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DoesDeathDefyDemons?

Is racial profiling a necessary evil?

There are some people who are up to no good. They may look like you and I, or maybe not. Is racial profiling an effective tool in preventing crime, terror?
No-spp2007:

First of all, your question reflects total ignorance of the issues of crime and terrorism. Criminals are already profiled by the local police as their career shoot off. Criminals start by petty crimes and progress into hard ones and as they do they always come in contact with the law enforcement and into their database.

As for terrorism, there is no such thing, at least not when there is only one superpower. For terrorism requires the backing of superpower in the international political game called the Balance of Power. It also requires targeting military objectives in order for their cause not lose support. The so called terrorism now, doesn't serve any political goal and it is wanton killings giving support and pretext for the other party to wage total war on the first one. It doesn't fit.

MaggieD:

Why do I always bristle when someone says, "Your question reflects total ignorance." ;-) For you to say there is no such thing as terrorism reflects, well, shall I say....a river in Egypt? One definition that speaks to me, at least: "Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion." There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants."

No-spp2007:

Wrong maggied, please read my question, just posted.

MaggieD:

Wrong back atcha, Justice Lover. That whole conversation in your question is ridiculous.

No-spp2007:

Look at my comments under your answer. Don't bash what you don't know. Just think about it a little bit.

Jims best angle:

Terrorism needs the backing of a superpower?
Which super power has been behind the terrorist attacks over the past 20 years or were they all figments of the medias imagination

Your grasp of the obvious is, well mind boggling. It is to bad you never got a job at the CIA

No-spp2007:

@toadhead: Lets stay within the boundary of civility and refrain from name calling, shall we? That said, I advice you to read John Lock's Liberty, Max Weber's Politics as a Vocation and Hobbs's Leviathan all available free on line.
It is elementary Political Science.

MaggieD:

I think it is. But I also think it's often mis-used. DWB should not cause someone to be pulled over. (In case a few don't know, that's Driving While Black.) As far as national security is concerned, it is a very important tool, in my opinion. My gram isn't going to blow up the airplane or take hostages. That 35-year-old Middle Easterner just might. We've got to have that tool in the box.

Alabama:

The problem is, the 35-year-old Middle Easterner might be able to sneak a bomb or weapon into your Gram's checked or carry on luggage. Every passenger has to be subject to search.

MaggieD:

Excellent point, Wonderer.

Trina:

Timothy McVeigh....that's all I need to say.

MaggieD:

I think the important thing to remember is that profiling is not strictly by race or ethnicity. It can be by age, familial characteristics, and many other things. Serial killers here in the United States, as an example, are most often certain race/certain age/certain familial backgrounds/certain upbringing and many other commonalities. Not always, but often enough to make profiling a very useful tool. Profiling does work.

No-spp2007:

maggied: you ought to study international balance of power to understand terrorism. Without that, you will always be fooled by the apparent.

Trina:

Any type of generalization inhibits new information from being assimiliated into the "system" and applied.

The Beltway snipers (serial killers) did not fit any profiling...and were of different ages completely.

Profiling....is like saying; 'Well......USUALLY it's this" ...that's all. It doesn't actually help us move forward.

MaggieD:

"Usually it's this so I'll TRY this," is exactly how all of us make ALL of our decisions. I think it serves a purpose. Is it the be-all-end-all? Absolutely not. It's just one more tool.

Trina:

Yes Maggie...I do see that side to it..definitely. And...we have used it before haven't we?

Japanese concentration camps were great for "containing" anyone of a certain ethnicity during WWII. In my own state even people of Italian descent were incarcerated during that time....simply because they fit the ethnic profile of who we were "against".

A very good judge, here in my town, during WW! was fired for no reason....because his last name happened to be German....long after his death the state recognized it's paranoia and formally apologized to his grandson.

This is a bit of a deviation....but it's relative. It's not applicable for terrorism....but it definitely increases our "vision" in terms of race.

And....going on that....the average rapist happens to be WHITE males between the ages of 18-35.....so......why isn't this helping?

MaggieD:

Hi, Trina. You know I respect your opinions. And I half-way agree with you on this one. But only half-way. As I said, it's a tool -- not a perfect one by any means. But we do need some, don't we?

DJ:

It is simply wrong. Some years ago here where I live, the police stopped a young corporate attorney, who happened to be a Black American driving a new Mercedes. Six officers got involved in the in the action. At the same time, seven blocks away, and double homicide occurred, which to this day is unsolved.
Racial profiling probably means that those murders will never be solved, because the police were involved in a baseless action. And the attorney who was pulled over is now suing for harrasement, which will probably cost the tax payers in that town a lot of money.

MaggieD:

Subjective examples always hamper the big picture, Wood. I totally understand the BWD profiling that's done and it's DEAD WRONG. But, profiling works in very important ways. You'll be glad to know that serial killers are profiled white. ;-)

DJ:

Oi veh!

Jims best angle:

The authorities have limited resources. Unless people are willing to pay $1,500 for a coach seat bought 30 days in advance, so that airports can afford security that can search everyone, some are going to get searched some are not. Why search people who present no threat, because it make you look nice, fair at the risk of everyones safty?
Why would you search the old lady with the walker. It is a waste of time and resources, searching her made no one safer, she was not a threat to start with.

No-spp2007:

toad, should others who view us a threat profile us as well? If you go to certain countries, would you like to be pulled and searched like a criminal?

Jims best angle:

If they want, they can it is there country.
But how many countries are out there worried about US citizens blowing up planes.
One thing is for certain your comment indicates a lower than average IQ.

John P:

It does not matter what race you are or what you look like. Anyone could be a terrorist or commit a crime.

Trina:

I'm not sure...I would lean towards saying "no". However effective it may be (and that is negligible) as long as it is in use we'll always see "ethnicity" instead of actions.

Trina:

Also...doesn't the term "preventative policing" worry you just a bit? I mean...doesn't that sort of go against the whole concept of "innocent until proven guilty"?

Xtremely:

It is not only necessary and needed it has to be a requirement so that we do not overlook anyone. The sad note is that there is a group of people that fall in to the profile that a terrorist is made up of. That is sad but the good must endure the situation so the many will not suffer. At the same time we can not fall into a trap of only using profiling as a tool for then we will misuse it and as a nation fall into the trap that allows others to take advantage of our stupidity.

Rick:

sure is.

Bewitched:

No. Absolutely not. It is a really good tool to go after people who are not engaging in criminal activity. The Border Patrol uses criminal profiling at check points. Let me tell you a little story. There was a U.S. citizen of Mexican decent who decided to take a drive to California from El Paso, TX. He had a car full of illegal immigrants from Poland. Once the car got to the check point, the American of Mexican decent got grilled and questioned for his citizenship. Meanwhile, the Polish people were not even asked about their citizenship, not bothered at all because they were European looking. So, they all got in, no problem. It is a sad story of what racial profiling can accomplish.

Chris:

that reminds me of the story of the little old man on the bicycle that would cross the border from Mexico to the US everyday. Each day he would be searched and released. At night he would walk back across and return home. This went on for sometime and the border patrol would just shake their heads in frustration for they knew he was smuggling something across the border but could never catch him with anything. He was smuggling bicycles all the time.

Fredy:

Racial profiling is something we should all rally against; especially DWB (Driving While Black ) OR WWB (Walking While Black). However if Obama's is elected there may, as well, be DWW (Driving While White) or WWW (Walking While White). Then there's WWM (Walking While Mexican) or DWM (Driving While Mexican). My point is that nobody should be singled out just because of the color of their skin. I've not had any bi-racial (white-black) close friends so far . But the ones I've noticed seem to attempt to overcompensate for having white blood running through their veins by camouflaging their rather straight hair or joining forces with anything that makes whites feel unwelcome.

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