Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Racial Profiling  (Read 1952 times)

BigMix

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 144
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2005, 10:03:58 AM »
When I did an M.A, there was this egyptian cat in my class(This was just after Sept 11th). The guy would feel most comfortable riding on the train with his black classmates  ;D

angmill08

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
    • View Profile
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2005, 02:41:37 PM »
Racial profiling, when used in combination with other factors, makes a whole lot of sense.

If you're a cop and you see a middle-aged white man in Compton on a Thursday night, it's reasonable to assume there's a more than likely chance that he's up to no good.  This doesn't warrant an arrest, but further investigation would be prudent.

But there is a fine line between an "admission of cultural realities" and an "acceptance of cultural stereotypes". White men live in Compton. The perception that the white person in a majority black area is probably "up to no good" rests on the idea that whites don't spend time in majority black neighborhoods for legitamite purposes -- because they have friends there, jobs there, property there, families there, because there's a good restaurant, whatever. The automatic assumption that a white man in Compton on a Thursday night is not getting off work, or picking up his girlfriend, but buying drugs or something else is based on that assumption... which, in my experience, is not a reality at all. So accepting this idea, to me, doesn't feel like an "admission of cultural realities" but a self-fulfilling stereotype that enforces racial segregation.

When I was getting stopped a lot at first in my (majority black) neighborhood, I resented it because it seemed like the cops just couldn't imagine that a white girld would live there, have black friends, etc. One time I got pulled over on Thanksgiving morning, driving back from the grocery with all this food in the car, and the cop seemed to have a hard time believing that I was coming home to cook Thanksgiving dinner. He acted like all the bags were some sneaky ruse. To me, it seemed like it was so obvious that I was legit -- I was giving out all the signals of "legitamite activity" but my race alone made me suspect. This was frustrating.

It is especially frustrating because I've noticed that white people often think there are NO whites in majority black neighborhoods, which is not the case. A couple of white friends/relatives (not from the neighborhood) asked me, "Are you the only white person there?" which was laughable... the neighborhood was probably 10% white... now probably 25%-30%.

Anyway, in my area, the police took some heat for racial profiling and changed their tactics, and now they pull everyone over in high crime areas. They don't ask the questions like, "what are you doing here?", they just pull you over, run your info and kind of check you out.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

ImVinny!

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2242
  • What am I?
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2005, 02:45:45 PM »
Interesting story. Do you still get pulled over a lot?

dbgirl

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5091
    • View Profile
    • KnowTheTruth
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2005, 02:58:13 PM »
I have a strawberry blonde green-eyed freckled daughter and I can tell you all sorts of stories about situations our family has gotten into.

When she was little I was Christmas shopping with my daughter and my black grandmother. I gave the kid to my grandmother to watch while I shopped in another aisle. My daughter started screaming for her mommy and these two women told the store clerk about how this poor child was in distress (riding in a shopping car w/grandma). Anyway, I overheard this and I told the women "that's my daughter." I even showed the women her photo. One woman apologized and walked away, the other kept complaining. She just didn't believe my daughter hadn't been kidnapped!

Another time my daughter went out with my grandmother and my brother, who has darker skin than I do. My grandmother parked the car with my sleeping daughter and my brother inside. Some guy called the police to investigate my brother! For no other reason than a fair-haired "white" child was in a car with a swarthy-skinned man.

We also live in a majority minority neighborhood. My daughter has been stopped and bothered by cops several times for being an apparent white person in a minority neighborhood.
I finally complained to our local police department about this -- and the seargent said he would give his rookie cops a talk about profiling.
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

-TMcGraw

http://www.wm3.org/splash.php

angmill08

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
    • View Profile
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2005, 03:13:23 PM »
You know, I understand profiling for some reasons. I mean, if there's a place where hookers always wait for johns, and you see a woman just hanging out there, yes, investigate! But to label a whole race, residential area or any interracial situation as "suspicious" is very negative.

When people complain about racial profiling, they are thinking of stories like db's, I think. They are not complaining about something like the hypothetical I described above.

Personally, I moved in May (not because of this... because I bought a nicer house)... but I think the police are still using the "stop anyone you can and check them out" strategy. Which I didn't find that aggravating. They were nice about it (to me, at least) and I saw the rationale (crime.) But you know, one thing the neighbors consistently asked the police for was one small crew of officers who would always work our neighborhood. The neighborhood associations for years were asking for a walking cop who would "walk a beat" through the area and get to know everyone, who was good and who was bad. The police department told us this was not feasible because of scheduling and insufficient staffing.
164/3.46 Undergrad GPA, graduated college in 1996.
Applied: UT Austin (ED), Univ. of Houston, George Washington U & American U.
Accepted: Univ. of Houston, GW, American
Attending: GW, Fall 2006

ImVinny!

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2242
  • What am I?
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #25 on: July 28, 2005, 03:38:46 PM »
Wow, and I didn't like when people thought that I only spoke Spanish, when I don't speak it at all.
My uncle went to court one day to hear a case about his sister and the judge had almost gone through all the cases and asked him why he was there. He wasn't looking that way and then the judge asked him if he needed an interpreter, lol! Many people think he is Puerto Rican just because he has dark skin. He just happens to have some wierd sort of permanent tan though from working outside forever.

mr*mouth*piece

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2005, 03:49:57 PM »
If white guys with goatees had bombed the Trade Center, I would understand (and expect, to be honest) to be searched more closely at airports.

So were you pulled over, searched more closely or racialy profile after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma, or what about after the bombing in Atlanta,  or what about after all of the bombings at abortion clinics across this country (the perps were all of European descent ala white).  ???
"If ones advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to lead the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours" - Henry Thoreau

faith2005

  • Guest
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2005, 04:04:09 PM »
no he wasn't. thats why when white guys say that stuff to me i automatically write it off as being delusional. racial profiling is apart of the way that white men in power perceive the "other." to them another white guy is an individual, not apart of a racial group. how can you profile white men? there are so many of them. its like that because they perceive themselves as the default, and everybody else is extraordinary or different and therefore they can be profiled.  >:(

dbgirl

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5091
    • View Profile
    • KnowTheTruth
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2005, 04:09:56 PM »
My older daughter looks Irish, my younger daughter looks Latina, so we have all sorts of misunderstandings (or whatever you want to call them.)

On the funny side, I took my younger daughter to the doctor and they said "Does she speak English?" She snapped "No! I do NOT speak English!" Of course she was too little to understand this whole exchange.
When you have somebody dying because they are poor and black or poor and white or because of whatever they are ... that erases everything that's great about this country.

-TMcGraw

http://www.wm3.org/splash.php

BigMix

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 144
    • View Profile
    • My Blog
Re: Racial Profiling
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2005, 04:31:40 PM »
no he wasn't. thats why when white guys say that stuff to me i automatically write it off as being delusional. racial profiling is apart of the way that white men in power perceive the "other." to them another white guy is an individual, not apart of a racial group. how can you profile white men? there are so many of them. its like that because they perceive themselves as the default, and everybody else is extraordinary or different and therefore they can be profiled.  >:(
Now if only Lou Dobbs would say the above on CNN. OOps as Charles Mills would say, "A fish can't see water"