter?

 

3. Are we going to make it illegal for Americans who can't speak english and make them leave the country? I can tell you it really depends on what part of the country you are standing in as to whether someone can really understand you are not.

1. He's asked a few questions and so long as he cooperates, he's on his merry way. No harm done.

 

2. No, but if it looks suspicious, what's the harm in checking them out? If you were going to be on that plane, what would you want done?

 

3. Who said you have to leave the country if you can't speak English? However, if you're in a part of the country where lots of illegals are and can't speak English, what harm is there in checking you out?

 

If a guy that fits my description has been ripping off homes in your neighborhood and I come to visit you and get pulled over because I look like that guy, I would not be upset in the least. I'd bet you'd feel better knowing the police are trying to catch the guy. No? :idunno:

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