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Racial Profiling Affirmative

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I'm sort of late to this discussion, but wanted to weigh in. It seems no one on this thread was around for the privacy topic a few years back when Terry and Wren cases were all over the place. There was also the crack moms case out of Virginia and a few others as well.

 

Anyway, the debates usually came down on the side of racial profiling bad. As I recall, the rounds were usually won with the counterplan that sucked up all of the case advantages and the K.

 

Things that didn't work: colorblind good, reverse racism arguments, blacks commit more crime arguments etc.

 

Things that worked: Agent counterplans, Ks against racial indentities, Intersectionality...

 

Anyway, I wanted to respond to this person....

The study by Levitt suggests that there is a strong correlation between arrest rates and minorities: white cops tend to profile/arrest minorities in higher numbers, and minority cops tend to profile/arrest whites in higher numbers. That's the observable phenomena. ONE conclusion is that putting different groups in places of power really accomplishes nothing. ANOTHER conclusion suggests that perhaps placing minorities in power achieves a solution that, on average, is better than the status quo (really all that's happening is removing the "elitist" position that whites have enjoyed for so long). Literally, there are HUNDREDS of theories that could explain this phenomena, not just the one I advanced. The argument of "reverse status quo" just seemed to be the obvious debate response to the Barndt theory.

 

The evidence out there is clear: Whites use drugs at a higher rate than African Americans, but they are arrested, investigated, prosecuted and convicted at a much, much, much lower rate. If they happen to get convicted, they serve a far shorter sentence than African Americans convicted of the same crime.

 

There is also credible evidence that Black cops do NOT give Black criminals a break. When Black cops are in the position to do so, they do look at Whites more closely, but don't let up on the Black criminals. In fact, several studies indicate that minority cops tend to racially profile people from their own communities even MORE so they get acceptance from the White powers that be.

 

I don't have the back files with me, but i'll see if I can track them down and get some sources in the next few weeks. But I'm pretty sure most of it was law review work and a couple of books like Barndt.

 

As for the reverse status quo, very, very few authors advocate replacing a White racial hegemon with a Black one or an Asian one (although I'm sure I can find something from the 1970s that says something close to that).

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Sorry if this has already been touched on, but how does everyone feel about solvency for this case?

 

Its pretty good since most cases have the courts rule racial profiling illegal and the cops, as officers of law, usually have to follow those rulings. Plenty of solvency authors advocate overturning Wren or Terry.

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all that evidence assumes that the likelihood of a terrorist being of a specific ethnicity is the same as another ethnicity. if the ethnicity being targeted for racial profiling is the largest population of potential terrorists, then the conclusion is ultimately flawed and at best nonsensical.

 

Wow. I think that you misunderstand the case against racial profiling. In America, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Just because you look like someone who commited a certain crime, you should not be lumped into a group of "potential terrorists." I'd even go so far as to say that if White people were profiled the same way that people of color get profiled, the discussion would be far different. (Like THAT would ever happen). But White people do more drugs than Blacks, Asians and Latinos, but who gets profiled for drug use and sales? Blacks and Latinos. Before 9-11, who committed the worst terrorist attack on American soil? A White person. But who got harassed in the hours immediately following the OKC bombing? People who looked Arabic. There was no cry to round up all the White people and watch them closely even after the conviction. There was no move to monitor every White persons e-mail. So why should people of color have to be subjected to that kind of behavior?

 

even as a minority, one who is south asian and thus often confused with middle eastern, and despite the ignorant remarks made by a buncha fools post 9-11, i still favor racial profiling so long as the action taken upon racial profiling does not violate my basic rights. racial profiling itself only means targeting specific ethnicites for additional observation. observation is fine. non-criminals have nothing to hide. if the fbi wants to screen all my emails to see if i am sending nuclear missile codes to iran, then fine. so be it. but the fbi cant just walk into my house and arrest me because i am brown. thats a violation.

 

I'm really sorry that you feel that you are worth less than the majority in this country. Because if the federal government started bugging White homes on the off chance they might be part of a Christian fundamentalist conspiracy to bomb abortion clinics, the country would go crazy with outrage. Racial profiling means that you are a suspect even if you have done nothing. Racial profiling means that you are under far more scrutiny than the majority. Why should you or anyone else have to live their life under constant scrutiny because of your skin tone? Unfounded observation decreases your civil liberties. it reduces your freedom. Your willingness to give up those liberties makes you complicit in the continued erosion of rights Americans used to take for granted.

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that depends entirely upon what you consider freedom. absolute freedom is anarchy. your rhetoric incites absolute revoltuion to any form of control. where does one draw the line? establishing the notion of government is the reduction of freedom by your interpretation. for example, the notion fo the speed limit. i drive my vehicle at high speeds simply because i know i am in full control of my vehicle at all times. why should the speed limit apply to me? its for the safety of all individuals. so what does that make a traffic stop? :) at best your vision then becomes a marginal improvement in "freedom" at the expense of something much larger than freedom, the threats against that freedom. the greater the threats, especially when those threats are actually carried out, results in greater losses of freedoms in the long run. sometimes the choice between the lesser of two evils is upon us, and this is one of those instances. the only alternative to the choice between two evils is deconstructing the state entirely... a foolish idealist notion at that.

 

racial profiling is not synonymous with racism. there is a fundamental difference between the two. although they are often manifested simultaneously, they need not be. one can simultaneously racially profile a subject with the utmost regard for ethnic diversity and tolerance.

 

profiling does not automatically make one guilty of a crime. profiling does not even necessitate a specific search to be conducted. you're examining specific instances of profiling as bad instances, and indeed they are. however, not all profiling demands a search let alone a concious violation of civil rights.

 

the answer to the question why should minorities be targeted is not "they shouldnt"... you're looking at the wrong question because you are failing to address the cause for the profiling to begin with. the cause is not racism. its to prevent X, be it whether the X is a bombing of the WTC or planes flying into them. thus, the question to be asked is why isnt everyone profiled? if your answer is they shouldnt, then your proposition of innocent before guilt holds some weight, but then you fall prey into the subsequent question regarding the degree to which you hold your beliefs: where do you draw the line between acceptable encroachment on your rights by the government? the answer to that question then becomes substantially more subjective and prone to an incredibly wide range. how would you attempt to reconcile the difference between your position and complete anarchism?

 

 

 

I'm really sorry that you feel that you are worth less than the majority in this country.

I am actually offended by that statement. who are you to make a determination on the meaning of my own words? let ME be the one to determine what my words mean and what they dont mean.

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Its pretty good since most cases have the courts rule racial profiling illegal and the cops, as officers of law, usually have to follow those rulings. Plenty of solvency authors advocate overturning Wren or Terry.

But how can one determine if the police are actually using racial profiling in their stops/arrests and where would the line be drawn pointing out when race can be a factor for a given situation?

 

Also, I was reading through the Forensics Quarterly and there is something along the lines of racial profiling being out of the affirmatives reach this year because the jurisdiction over the issue is local and/or state rather than federal. Any views on this?

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The evidence out there is clear: Whites use drugs at a higher rate than African Americans, but they are arrested, investigated, prosecuted and convicted at a much, much, much lower rate. If they happen to get convicted, they serve a far shorter sentence than African Americans convicted of the same crime.

With all due respect, I don’t understand the relevance of these statements. In fact, I’m not sure there is any link between your statements and racial profiling. As far as I understand, racial profiling is systematically targeting a specific minority for a particular crime. Racial profiling certainly isn’t unique to drugs, but more on point, the idea of racial profiling is rarely extended to the prosecution and conviction area of law enforcement.

 

If you're trying to refute the contention that racial profiling does not exist, well, fine. I'm not trying to defend the position. But here are possible neg arguments in response to your statistics. Again, I’m assuming all your statistical evidence is true, but refuting your conclusions:

1. No link- Aggregate numbers of arrests doesn’t prove anything. Whites should be using drugs at higher rates because there are more of them in the United States. It still doesn’t disprove the classic argument against racial profiling that arrest rates fall within standard statistical variance.

2. No link- Conviction rates are not dependent on race, but rather are influenced by alternate variables such as wealth (if whites are on average richer, they can spend more on lawyers to evade conviction).

3. Turn- The reason conviction rates for drug-related offenses is higher for minorities is that the elasticity of deterrence is higher for this group. Targeting a particular group is simply cost-effective, since the higher the rate of punishment, the greater drop-off in future crime.

4. Turn- In the alternative, the reason whites aren’t convicted at high rates is that the elasticity in their conviction rates is either small, zero or negative. The more punishment that whites receive doesn’t necessarily provide any higher rate of deterrence.

 

Now, let me be very clear about this: I am NOT saying these arguments are true. In fact, I think that these conclusions are wrong. I’m just demonstrating that, while the evidence may be “clear,” any conclusions drawn from such evidence aren't so clear (assuming that you are making conclusions about drug arrests and racial profiling), since I know there are several articles which provide statistical analysis to arrive at the conclusions I just outlined.

 

There is also credible evidence that Black cops do NOT give Black criminals a break. When Black cops are in the position to do so, they do look at Whites more closely, but don't let up on the Black criminals. In fact, several studies indicate that minority cops tend to racially profile people from their own communities even MORE so they get acceptance from the White powers that be.

I don’t know what you mean by “do not give Black criminals a break.” That could mean any number of things. Also, I don’t know of any study that suggests, with an increased number of minority cops, arrest rates of BOTH whites AND minorities increase. The two studies I cited in my previous post discredit that assertion. You suggest that there are studies that can prove this phenomenon, so I’ll assume that’s true.

However, I’d be willing to bet that these studies that you refer to document minority cops that are placed in minority neighborhoods. If that is the case, then your conclusion is true, but says nothing. Again, I can’t respond to these studies without knowing what the warrants are to the arguments. Either way, response is unnecessary since ultimate resolution of this issue is virtually impossible, and really, it has to be debated out within the round.

I don't have the back files with me, but i'll see if I can track them down and get some sources in the next few weeks. But I'm pretty sure most of it was law review work and a couple of books like Barndt.

One point that I was trying to make is that relying exclusively on Barndt (or similar critical authors) to justify this case won’t make it as good as relying on sociological/psychological studies (as Ankur is trying to do, I think) or economic studies (which I’m trying to do). When I first read the Barndt cards Joe posted, I didn’t see any warrants in the cards. Not because there aren’t any, but because they are really hard to prove: HOW do I know that racism is just a white problem? Quantitative studies which empirically demonstrate Barndt’s conclusions, IMO, make for a much better argument.

 

(I don’t think you necessarily disagree with that assessment, I just wanted to re-emphasize the point).

 

As for the reverse status quo, very, very few authors advocate replacing a White racial hegemon with a Black one or an Asian one (although I'm sure I can find something from the 1970s that says something close to that).

Of course not. Instead, I was stretching the implications of the Barndt cards Joe previously posted (“SOLUTIONS TO RACISM MUST FOCUS ON WHITES, NOT BLACKS” and “…WHITES MUST LEARN TO FOLLOW THE LEADERSHIP OF PEOPLE OF COLOR WHILE STANDING ALLONGSIDE IN CRITICAL SUPPORT”). As Joe pointed out (and I tried to clarify), the Levitt study doesn’t even necessarily indict those propositions: simply arresting more people of a different race isn’t necessarily racist, or has racist motivations. That’s just simply one theory. Also, to make clear: Levitt CAN’T explain WHY arrest rates and race are strongly correlated. He simply notes that they are.

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But how can one determine if the police are actually using racial profiling in their stops/arrests and where would the line be drawn pointing out when race can be a factor for a given situation?

 

Also, I was reading through the Forensics Quarterly and there is something along the lines of racial profiling being out of the affirmatives reach this year because the jurisdiction over the issue is local and/or state rather than federal. Any views on this?

 

 

you cant. therefore the objective to be resolved is not profiling, its racism. what is racial profiling without racism? a statistical analysis on X. its no different than actuaries working for insurance companies saying that they wont insure you for less than 234523472378 dollars a month because your great great grandfather had a heart disease... its just math.

 

the problem with racial profiling is that if you ban racial profiling, or do some sort of equivalent activity, you merely send the actual justification (racism) underground. for example, you have whren v US. or any other situation where the cop will come up with a reason for pretextual stop. you changed lanes too quickly (reckless driving)... you had a open nail clipper in your toiletry kit in your suitcase... it looked like a little knife (airport xray scanners are not exactly precise...)

 

its a utopian belief that banning or modifying racial profiling will remedy the problem.

 

i dont think the jurisdiction matters. federal jurisdiction supercedes whenever they want. for example, air quality is EPA regulated. it is also regulated locally.

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Cool. This discussion has gotten really lively. I want to throw out a cople thoughts on some of the posts.

 

I'm sort of late to this discussion, but wanted to weigh in. It seems no one on this thread was around for the privacy topic a few years back when Terry and Wren cases were all over the place. There was also the crack moms case out of Virginia and a few others as well.

 

Anyway, the debates usually came down on the side of racial profiling bad. As I recall, the rounds were usually won with the counterplan that sucked up all of the case advantages and the K.

 

Things that didn't work: colorblind good, reverse racism arguments, blacks commit more crime arguments etc.

 

Things that worked: Agent counterplans, Ks against racial indentities, Intersectionality...

 

Anyway, I wanted to respond to this person....

 

 

The evidence out there is clear: Whites use drugs at a higher rate than African Americans, but they are arrested, investigated, prosecuted and convicted at a much, much, much lower rate. If they happen to get convicted, they serve a far shorter sentence than African Americans convicted of the same crime.

 

There is also credible evidence that Black cops do NOT give Black criminals a break. When Black cops are in the position to do so, they do look at Whites more closely, but don't let up on the Black criminals. In fact, several studies indicate that minority cops tend to racially profile people from their own communities even MORE so they get acceptance from the White powers that be.

 

I don't have the back files with me, but i'll see if I can track them down and get some sources in the next few weeks. But I'm pretty sure most of it was law review work and a couple of books like Barndt.

 

As for the reverse status quo, very, very few authors advocate replacing a White racial hegemon with a Black one or an Asian one (although I'm sure I can find something from the 1970s that says something close to that).

 

To take this to yet another level, there's a fair amount of literature about how our understanding of and response to crime is totally back assward, and that the worst crimes, the ones that harm the most people, are generally committed by whites. Crimes like launching illegal pre-emptive wars, Enron. So, beiing, like, totally, insane have been sort of toying around with the idea of a negative strategy against a racial profiling aff which would actually call for increased racial profiling, and with it a radical reframing of the whole crime debate. Probably won't fly, I know. But I can say one thing about it: Can't be permed!

 

Seriously, though. I think there are points here that are worth raising. Why are relatively petty crimes in my neighborhood punished so severely while Ken Lay is still freaking free. Man, if that were my life savings that got stolen, I'd want somebody's hide.

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But how can one determine if the police are actually using racial profiling in their stops/arrests and where would the line be drawn pointing out when race can be a factor for a given situation?

 

Also, I was reading through the Forensics Quarterly and there is something along the lines of racial profiling being out of the affirmatives reach this year because the jurisdiction over the issue is local and/or state rather than federal. Any views on this?

 

If you check out the Amnesty International report, you'll find strong arguments for federal legislation. My early draft of the plan calls for Congress to pass a law requiring all law enforcement agencies receiving federal funds to adhere to the law and adopt the same policy as the feds.

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racial profiling is not synonymous with racism. there is a fundamental difference between the two. although they are often manifested simultaneously, they need not be. one can simultaneously racially profile a subject with the utmost regard for ethnic diversity and tolerance.

 

The definition for racism that makes the most sense to me is: "Prejudice plus power." As such, I believe that racial profiling is synonymous with racism.

 

the answer to the question why should minorities be targeted is not "they shouldnt"... you're looking at the wrong question because you are failing to address the cause for the profiling to begin with. the cause is not racism. its to prevent X, be it whether the X is a bombing of the WTC or planes flying into them. thus, the question to be asked is why isnt everyone profiled?

 

Because of racism. Why is that so hard to get? I've witnessed racial profiling. More than once. Of debate kids. Nerds, who happened to be black. There was no reason whatsoever for these kids to be pulled aside and detained, however briefly, by authorities, other than that they were black. It was racism, plain and simple. And it totally sucked.

 

proposition of innocent before guilt holds some weight

 

Proposition? Do you debate in Pennsylvania? I'm still in the US, right?

 

but then you fall prey into the subsequent question regarding the degree to which you hold your beliefs: where do you draw the line between acceptable encroachment on your rights by the government? the answer to that question then becomes substantially more subjective and prone to an incredibly wide range. how would you attempt to reconcile the difference between your position and complete anarchism?

 

Dude. This is a pretty huge leap.

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With all due respect, I don’t understand the relevance of these statements. In fact, I’m not sure there is any link between your statements and racial profiling. As far as I understand, racial profiling is systematically targeting a specific minority for a particular crime. Racial profiling certainly isn’t unique to drugs, but more on point, the idea of racial profiling is rarely extended to the prosecution and conviction area of law enforcement.

 

From what I've gathered, racial profiling on the nation's highways is absolutely linked to the war on drugs. There's quite a bit of evidence about this, including veritable "How To Racially Profile" manuals produced by law enforcement agencies that have been unearthed by investigative reporters (Chief among them, the late Gary Webb, in his classic Esquire article "DWB."

 

One point that I was trying to make is that relying exclusively on Barndt (or similar critical authors) to justify this case won’t make it as good as relying on sociological/psychological studies (as Ankur is trying to do, I think) or economic studies (which I’m trying to do). When I first read the Barndt cards Joe posted, I didn’t see any warrants in the cards. Not because there aren’t any, but because they are really hard to prove: HOW do I know that racism is just a white problem? Quantitative studies which empirically demonstrate Barndt’s conclusions, IMO, make for a much better argument.

 

The Barndt cards are more for the framework arguments. But, keep in mind, our squad leans real heavily toward the K side of the aisles. And they have a lot of rhetorical value, which shouldn't be dismissed. And they really resonate with our students, which is very important, IMO.

 

(I don’t think you necessarily disagree with that assessment, I just wanted to re-emphasize the point).

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you cant. therefore the objective to be resolved is not profiling, its racism. what is racial profiling without racism? a statistical analysis on X. its no different than actuaries working for insurance companies saying that they wont insure you for less than 234523472378 dollars a month because your great great grandfather had a heart disease... its just math.

 

the problem with racial profiling is that if you ban racial profiling, or do some sort of equivalent activity, you merely send the actual justification (racism) underground. for example, you have whren v US. or any other situation where the cop will come up with a reason for pretextual stop. you changed lanes too quickly (reckless driving)... you had a open nail clipper in your toiletry kit in your suitcase... it looked like a little knife (airport xray scanners are not exactly precise...)

 

its a utopian belief that banning or modifying racial profiling will remedy the problem.

 

i dont think the jurisdiction matters. federal jurisdiction supercedes whenever they want. for example, air quality is EPA regulated. it is also regulated locally.

 

That's why the plan needs to work toward a mindset change in law enforcement. Dig deeper into the Amnesty report, Ankur. There are solid policy suggestions that open up a whole world of solvency evidence that we've found to be very tough to beat.

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i dont think the jurisdiction matters. federal jurisdiction supercedes whenever they want. for example, air quality is EPA regulated. it is also regulated locally.

Good point

 

If you check out the Amnesty International report, you'll find strong arguments for federal legislation. My early draft of the plan calls for Congress to pass a law requiring all law enforcement agencies receiving federal funds to adhere to the law and adopt the same policy as the feds.

 

I've skimmed through the report a little and haven't had time to really look into it yet, but I'll probably end up reading a little more in debt after I'm finished with the forensics season.

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The definition for racism that makes the most sense to me is: "Prejudice plus power." As such, I believe that racial profiling is synonymous with racism.

 

But that does not discriminate between a world in which there is no prejudice, yet there remains profiling (the power). This argument can only hold true if every instance of racial profiling is inherently racist -- something which may be descriptive of most, if not all pretextual stops, and searches, but is not a guaranteed link between the two. Its a huge leap of logic to assume that all racial profiling is rooted in the act of racism.

 

 

Because of racism. Why is that so hard to get? I've witnessed racial profiling. More than once. Of debate kids. Nerds, who happened to be black. There was no reason whatsoever for these kids to be pulled aside and detained, however briefly, by authorities, other than that they were black. It was racism, plain and simple. And it totally sucked.

 

I have EXPERIENCED it. I AM a minority Joe, in case you didnt realize by my name. In fact, I have experienced a lot worse things than racial profiling.... but we wont get into them here. But the point still remains - why shouldnt EVERYONE be profiled. The question here is not about selective profiling (as with based on race). The reason it is not about that is because of the previous question which goes unanswered reflecting a world in which there is no racism yet still maintains racial profiling. Thus the root question to address with profiling has no relevance to race except in passing as a way of justifying or arguing the act of ANY pretextual search or seizure.

 

What if there was an APB on a young black male driving a similar colored car of the same make and model in the immediate vicinity. Then what? It is STILL a racial profiling pretextual stop for those students. They were detained without providing any cause for a police officer to detain them as the police officer did not witness a crime.

 

Is that still racial profiling? Yes. Is it based on race? Yes. Is it an instance of racism? Not necessarily.

 

 

Proposition? Do you debate in Pennsylvania? I'm still in the US, right?

 

Way to twist the words to mean something else out of context Joe. Congratulations. I can respond in kind with my ever despised internal cut on your post to me which would then read: "racism makes sense to me. i believe that racial profiling is totally huge." :rolleyes:

 

proposition in context of debate also means argument.

 

 

Dude. This is a pretty huge leap.

 

Its not a leap. We give up our rights EVERY day. Speed limit, income taxes, national defense, voting rights, age limits on purchasing cigarettes alcohol and firearms, prescriptions for pharmaceutical agents... A claim for foregoing with racial profiling simply on the basis that pretextual stops violate rights is a laughable notion. Its statistically insignificant in terms of frequency and magnitude as compared to any number of violations on our individual freedoms. Looking at racial profiling in a vacuum as we are here, with regards to rights and liberty, is functionally meaningless without considering the totality of the spectrum of government and its functionality.

 

 

That's why the plan needs to work toward a mindset change in law enforcement. Dig deeper into the Amnesty report, Ankur. There are solid policy suggestions that open up a whole world of solvency evidence that we've found to be very tough to beat.

 

I have read it. The overwhelming majority of those suggestions are imperious and utopian at best, downright nonfunctional at worst. One cannot simply say "education programs will solve." Thats foolishly optimistic and delusional.

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The definition for racism that makes the most sense to me is: "Prejudice plus power." As such, I believe that racial profiling is synonymous with racism.

 

But that does not discriminate between a world in which there is no prejudice, yet there remains profiling (the power). This argument can only hold true if every instance of racial profiling is inherently racist -- something which may be descriptive of most, if not all pretextual stops, and searches, but is not a guaranteed link between the two. Its a huge leap of logic to assume that all racial profiling is rooted in the act of racism.

 

 

Because of racism. Why is that so hard to get? I've witnessed racial profiling. More than once. Of debate kids. Nerds, who happened to be black. There was no reason whatsoever for these kids to be pulled aside and detained, however briefly, by authorities, other than that they were black. It was racism, plain and simple. And it totally sucked.

 

I have EXPERIENCED it. I AM a minority Joe, in case you didnt realize by my name. In fact, I have experienced a lot worse things than racial profiling.... but we wont get into them here. But the point still remains - why shouldnt EVERYONE be profiled. The question here is not about selective profiling (as with based on race). The reason it is not about that is because of the previous question which goes unanswered reflecting a world in which there is no racism yet still maintains racial profiling. Thus the root question to address with profiling has no relevance to race except in passing as a way of justifying or arguing the act of ANY pretextual search or seizure.

 

What if there was an APB on a young black male driving a similar colored car of the same make and model in the immediate vicinity. Then what? It is STILL a racial profiling pretextual stop for those students. They were detained without providing any cause for a police officer to detain them as the police officer did not witness a crime.

 

Is that still racial profiling? Yes. Is it based on race? Yes. Is it an instance of racism? Not necessarily.

 

 

Proposition? Do you debate in Pennsylvania? I'm still in the US, right?

 

Way to twist the words to mean something else out of context Joe. Congratulations. I can respond in kind with my ever despised internal cut on your post to me which would then read: "racism makes sense to me. i believe that racial profiling is totally huge." :rolleyes:

 

proposition in context of debate also means argument.

 

 

Dude. This is a pretty huge leap.

 

Its not a leap. We give up our rights EVERY day. Speed limit, income taxes, national defense, voting rights, age limits on purchasing cigarettes alcohol and firearms, prescriptions for pharmaceutical agents... A claim for foregoing with racial profiling simply on the basis that pretextual stops violate rights is a laughable notion. Its statistically insignificant in terms of frequency and magnitude as compared to any number of violations on our individual freedoms. Looking at racial profiling in a vacuum as we are here, with regards to rights and liberty, is functionally meaningless without considering the totality of the spectrum of government and its functionality.

 

 

That's why the plan needs to work toward a mindset change in law enforcement. Dig deeper into the Amnesty report, Ankur. There are solid policy suggestions that open up a whole world of solvency evidence that we've found to be very tough to beat.

 

I have read it. The overwhelming majority of those suggestions are imperious and utopian at best, downright nonfunctional at worst. One cannot simply say "education programs will solve." Thats foolishly optimistic and delusional.

 

You win. See you in September.

 

Except...

 

a world in which there is no prejudice

 

Where is this world? Are there vacation packages?

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I'll never understand why I'm always stuck with defending bad arguments on this website, but I think that the arguments currently being advanced against racial profiling are pretty poor (well, they're being articulated poorly).

 

So, beiing, like, totally, insane have been sort of toying around with the idea of a negative strategy against a racial profiling aff which would actually call for increased racial profiling, and with it a radical reframing of the whole crime debate. Probably won't fly, I know. But I can say one thing about it: Can't be permed!

There's definitely an argument here. Rather than re-framing the framework of fighting crime, I think the re-framing needs to work on the perception of crime-fighting: most of the arguments being advanced isn't that profiling is bad. After all, there is some value in profiling based on group characteristics. Quoting Gary Becker:

"The value of using group membership in judging unobserved characteristics is uncontroversial most of the time, and so is hardly noticed. For example, automobile insurance companies consider young unmarried males as a relevant group in determining driver insurance premiums because they tend to have more car accidents than older males or young women. These higher insurance rates also help cut down the number of auto accidents by reducing driving by accident-prone young males. Yet given that group membership is almost always an imperfect predictor of unobserved characteristics, some individuals will be treated much worse (or better) than their true characteristics justifies. In the driving case, young unmarried males who are careful and responsible drivers will pay more for insurance than they would in a world with better information. They might be discouraged from driving because they suffer from the bad driving of other young unmarried males."

 

Taking this paragraph, one argument is that we are being irrational when we suddenly draw the line at racial profiling: if there are observable traits within a particular group (for example, assume that the most dangerous terrorists are young Muslim males), then such profiling is good. Well, the argument isn't that it's necessarily good, but is much more efficient since the probability of catching a terrorist will be higher if we specifically target the suspect group. After all, if we're ok with "discriminating" against young male drivers because there's a justifiable risk, what's the difference for discriminating against minorities in a similar situation? The framework would argue for developing a "tougher skin" on race issues.

Basically, I think the framework is meant to challenge the opponents of racial profiling to justify a greater sensitivity on race matters. Not only is this a good "game" argument, but it's a great "real" argument: rather than the knee-jerk reaction of, "Well, race is just different," it forces a person to verbalize WHY race is "just different."

 

Regardless, I think that Ankur's arguments need to be taken seriously: Racial profiling is just an immediate reaction to an observable phenomena that there are black crimes, white crimes, etc. Removing racial profiling has two severe consequences:

a) Doesn't address the reasons WHY certain minorities tend to commit specific types of crimes AND

B) Removing racial profiling policies diminishes public consciousness or awareness on these hot-button issues (in Ankur's words: "the problem with racial profiling is that if you ban racial profiling, or do some sort of equivalent activity, you merely send the actual justification (racism) underground.”)

 

From what I've gathered, racial profiling on the nation's highways is absolutely linked to the war on drugs. There's quite a bit of evidence about this, including veritable "How To Racially Profile" manuals produced by law enforcement agencies that have been unearthed by investigative reporters (Chief among them, the late Gary Webb, in his classic Esquire article "DWB."

I understand that a lot of profiling occurs for drug-related crimes. However, that's not the only context, and such a characterization isn't helpful. Lots of crimes can be attributed to the war on drugs, outside of simple possession and/or trafficking.

 

The definition for racism that makes the most sense to me is: "Prejudice plus power." As such, I believe that racial profiling is synonymous with racism.

Why must racial profiling always be associated with prejudice? Why can't it be a strategic decision to allocate police resources efficiently?

 

[The solvency for a racial profiling aff is] pretty good since most cases have the courts rule racial profiling illegal and the cops, as officers of law, usually have to follow those rulings. Plenty of solvency authors advocate overturning Wren or Terry.

At the same time, note the difficulties in enforcing other monumental race decisons such as Brown v. Board of Education. Yeah, the opinion sounded nice, too bad it was never enforced...

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Jeez. Where do I start? I guess I'll start with Ankur, since I do owe him an apology for letting my feelings dictate how he should feel. They shouldn't. Sorry Ankur. If you feel being profiled is OK, then who am I to say otherwise? My problem is that when I, or my brother, or my cousins or my friends or just people who look like me get profiled, it is often done with the threat, or commission, of violence by the authorities.

 

at best your vision then becomes a marginal improvement in "freedom" at the expense of something much larger than freedom, the threats against that freedom. the greater the threats, especially when those threats are actually carried out, results in greater losses of freedoms in the long run. sometimes the choice between the lesser of two evils is upon us, and this is one of those instances. the only alternative to the choice between two evils is deconstructing the state entirely... a foolish idealist notion at that.

 

My "vision" of a world without racial profiling and other instances of racism being performed by people in positions of power who carry guns legally is a tremendous improvement in freedom. By using these "threats" to infringe on our freedoms you are stuck in a cyclical war that will never be won. Sounds a lot like Threat Construction to me. Under your scenario, then it was OK for the U.S. to send Japanese people to internment camps during World War II. I mean we were at war with Japan after all, right?

 

The idea that racial profiling is OK or even a reliable method of police work is stupid and people who take police work seriously will tell you that. Not so bright people who wear guns on their hips think racial profiling works. The lesser of two evils would be to do good police work. How about looking into people who decide they want to learn how to fly a plane, but not learn how to land it, regardless of race? The lesser of two evils would be sharing information between branches of government. Pulling over cars of Blacks and Latinos on a major highway or staking out every Islamic mosque is at best a scattergun approach that will get a few busts, but allows every non-Black or Latino drug runner or or non-Islamic (or at least non-mosque attending) terrorist a free pass.

 

racial profiling is not synonymous with racism. there is a fundamental difference between the two. although they are often manifested simultaneously, they need not be. one can simultaneously racially profile a subject with the utmost regard for ethnic diversity and tolerance.

profiling does not automatically make one guilty of a crime. profiling does not even necessitate a specific search to be conducted. you're examining specific instances of profiling as bad instances, and indeed they are. however, not all profiling demands a search let alone a concious violation of civil rights.

 

Racial profiling is a symptom of racism. It stereotypes people based on race and acts according to those stereotypes. Profiling makes the assumption that because of your skin color you are more likely to commit a certain crime than someone with a non-profiled skin color. I am 100 percent positive that there are better ways to profile criminals than skin color. Sure, you can profile without violating civil rights. When I get on an elevator with a little old lady and she cowers in the corner clutching her purse, that's profiling, but she hasn't violated my rights. In fact she gives me more room in the elevator, which might have some value in a crowded elevator, I guess. But when a police officer profiles, they don't just think about doing something, they do it. They stop cars for violations that they'd otherwise ignore. They bring out search dogs when they wouldn't in other cases. They search, strip search and destroy property when they wouldn't in other cases. They search your e-mail because of skin color. They use more force because of skin color. Those things violate my civil rights and can quite possibly get me killed.

 

the answer to the question why should minorities be targeted is not "they shouldnt"... you're looking at the wrong question because you are failing to address the cause for the profiling to begin with. the cause is not racism. its to prevent X, be it whether the X is a bombing of the WTC or planes flying into them. thus, the question to be asked is why isnt everyone profiled? if your answer is they shouldnt, then your proposition of innocent before guilt holds some weight, but then you fall prey into the subsequent question regarding the degree to which you hold your beliefs: where do you draw the line between acceptable encroachment on your rights by the government? the answer to that question then becomes substantially more subjective and prone to an incredibly wide range. how would you attempt to reconcile the difference between your position and complete anarchism?

 

The cause of profiling post 9-11 might not be racism, but racism is the reason profiling is used. And racism IS the reason profiling started. Profiling is nothing more than the racist notion that people of color and recent immigrants are more apt to commit crimes than people not in those groups.

 

So if you believe that everyone should be profiled, so be it. The profiling would be legal under the 14th Amendment. But do you think for one second that the majority of Americans would put up with being profiled the way people of color have been? Not on your life.

 

An acceptable encroachment on my rights is one where there is probable cause to suspect me, the individual, of committing a crime. Not because some people in my demographic commit crimes.

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There's definitely an argument here. Rather than re-framing the framework of fighting crime, I think the re-framing needs to work on the perception of crime-fighting: most of the arguments being advanced isn't that profiling is bad. After all, there is some value in profiling based on group characteristics. Quoting Gary Becker:

"The value of using group membership in judging unobserved characteristics is uncontroversial most of the time, and so is hardly noticed. For example, automobile insurance companies consider young unmarried males as a relevant group in determining driver insurance premiums because they tend to have more car accidents than older males or young women. These higher insurance rates also help cut down the number of auto accidents by reducing driving by accident-prone young males. Yet given that group membership is almost always an imperfect predictor of unobserved characteristics, some individuals will be treated much worse (or better) than their true characteristics justifies. In the driving case, young unmarried males who are careful and responsible drivers will pay more for insurance than they would in a world with better information. They might be discouraged from driving because they suffer from the bad driving of other young unmarried males."

 

 

 

Taking this paragraph, one argument is that we are being irrational when we suddenly draw the line at racial profiling: if there are observable traits within a particular group (for example, assume that the most dangerous terrorists are young Muslim males), then such profiling is good. Well, the argument isn't that it's necessarily good, but is much more efficient since the probability of catching a terrorist will be higher if we specifically target the suspect group. After all, if we're ok with "discriminating" against young male drivers because there's a justifiable risk, what's the difference for discriminating against minorities in a similar situation? The framework would argue for developing a "tougher skin" on race issues.

Basically, I think the framework is meant to challenge the opponents of racial profiling to justify a greater sensitivity on race matters. Not only is this a good "game" argument, but it's a great "real" argument: rather than the knee-jerk reaction of, "Well, race is just different," it forces a person to verbalize WHY race is "just different."

 

Regardless, I think that Ankur's arguments need to be taken seriously: Racial profiling is just an immediate reaction to an observable phenomena that there are black crimes, white crimes, etc. Removing racial profiling has two severe consequences:

a) Doesn't address the reasons WHY certain minorities tend to commit specific types of crimes AND

B) Removing racial profiling policies diminishes public consciousness or awareness on these hot-button issues (in Ankur's words: "the problem with racial profiling is that if you ban racial profiling, or do some sort of equivalent activity, you merely send the actual justification (racism) underground.”)

 

 

I understand that a lot of profiling occurs for drug-related crimes. However, that's not the only context, and such a characterization isn't helpful. Lots of crimes can be attributed to the war on drugs, outside of simple possession and/or trafficking.

 

 

Why must racial profiling always be associated with prejudice? Why can't it be a strategic decision to allocate police resources efficiently?

 

 

At the same time, note the difficulties in enforcing other monumental race decisons such as Brown v. Board of Education. Yeah, the opinion sounded nice, too bad it was never enforced...

 

These are all good arguments, I suppose; and they might win a debate round, and they might not. They sadden me, though. I don't mean this next question to be mean or condescending or snide. I'm genuinely curious. Do you hang around much with black folks in black neighborhoods or all-black schools? Do any of you who are participating or watching this discussion?

 

I have to comment on your Brown comment, though. I think I understand what you're getting at by saying it was never enforced, though my knee-jerk reaction is to say it was enforced. Lots of times. All over the country. We spent $2 billion enforcing it here in Kansas City. The failure of Brown has an entire genealogy, starting with "all deliberate speed" and ending, in my opinion, with Clarence Thomas's amazing concurring opinion in the KC case's 1995 decision, which began with something like: "It never ceases to amaze me how we continue to equate black with inferiority." In my mind, the whole long, sprawling story of our nation's desegregation efforts provides the best picture of how racism works in our country.

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I know I'm missing some arguments, but I gotta go home... the wife and child are waiting. But here are a few high points.

With all due respect, I don’t understand the relevance of these statements. In fact, I’m not sure there is any link between your statements and racial profiling. As far as I understand, racial profiling is systematically targeting a specific minority for a particular crime. Racial profiling certainly isn’t unique to drugs, but more on point, the idea of racial profiling is rarely extended to the prosecution and conviction area of law enforcement..
My statement about White drug rates vs. those of people of color was to point out the flaw in one of your arguments. Sure there are other crimes, but most of the profiling studies and problems come because of this country's failed drug war. I am merely pointing out that the percentages of Whites who admit to using drugs are greater than of Blacks and Latinos, but Blacks and latinos end up arrested more, convicted more and spend more time in jail on drug charges (I dare you to find me evidence that this is untrue). This proves a few things: a) either White people are better at hiding their drug use (which has been mentioned as a possibility because they have more money, live in bigger homes and can do it in more secure places) or police target Blacks more for drug busts, B) profiling doesn't work since the majority of drugs and drug use is done by people not being profiled c) profiling causes such misinformation to come out about people of color, continuing to feed into the stereotypes.
... most of the arguments being advanced isn't that profiling is bad. After all, there is some value in profiling based on group characteristics. Quoting Gary Becker:

"The value of using group membership in judging unobserved characteristics is uncontroversial most of the time, and so is hardly noticed. For example, automobile insurance companies consider young unmarried males as a relevant group in determining driver insurance premiums because they tend to have more car accidents than older males or young women. These higher insurance rates also help cut down the number of auto accidents by reducing driving by accident-prone young males. Yet given that group membership is almost always an imperfect predictor of unobserved characteristics, some individuals will be treated much worse (or better) than their true characteristics justifies. In the driving case, young unmarried males who are careful and responsible drivers will pay more for insurance than they would in a world with better information. They might be discouraged from driving because they suffer from the bad driving of other young unmarried males."

The only thing liability insurance rates need to be based on are your length of time driving and the number of accidents/ citations you have. Comprehensive rates need to take into account your geographic neighborhood for numbers of car wrecks, auto thefts and uninsured motorists. But the reason race is such an issue is because you can't change your race. Besides, there have been no national efforts to enslave or kill off all the troublesome young, unmarried males... has there? Cops don't pull over young, unmarried men because they are young and unmarried.

Taking this paragraph, one argument is that we are being irrational when we suddenly draw the line at racial profiling: if there are observable traits within a particular group (for example, assume that the most dangerous terrorists are young Muslim males), then such profiling is good. Well, the argument isn't that it's necessarily good, but is much more efficient since the probability of catching a terrorist will be higher if we specifically target the suspect group. After all, if we're ok with "discriminating" against young male drivers because there's a justifiable risk, what's the difference for discriminating against minorities in a similar situation? The framework would argue for developing a "tougher skin" on race issues. Basically, I think the framework is meant to challenge the opponents of racial profiling to justify a greater sensitivity on race matters. Not only is this a good "game" argument, but it's a great "real" argument: rather than the knee-jerk reaction of, "Well, race is just different," it forces a person to verbalize WHY race is "just different." ..

I'm not OK with discriminating against young, unmarried males. See above. Remember that before 9-11, the worst terrorist attack in this country was committed by a young, white male. The worst school shootings in this country have been committed by young, White males. They aren't being racially profiled, at least not in any way that infringes on their rights. Instead, everyone's rights are being limited in schools. They don't just search lockers belonging to young, White males, they search everyones. Which, if hiding weapons in lockers is a concern, then you serach everyone's locker, not just one particular groups. You don't start bugging mosques to find out about the next terrorist plot. You do good police work instead. The greater sensitivity on race issues is answered above.

Removing racial profiling has two severe consequences:

a) Doesn't address the reasons WHY certain minorities tend to commit specific types of crimes AND

B) Removing racial profiling policies diminishes public consciousness or awareness on these hot-button issues (in Ankur's words: "the problem with racial profiling is that if you ban racial profiling, or do some sort of equivalent activity, you merely send the actual justification (racism) underground.”)

This argument makes no sense. In your calculation in order to keep it a hot button issue, we should have kept lynching legal? Domestic violence? Child abuse? Besides you contradict yourslef. In a previous post you say that racism and racial profiling don't have to be linked. Which is it? Is racial profiling a symptom of racism, as I noted earlier or isn't it? Ban that mess. It ain't right!

I understand that a lot of profiling occurs for drug-related crimes. However, that's not the only context, and such a characterization isn't helpful. Lots of crimes can be attributed to the war on drugs, outside of simple possession and/or trafficking.

Why must racial profiling always be associated with prejudice? Why can't it be a strategic decision to allocate police resources efficiently?

Because before 9-11, most of the profiling discussion centered on the drug war. That's the reason folks who look like me kept getting pulled over and searched and beaten or shot to death. Why isn't it helpful to discuss the most common implmenetation of racial profiling?

And that's laughable that profiling is the best allocation of police resources. It isn't. The best allocation os doing real police work. Not pulling over people of color, hoping to get a bust. If you are looking for drug runners on I-95, pull over every person who is in violation of the vehicle code. Don't just target people of color. If you are looking for terrorists, don't just target Muslims who look at bomb-making websites, look at everyone who looks at them. Maybe then you catch some of these would-be Columbine imitators before they blow something up.

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Jeez. Where do I start? I guess I'll start with Ankur, since I do owe him an apology for letting my feelings dictate how he should feel. They shouldn't. Sorry Ankur. If you feel being profiled is OK, then who am I to say otherwise? My problem is that when I, or my brother, or my cousins or my friends or just people who look like me get profiled, it is often done with the threat, or commission, of violence by the authorities.[/b]

 

Its not as if it has never happened to me... and I am never okay with my rights being violated. I just see different thresholds on what constitutes a violation of civil rights. I suppose if one considers "the right to be treated with respect and dignity" a basic civil right, then even the little old lady in the elevator (in your example below) is violating your rights. But I determine rights by the constitution, which may or may not be a fair characterization depending on whether you rest in the camp which asserts we need a new constitutional convention to reflect the fact that the existing one was drawn up while muting the voices of colored individuals. But thats a whole different world of argumentation, so lets not go there...

 

 

 

but before I respond to your post in more detail, please respond to the following comment I made earlier which you may have missed.

 

 

What if there was an APB on a young black male driving a similar colored car of the same make and model in the immediate vicinity. Then what? It is STILL a racial profiling pretextual stop for those students. They were detained without providing any cause for a police officer to detain them as the police officer did not witness a crime.

 

Is that still racial profiling? Yes. Is it based on race? Yes. Is it an instance of racism? Not necessarily.

 

and compare it to the statement you just made here:

 

An acceptable encroachment on my rights is one where there is probable cause to suspect me, the individual, of committing a crime. Not because some people in my demographic commit crimes.

 

because technically, even though there is an apb on a suspect who may resemble you (skin color) the police have no probable cause to search you or detain you because you as an individual have not given them any reason to believe you are the suspect in question. how does that fit in with your ideas?

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Its not as if it has never happened to me... and I am never okay with my rights being violated. I just see different thresholds on what constitutes a violation of civil rights. I suppose if one considers "the right to be treated with respect and dignity" a basic civil right, then even the little old lady in the elevator (in your example below) is violating your rights. But I determine rights by the constitution, which may or may not be a fair characterization depending on whether you rest in the camp which asserts we need a new constitutional convention to reflect the fact that the existing one was drawn up while muting the voices of colored individuals. But thats a whole different world of argumentation, so lets not go there...

Ankur, as I said, the little old lady is profiling me, but not violating my rights. But an armed officer of the law profiling me becomes a whole new ballgame. Do we need a new constitution? No. We need to extend the rights inherent in it to all citizens regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, disability etc. etc. I just don't see why the federal governement reading your e-mail solely because you are South Asian and look like some people who commit acts of terrorism is OK because you "have nothing to hide." That presumes that you are more likely to commit an act of terrorism than, say, two non South Asian kids messing around in a garage in Littleton, Colorado. As I said earlier, if you are going to profile EVERYONE, then everyone gets the same equal protection under the law. It puts the U.S. on an even steeper slide into becoming a police state, which is OK by you it seems, but at least it's equal treatment.

but before I respond to your post in more detail, please respond to the following comment I made earlier which you may have missed.

What if there was an APB on a young black male driving a similar colored car of the same make and model in the immediate vicinity. Then what? It is STILL a racial profiling pretextual stop for those students. They were detained without providing any cause for a police officer to detain them as the police officer did not witness a crime. Is that still racial profiling? Yes. Is it based on race? Yes. Is it an instance of racism? Not necessarily.

and compare it to the statement you just made here:

An acceptable encroachment on my rights is one where there is probable cause to suspect me, the individual, of committing a crime. Not because some people in my demographic commit crimes.

because technically, even though there is an apb on a suspect who may resemble you (skin color) the police have no probable cause to search you or detain you because you as an individual have not given them any reason to believe you are the suspect in question. how does that fit in with your ideas?[/

This is not racial profiling. Why? Because they have a description, they have a car color, make and model and they have a general location. That is good police work. Although better police work would be to stop any car of that color, make and model in the vicinity because guess what? Criminals often switch drivers for the getaway. (Although they can also switch cars too.) The real criminal could be working with an old Black woman, a young White woman a Latino man, an old White man. You never know. Racial profiling is stopping all black people in the area because they may have a gun under the seat. Racial profiling is assuming that if you stop enough Black people you will eventually find evidence of a robbery. Racial profiling is stopping more Black people than Whites for traffic stops on I-95 because you think you have a better chance of arresting them on a parole violation or finding drugs.

I have no problem with officers questioning people in an actual immediate crime situation if I truly resemble the suspect (Don't come back to me with a descirption of Biggie Smalls when I look more like Ice Cube) and am driving the same model and color of car as the suspect. But that is FAR too often given as a pretext to stop people. I have been stopped on several different occassions for looking like a suspect or driving a car suspected in a crime. On at least two of those occassions the cops were lying. How do I know? One robbery allegedly took place at my job, which I had just left. The other was a cop told me I was pulled over because it looked like I wanted to make a right a block earlier (it was a one-way street and I couldn't make a right), then when my license cleared, he came back with that pathetic there was a robbery and we had a descriptuion that matched your car.... Right, like I hadn't heard that one before. There were other stupid traffic stops that I just assume were based on race and not on any real criminal suspicion.

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I would disagree completely. Even in the instance of the APB, you have done nothing wrong. What if the crime took place in Tupelo Mississippi last week and you get stopped for a "possible match" in Sacramento? What then? You match the description of a young African American male driving a four door sedan. What then? Is it unreasonable because the crime committed was 3/4 the way across the country and a week ago?

 

I see your definition of what entails racial profiling to be shifting thoughout the conversation. What gives the police just cause to stop you even if you are driving a "similar" vehicle and "possibly" match the suspect in appearance (skin color)? That gives him the right to stop a significant portion of the African American population! You as an individual have not given the police ANY cause to be stopped despite your appearance and vehicle possibly matching that of the perpetrator.

 

I have been stopped on several different occassions for looking like a suspect or driving a car suspected in a crime. On at least two of those occassions the cops were lying. How do I know? One robbery allegedly took place at my job, which I had just left. The other was a cop told me I was pulled over because it looked like I wanted to make a right a block earlier (it was a one-way street and I couldn't make a right), then when my license cleared, he came back with that pathetic there was a robbery and we had a descriptuion that matched your car.... Right, like I hadn't heard that one before. There were other stupid traffic stops that I just assume were based on race and not on any real criminal suspicion.

 

Again, that is a racist application of racial profiling. But now imagine a situation in which the cops are NOT racist and they still stop you and give you that story. What then?

 

I am trying to challenge you to view racial profiling in a light where racism is not at play. So long as you keep coming back with real world stories about racism being manifested in racial profiling stops, its really not an answer to my position.

 

Racism is a belief system of ethnic heirarchy. Racial profiling can be a manifestation of racism. Banning the manifestation does not eliminate racism. At best, you are doing nothing but banning a specific manifestation which simply gets transferred to masked manifestations to hokey police stories thrown at you like the one about the robbery you experienced.

 

Thats why racism cannot be resolved by addressing pretextual racial profiling stops. As such, then the question becomes whether you can resolve racism. If one can resolve racism, then racial profiling becomes a game of statistics. Quite frankly, math doesnt lie unless the math is tainted with racism.

 

You're absolutely right that the majority would never put up with it. I have zero doubts as to that claim. What I am diagreeing with here is the conclusion that any policy regarding racial profiling will have ANY positive effect on racism, and more likely produce a greater negative effect, increasing the terminal effects of racism. The reason it doesnt work is because racism is not intrinsically linked to racial profiling. It is not a prerequisite.

 

Maybe I'm just explaining myself very poorly...

 

 

Racial profiling is stopping all black people in the area because they may have a gun under the seat. Racial profiling is assuming that if you stop enough Black people you will eventually find evidence of a robbery. Racial profiling is stopping more Black people than Whites for traffic stops on I-95 because you think you have a better chance of arresting them on a parole violation or finding drugs.

 

No. Racial profiling is following you because you're African American. Violating your rights is when the cop stops you when you havent done anything whatsoever and he gives a BS story trying to get cause for anything so small as jaywalking.

 

Racial profiling is the airport security guard paying closer attention toy ou as you walk through the metal detector to see your demeanor to see if you look like you're worried you might set it off. Violating your rights is when you pass through without those beads of sweat and no beeps and they still decide to give you a frisk or pat down and then a cavity search in the back room.

 

Racial profiling DOES NOT automatically entail taking action upon that profiling. The act of profiling is a term regarding differential observation based on statistics (whether the stats are truthful or racist is a different story). The action taken after the profiling despite having given no cause is the racist application of profiling.

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Joe,

 

Just saw this question you asked:

 

Do you hang around much with black folks in black neighborhoods or all-black schools? Do any of you who are participating or watching this discussion?

 

Honestly, I do not hang around with too many African Americans. I went to grade school and college where there were few African Americans. There are a number of African Americans in my workplace, however, most of them work in the production areas for which I have very little contact. The few who are in research are very nice genuine individuals and I would consider them rather friendly and my friends, although we dont exactly go for beers after work. Not because we couldnt or wouldnt, but because one is married and goes home to his family and the other one drives 100 miles to go home after work and thats a hike...

I do live in est Philly however, so to that degree I am in contact with black people every day. Lets face it, Philadelphia is a city with a very high population of black americans. I also take classes at Temple, which is a very diverse campus.

But I think you need to realize (which I am positive you do) that while active discrimination of blacks in America has a longer tradition and severity than probably any other race (other than possibly Native American Indians), racial climate has changed in America especially post 9-11. I would contend that anti South-Asian/Middle-Eastern violence has quite possibly outpaced anti-black violence, threats, and derogatory language. I actually find it interesting how race crimes against South Asians, or any minority group get very little attention as compared to hate crimes against black individuals. Maybe its a matter of getting politically motivated to do something about it for the other minority communities. But quite frankly, I dont remember the last time Rev Jesse Jackson came rushing to the aid of a Pakistani man beaten until his face shattered claiming injustice... From my conversations with several black students at Penn State, they were sadly under the very misguided impression that hate crimes exist against other minorities, but never to the frequency or severity as those against blacks. My point being, the question shouldnt be "how many of you have encountered blacks..." but rather how many of you encounter minorities..."

A big problem is that minority groups dont really stand together. They say they do for a display of public goodwill, but typically, its just non-genuine political posturing.

 

Click here for a list of SOME of the hate crimes commited post 9-11 over the span of only ONE month Its by no means comprehensive.

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I would disagree completely. Even in the instance of the APB, you have done nothing wrong. What if the crime took place in Tupelo Mississippi last week and you get stopped for a "possible match" in Sacramento? What then? You match the description of a young African American male driving a four door sedan. What then? Is it unreasonable because the crime committed was 3/4 the way across the country and a week ago?

I see your definition of what entails racial profiling to be shifting thoughout the conversation. What gives the police just cause to stop you even if you are driving a "similar" vehicle and "possibly" match the suspect in appearance (skin color)? That gives him the right to stop a significant portion of the African American population! You as an individual have not given the police ANY cause to be stopped despite your appearance and vehicle possibly matching that of the perpetrator.

Ankur, I think I must not be explaining myself clearly. Or else you aren't reading my posts. I can understand being stopped when the police are actively searching for someone when the crime is in progress or in the immediate aftermath of said crime. I won't like it, but I understand. I also put some limits on those stops like: a) make, model and color of car B) a GOOD description of the suspect. As I said don't have a description of Biggie Smalls and pull me over when I look more like Ice Cube. c) it must be in the immediate aftermath of said crime in a reasonable vicinity.

My definitions of racial profiling never shifts. It has remained constant: assuming that people of one race are more apt to commit certain crimes.

Again, that is a racist application of racial profiling. But now imagine a situation in which the cops are NOT racist and they still stop you and give you that story. What then?

I am trying to challenge you to view racial profiling in a light where racism is not at play. So long as you keep coming back with real world stories about racism being manifested in racial profiling stops, its really not an answer to my position.

I would hope that a non-racist wouldn't pull me over and lie to me like that. Because if they didn't have those racist assumptions, then I wouldn't get pulled over in the first place, unless they were actually looking for a suspect in a crime. Ankur, you never answer my argument that racial profiling in this country is not based on mathematical statistics. It is based on racist assumptions. Those assumptuions include: black folks do and sell drugs, but white folks don't. South Asian/ Arabic men are more likely to be terrorists, young white men aren't. In this country it has been proven that these two assumptions are wrong. A greater percentage of Whites do drugs. In recent years most terrorist attacks in this country have been committed by young White men.
Racism is a belief system of ethnic heirarchy. Racial profiling can be a manifestation of racism. Banning the manifestation does not eliminate racism. At best, you are doing nothing but banning a specific manifestation which simply gets transferred to masked manifestations to hokey police stories thrown at you like the one about the robbery you experienced. Thats why racism cannot be resolved by addressing pretextual racial profiling stops. As such, then the question becomes whether you can resolve racism. If one can resolve racism, then racial profiling becomes a game of statistics. Quite frankly, math doesnt lie unless the math is tainted with racism.
Here you are wrong. Again, keep the racist policy so we can see the manifestations of it? That makes no sense. Then we should have kept slavery, lynching would be legal and Brown v. Board never would have passed. I don't believe that banning racial profiling ends racism, but it is another strong signal that it is not OK for the government to treat its citizens differently based on race. Do you really think race relations would be where they are now if it had not been for these policies that "mask" racist behavior? It's no longer OK to be blatantly racist. Does it still exist? Yes it does and we may bnever solve it. But its the manifestations of it that I care about. I could care less if the person next door hates me because of my race, just as long as he or she doesn't act on it, I'm fine. Banning racial profiling also forces officers to do good police work.
You're absolutely right that the majority would never put up with it. I have zero doubts as to that claim. What I am diagreeing with here is the conclusion that any policy regarding racial profiling will have ANY positive effect on racism, and more likely produce a greater negative effect, increasing the terminal effects of racism. The reason it doesnt work is because racism is not intrinsically linked to racial profiling. It is not a prerequisite.
What is the negative effect of ending racial profiling?
No. Racial profiling is following you because you're African American. Violating your rights is when the cop stops you when you havent done anything whatsoever and he gives a BS story trying to get cause for anything so small as jaywalking.
So explain to me again why following me or suspecting me because of my race is OK? If you read these racial profiling articles, cops admit that if they want to find a legitimate reason to pull someone over they can. The vehicle code gives police every opportunity to pull someone over... Going to fast, too slow, signal too early or too late, stop too quickly, whatever. Following someone because of their race is, in itself a violation of rights. Too often that violation is followed by more invasive ones like searches.

 

Racial profiling is the airport security guard paying closer attention toy ou as you walk through the metal detector to see your demeanor to see if you look like you're worried you might set it off. Violating your rights is when you pass through without those beads of sweat and no beeps and they still decide to give you a frisk or pat down and then a cavity search in the back room.

Racial profiling DOES NOT automatically entail taking action upon that profiling. The act of profiling is a term regarding differential observation based on statistics (whether the stats are truthful or racist is a different story). The action taken after the profiling despite having given no cause is the racist application of profiling.

You are right, the act or profiling in itself is innocuous, but when you put race as the most important characteristic of the profiling, then you have huge problems. When law enforcement looks for a serial killer, they profile. But race is just one of many, many characteristics. They don't start looking at all 56-year-old White men as serial killers.

 

Do me a favor and explain to me again why you think its OK for the government to assume that you are more likely to be a terrorist than I am.

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I don’t have to respond to most of JustACoach’s arguments, mainly because most of them are good arguments. I just have two problems, but it’s probably more my problem than anything else…

One problem that I have is the statement that ALL racial profiling is racist. Such a statement gets into definitional problems, which could be self-serving. That being said, all racial profiling is not completely innocuous.

 

The second problem is saying that profiling EVERYONE is legit or somehow better. Profiling everyone is 1) not good policing, 2) hurts civil liberties even more, and 3) completely contradicts your assumption that “everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

The theory for profiling is pretty clear: The police would like to catch crimes before they occur or cause damage, what I call ex ante activities. Unfortunately, you can’t do “good police work” if the crime hasn’t occurred yet (or at the very least, the police have no knowledge that the crime has been committed). Therefore, the police are using general statistics and trends in order to do “better police work.” Since they have a limited amount of resources (the most important being time), using this societal information will, in theory, make their enforcement much more efficient. Pulling over everyone needlessly wastes a cop’s time from doing “good police work” and may in fact cause more crime.

 

The other thing to think about is, how is “good police work” done? Generalize that phrase and take it to the intelligence community, which tries to keep tabs on international terrorism. The CIA only has so many analysts/spies. It’s true that there’s an equally good chance that a terrorist can originate from Mozambique vs. Saudi Arabia. But, based on objective evidence, there’s a greater probability that if the CIA concentrated more of its resources on Saudi Arabia vs. Mozambique, there’s a greater chance to thwart a future terrorist attack. Is focusing on Saudi Arabia, because it’s a Muslim country that has produced a lot of terrorists “good police work” or racist? That’s a personal call.

 

I just want to present the opposite case (the case for profiling), not because I believe it (I don’t), but because I think that it probably won’t be well-represented on these type of message boards.

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