Is there a better term?

Duane Campbell dcamp911 at JUNO.COM
Thu Jun 6 01:59:39 UTC 2002

I can hear the anger in your message, and you have every right to that
anger. Racial profiling has too often been used by lower middle class
whites in law enforcement to revenge themselves against highly successful
Blacks. And I fully agree with you that that is an abomination.

But you miss my point. My original post (which admittedly is not the one
to which you are responding) was that the term "racial profiling" was so
emotionally charged, especially among people who have been at the
receiving end of its abuse, that we should find another phrase for
targeting people who fit the parameters of those who may do us, including
you, excruciating harm.

You are right that there might other factors involved in profiling, and
there probably are. You suggest a one way ticket, but that is easily
countered by organizations that are well funded. Duration of stay is
certainly important, but only for those who come and go legally and have
it stamped in their passport. Would you allow "profiling" those
mid-Easterners who have exceeded their visa? Of the five thousand Moslems
in this country on temporary visas who(m) the Justice Department wanted
to talk to, nearly three thousand cannot be found. Can they legitimately
be targeted?

The fact remains that the vast majority of those who wish to take action
to destroy our country are Moslems in the age group of 20 to 35 from
specific countries. Shouldn't that be an element in the profile? Absent
other factors in the profile, should a 50 year old woman from Denmark be
treated in the same way as a 28 year old man from Saudi Arabia?

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but it makes common sense to me. And my
point was that we should find another term that doesn't have the history,
that does not enrage people who were unjustifiably stopped on the New
Jersey turnpike.

The problem is not with the policy, which I think makes sense, but with
the phrase. It draws into the debate factors that have nothing to do with
the present situation.


On Wed, 5 Jun 2002 19:50:01 -0400 Rick Kennerly <rick at MOUSEHERDER.COM>
> ><))));>'Racial Profiling' has always been an inaccurate - and in
> ><))));>my estimation, deliberately dishonest - expression.  It is
> ><))));>not races that are profiled, but crimes.
> Apparently you've never been a professional black man commuting 50
> miles a
> day in a luxury car on the NJ Turnpike or you'd have a different
> opinion.
> You'd get used to spending a lot of time explaining yourself while
> you
> garner tickets, not for speeding or reckless driving, but  for
> "changing
> lanes within 100 ft of an intersection" (even the little side
> streets
> without traffic lights that intersect larger highways), "failure to
> signal
> for 100 ft before changing lanes", or "driving with obscured
> rearview mirror
> (sunglasses looped up there at night).  Know may white folk who get
> those
> kinds of tickets?  Or if you'd had your wife's body cavities
> searched three
> times in four years by customs officials at international airports
> because a
> black family with a timeshare boat in the islands is suspicious.
> Sure don't
> read about that happening to white folk in Cruising World.
> If you want to increase reported crime, as many localities have
> found out,
> flood a particular area with police.  The more police, the more
> crimes will
> be reported because there are more bored eyes watching.  If you want
> to
> prove that a particular group commits a disproportionate number of
> crimes,
> flood their part of town with cops and stop plenty of that group and
> you'll
> soon have all the statistics you desire--same thing happened to Jews
> in the
> ghettos.
> Actually, a new program at Customs is leading the way in proper law
> enforcement profiling, and yielding better results.  Analyzing the
> ticket
> purchase, entry and exit patterns, duration of stay, and past
> criminal
> history is a far better indicator of possible illegal activity than
> skin
> tone.  Since Customs switched to the new whole person concept of
> profiling,
> their drug yield per man hour has gone up.
> rhk

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