Sunday, December 7, 2014

Is There Such a Thing As Racial Profiling?

MavPhil  This deserves careful study:

One of the tactics of leftists is to manipulate and misuse language for their own purposes.  Thus they make up words and phrases and hijack existing ones. 'Islamophobe' is an example of the former, 'disenfranchise' an example of the latter.    'Racial profiling' is a second example of the former.  It is a meaningless phrase apart from its use as a semantic bludgeon.  Race is an element in a profile; it cannot be a profile.  A profile cannot consist of just one characteristic.  I can profile you, but it makes no sense racially to profile you.  Apparel is an element in a profile; it cannot be a profile.  I can profile you, but it makes no sense sartorially to profile you.
Let's think about this.
I profile you if I subsume you under a profile.  A profile is a list of several descriptors.  You fit the profile if you satisfy all or most of the descriptors.  Here is an example of a profile:
1. Race:  black
2. Age: 16-21 years
3. Sex: male
4. Apparel: wearing a hoodie, with the hood pulled up over the head
5. Demeanor: sullen, alienated
6. Behavior: walking aimlessly, trespassing, cutting across yards, looking into windows and garages, hostile and disrespectful when questioned; uses racial epithets such as 'creepy-assed cracker.'
7. Physical condition: robust, muscular
8. Location:  place where numerous burglaries and home invasions had occurred, the perpetrators being black
9. Resident status: not a resident.
Now suppose I spot someone who fits the above profile.  Would I have reason to be suspicious of him?  Of course.  As suspicious as if the fellow were of Italian extraction but fit the profile mutatis mutandis.  But that's not my point.  My point is that I have not racially profiled the individual; I have profiled him, with race being one element in the profile.
Blacks are more criminally prone than whites.*  But that fact means little by itself.  It becomes important only in conjunction with the other characteristics.  An 80-year-old black female is no threat to anyone.  But someone who fits all or most of the above descriptors is someone I am justified in being suspicious of.
There is no such thing as racial profiling.  The phrase is pure obfuscation manufactured by liberals to  forward their destructive agenda.  The leftist script requires that race be injected into everything.  Hence 'profiling' becomes 'racial profiling.'  If you are a conservative and you use the phrase, you are foolish, as foolish as if you were to use the phrase 'social justice.'  Social justice is not justice.  But that's a separate post. 
I wrote and posted the above in July of last year.  This morning I find in The New Yorker a piece entitled  No Such Thing as Racial Profiling.  It is just awful and shows the level to which our elite publications are sinking.  It is not worth my time to rebut, but I will direct my readers to the author's comments on the R. Giuliani quotation. Get out your logical scalpels.  
Addendum.  There is also the liberal-left tendency to drop qualifiers.  Thus 'male' in 'male chauvinism' is dropped, and 'chauvinism' comes to mean male chauvinism, which is precisely what it doesn't mean.    So one can expect the following to happen.  'Racial' in 'racial profiling' will be dropped, and 'profiling' will come to mean racial profiling, which, in reality, means nothing. 
* See here:
Any candid debate on race and criminality in this country would have to start with the fact that blacks commit an astoundingly disproportionate number of crimes. African-Americans constitute about 13% of the population, yet between 1976 and 2005 blacks committed more than half of all murders in the U.S. The black arrest rate for most offenses—including robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes—is typically two to three times their representation in the population. [. . .]
"High rates of black violence in the late twentieth century are a matter of historical fact, not bigoted imagination," wrote the late Harvard Law professor William Stuntz in "The Collapse of American Criminal Justice." "The trends reached their peak not in the land of Jim Crow but in the more civilized North, and not in the age of segregation but in the decades that saw the rise of civil rights for African Americans—and of African American control of city governments."

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