Racial profiling, is it wrong?

I only ask because im a security guard, I inspect vehicles entering and leaving the facility. And the only time I inspect a vehicle coming in is when he’s islamic or some kind of middle eastern ethnenticity. 20-30 years ago that would be perfectly legal, not anymore. we have to say its random, isn’t that a crock of sh*t. there is a greater chance of a middle eastern guy being a terrorist than anyone else. And yet we can’t target them getting on planes or entering a facility. Say what you will, but if you were in my shoes and a middle eastern man was trying to gain access to a facility with tons of chemicals and hazerdous waste, youd do the same, or am I wrong

Answer #1

“This has been common knowledge for years now and not something I made up as you suggest.”

Please take no offense, I was not implying you made it up. I just wanted to know the source. Now that I see it, I know what you are refering to and I have heard it before, like the fact that people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. But that hardly is a scientific evidence of the how well racial profiling works.

“It appears that you are approaching the whole situation as a purely racist issue (one of your pet subjcts) with total disregard to whether the means outweighs the benefits to the majority.”

Not at all. I have no care what the race is being denied their civil rights. No person should ever be denied their civil rights. In my opinion, “the means” can never ever justify denying someone their civil rights. Because if you accept that, then where does it end?

“If the majority in question were in another country other than the USA and the majority were moslem, black, arabic etc, I suspect your view on this matter would be different if the racial profiling were made towards christians, whites etc…”

Why would you suspect that? When did I say I favored any one race over another.
It is a civil rights issue for all people. No one deserves to be singled out because other people of the same race, ethnicity, religion, etc. are suspects in a crime or crimes.

“I am very far from racist and mix in circles where I meet people from all over the world and from many different religious and cultural backgrounds. “

I have not accused you of being racist, nor do I believe you are. I think you truly believe that it is a better way to fight crime, terroism, etc. But I think you don’t think it through to see what damage racial profiling does to our society and our way of life. During WWII japanese americans, whose families were here for generations, were shamefully thrown into interrment camps. It was felt that was the best way to keep us safe from Japanese spies and colaborators. That was a perfect example of racial profiling gone crazy, and we should never go that route ever again.

“Anyone who knows me would know that I am strongly anti racist but I am also a realist and I am not pregared to discuss this matter along the lines you are heading.”

I really think you are misinterpreting my views. It is not race, it is about fairness, and personal liberty.

“You clearly believe the whole of the western world is racist towards you and nothing I can say will ever change your belief in this as you have your own agenda and target these type of questions on here.”

Ok, now I am confused. Where do you get the idea that I think the whole western world is against me? Do you think I am a member of a race that has been the victim of racial profiling? Not that it matters, but I am as white as they come. In fact I am of Irish heritage.

“I respect your right to hold that belief but just wanted to point out that not everyone in the west is racist.”

You are way off base here. I never said, nor implied this. The question was about the merits of racial profiling and I gave my opinon, and entered into a discussion.

Please don’t imply motives that aren’t there.

“I wish you well in your struggle for equality.”

I wasn’t looking at as a struggle for equality, but in a way I guess it is. And what is wrong with equality?

Answer #2

Where are you getting your 80%/20% figures from? Are those real figures based on a study, or just your opinion? As I said, one can manipulate statistics how ever they want, and use that for justification for just about anything. Look at how Bush and Blair minipulated data and statistics to justify invading Iraq. Once you ok racial or ethnic profiling, how do prevent abuses? One group could manipulate statistics to justify harrassment of another group just because of prejudice. No, you can never allow racial profiling to be codified into law.

It is not necessary that I put myself in the position of police. Just because it might make police work easier is not enough of a reason to violate peoples civil rights. It would make police work a lot easier to have everyone implanted with a gps chip. Do you think that is a good idea?

My point about white crime was to show how statistics can be manipulated. Use the middle eastern example of them being more likely to be terrorists. The percentage of actually terrorists that are middle eastern is a tiny tiny fraction of all middle eastern people. The same can be said about white terrorists. They also represent a tiny tiny fraction of all white people.

I think your example of british police targeting anyone with an irish accent was absolutely wrong. How do you know that some police weren’t just harrassing innocent irish people just because they hated the irish? Obviously you can’t check everyone, but you can target behavior. It is much more effective if done correctly.

I never once criticized law enforcement. They have an incredibly difficult job. But cost effectiveness of being secure is meaningless if our civil rights are being denied.

It is the same thing with the Bush crime families warrantless wiretapping. Some people say if you are not guilty what is there to worry about, and that it is the price we have to pay to be safe. Safe from whom? It dosn’t make me feel safe to know the government can listen to anyone in america without having to justify it.

Racial profiling is the proverbial slippery slope.

Answer #3

jimahl, I used that as an absurd example so as not to offend anyone.

In different parts of the world replace that with black, white, jewish, christian, moslem etc depending upon the statistics in that particular country.

I have given more realistic examples further up this question.

OK, you want examples:

In a city in the US, if 90% of street crime is committed by the African American community, and this is backed up by facts, would it be deemed as unfair if the police concentrated their resources on this group when investigating street crime?

Why would the police waste their valuable time investigating all racial groups equally when statistically, these crimes would be down to the African American community?

I did not want to pick an example like this so apologies. I live in Britain and have no reason to dislike any racial group. There are certain people that I dislike and avoid but this is due to them as individuals.

However, I do not work for the police nor am I trying to solve and reduce crime.

People complain about when the police do this but these same people would complain more if they were regulary investigated for these crimes or were unable to walk the streets safely because the police were not directing their investigations in a way that is proven to get the best results.

Answer #4

jimahl,

Ref the 80%/20% rule, see here for an explanation… http://www.managers-net.com/paretoanalysis.html

This has been common knowledge for years now and not something I made up as you suggest.

It appears that you are approaching the whole situation as a purely racist issue (one of your pet subjcts) with total disregard to whether the means outweighs the benefits to the majority.

If the majority in question were in another country other than the USA and the majority were moslem, black, arabic etc, I suspect your view on this matter would be different if the racial profiling were made towards christians, whites etc…

I am very far from racist and mix in circles where I meet people from all over the world and from many different religious and cultural backgrounds.

Anyone who knows me would know that I am strongly anti racist but I am also a realist and I am not pregared to discuss this matter along the lines you are heading.

You clearly believe the whole of the western world is racist towards you and nothing I can say will ever change your belief in this as you have your own agenda and target these type of questions on here.

I respect your right to hold that belief but just wanted to point out that not everyone in the west is racist.

I wish you well in your struggle for equality.

:)

Answer #5

I note that no one has commented on the example I have given…

:(

Answer #6

Statistics on crime need to be broken down not only by cities but by areas within cities to best know how to concentrate crime fighting resources jimahl.

One can resolve 80% of a problem by concentrating on the 20% worse causes.

This can apply to many areas of life.

You are only looking at the issue here from one side, you need to put yourself in the place of the police who are fighting crime.

If you cannot police every single area within a city, you concentrate your resources to the area or groups that cause the majority of the issues for that city.

In some cities that may be the white population, I am not targeting a particular group here. That would need to be done using local statistics.

I gave you an earlier example of problems we had here in Britain in the 1970’s and 1980’s with the Irish Republican Army planting bombs on the British mainland.

At the time, police and army targeted strangers with strong Irish accents as statistically, 99% of all the bombs were being placed by people that fit this profile.

Are you saying that this was wrong and that the police and army should have checked everyong? (Clearly this would have been impossible to do)

It is fine to sit back and criticism law enforcement for going down this route but I dont see you proposing a cost effective alternative.

Answer #7

you are wrong.

most terrorist incidents in the u.s. are perpetrated by domestic terrorists.

prior to 9/11, the most destructive terrorist incident in the u.s. was the april 19, 1995 bombing of the federal building in oklahoma city. an american anti-government extremist, timothy mcveigh, carried out this attack. he was a caucasian male.

groups within the u.s. that have historically produced domestic terrorists include: white supremacists,anti-government groups, anarchists, separatists, and single issue groups.

white supremacists are the most active type of domestic terrorists or extremists in the u.s. although popularly called “hate groups” by the media it is important to recognize that most ethnic or cultural groups have people who either believe they are superior or hate others because of their culture or ethnicity. many white supremacist groups embrace some mainstream issues; conservative politically, patriotic, and fundamentally christian, but that is where any similarity stops. racism clearly sets white supremacists apart.

single issue groups are thought by law enforcement to offer the greatest terrorist threat. the members of these groups are dedicated to fixing a perceived wrong. they often have both mainstream support and a radical fringe.

past crimes committed by extremist members of these groups include: harassment, vandalism, arson, bombings and murder.

given these facts, why do you only check people that you “assume” are of middle eastern descent?

Answer #8

The problem is, if racial profiling is “official”, it is much more open to abuse. I understand your example kiasu of one legged chinese grandmothers is meant to be absurd, but it really is not valid. One legged chinese grandmothers would represent such a miniscule portion of the population. When you are targeting a race that numbers in the millions because .01% of them are terrorists, you are violating the rights of the innocent people you are basically harrassing for nothing. Behavior should be targeted, not race or ethnicity.

Answer #9

Just to take this question to another level.

If in a city with limited police resources, it was a statistical fact that 80% of burglary’s were carried out by eg. Swiss people (sorry, I’m trying to pose the question without offending any race), would it therefore be wrong if the Police were to conentrate their resources on this group to reduce the crime rate and danger to the other inhabitants?

I’m not making a direct relation with muslims & terrorism. I live in Britain and can clearly remember the IRA bombings on mainland Britain in the 1970’s and 1980’s and I don’t believe any of these terrorists we from the Muslim community.

These were all white ‘christian’ folk.

Therefore, in Britain around this time, suspicion fell on strangers with strong Irish accents. Because practically all the bombings were carried out by such people at this time.

Again, was it wrong for the police at this time to concentrate the majority of their resources following up on reports of strangers speaking in strong Irish accents?

Answer #10

First off, there is a difference between investigation and random searches. One should never be investigated without probable cause. The US Constitution supposedly prevents this. But Bush basically just pisses on the constitution. Race or ethnicity is not probable cause to investigate someone. Now if you are talking about random searches of people in public places like airports and such, that is much different than actually having evidence to investigate someone. To be truly dilligent, you need to target behavior. It might be a little harder than just searching one group of people, but it is the most effective method. Bottom line is, it violates the rights of innocent members of the racial group being targeted.

To try and say it is ok, because in the long run it will reduce crime is not a good enough reason to violate people’s civil rights. How far should we go then? Why not have everyone have to pee in a cup every morning to make sure we aren’t using drugs. Or to have cameras in our homes to make sure no illegal activity is occuring? Can we say “Big Brother”. This may seem extreme or absurd, but where do you stop? I say you never start down that road.

Answer #11

The point is that ANYONE can plant a bomb but the security forces cannot check up on every single person.

They need to look at the most likely profile based on facts.

This helps them concentrate their resources. Of course, someone could always slip through the net if they dont meet the typical profile but then they would slip through the net any way because we are back to the first sentence in this response.

If statistics were to show that 90% of all robberies in a city were carried out by one legged chinese grandmothers, surely you are not saying that the police waste their resources by investigating and checking up on the other 10% to the same degree as the other 90%?

Where is the sense of this?

Logic and statistics clearly show where best to use their resources in the most effective manner. It is not a matter of being racist.

Answer #12

id say your wrong. sure in todays society those things are just part of a normal day nowdays. but it is wrong. I think you should check everyone. you never know who is a dangerouse person, and in most cases its the one whos smiling back at you. just check everyone, even if its for a few seconds

Answer #13

I think the whole point here jazlovestoskate is that there is not the time, money or resources to be able to check everyone properly.

Also, if they did, you would need to arrive at an airport 6 hours or more before your flight left…

This is why security forces concentrate on the ‘most likely’ profiles based upon statistics.

Answer #14

You are so wrong. You should not look at somebody badly because of the color off their skin. If they look supicous that’s diffrent. Don’t worry tho your not the first person 2 think like that. Everyone is just acting weird cause the war

Answer #15

I dont think it is right but I understand why you have to do it! Everyone is scared right now and are waiting for something else to happen. I say if they are going to make you watch middle eastern people then they should have you pull aside just as many other races.

Answer #16

All I can say is think back to the Oklahoma bombings. Then think about who could actually be bringing one in.

Answer #17

I need to add that there are many tsa employees that try their best to do an unpopular job. sorry, I should have included that line in my previous post.

Answer #18

It is wrong because it violates the rights of innocent members of the group being profiled. It is wrong, and it is unconstitutional.

Answer #19

well its wrong but (and dont take this the wrong way please) I understand why people of certain ethnicities are checked more often its just the circumstances

Answer #20

Statistical figures can be interpreted in many ways. Statistically white people commit more crime in this country than anyone. According to your logic, we should only target whites. Of course this seems silly, but it is true that more crime is committed by whites. Denying peoples civil rights is not an “inconvenience” to them, it is a violation. The people murdered in a terrorist attack is the result of a horrible malicious and tragic event, but there rights are not being denied by the government.

I for one would rather risk a terrorist attack than rather see my country go down a path the erodes civil rights. As Ben Franklin said: Those who would surrender liberty for security deserve niether.

Answer #21

Racial profiling is in our genetics. We profile anything as such and judge it that way in our minds after something affects us. In the past it has saved us from going up and kicking a big mean dog or slapping around a beehive. It is a handy re-averting tool in our brain and it works. Why would you go against something that has worked for millions of years? If there is a higher % on something/someone is going to hurt you then you will naturally divert your attention towards them/it.

I do not think it is wrong and if you are going to pick certain people then why not choose the most likely? Your feelings only get people killed in times of war.

Answer #22

I would say you are wrong but I dont quite understand what you were saying though.I am not middle eastern but I am indian and just because of what happened in 9/11 every time you people see someone who looks middle eastern you people start to check them to make sure that they are not terrorists now I am not saying that what those 9/11 people did and killed so many people was right that is the furthest thing from what I am trying to say but still I think that racial profiling is totally wrong

Answer #23

I believe that racial profiling is wrong and yes, it erodes basic civil rights.

I also know for a fact that the homeland security tsa employees (airport) are, for the most part, not the best nor the brightest. many see a person of what they perceive is of middle eastern descent and act upon that, despite the fact that the SOP for tsa strictly forbids profiling of any sort.

I will never be in favor of racial profiling especially when it is in the hands of a group of people that do not have even the smallest idea of what they are doing.

tsa is a band aid put into place to make the flying public feel safe. to think that it actually helps is a misconception.

Answer #24

Many thanks for your considered reply on this matter jimahl.

I think that the authourities will be damned by one side of the population if they do this and damned from another side if they dont and more terrorist attacks take place on the US mainland as a result.

You say, ‘Bottom line is, it violates the rights of innocent members of the racial group being targeted.’ But what about the rights of the people murdered by terrorist attacks?

Are targeted searches based upon statistical figures not justified if they can be seen to be effective? Is the inconvenience to those ‘innocent’ individuals worth it?

I certainly dont pretend to know the answer or solution to this ongoing problem.

Answer #25

As the others said. That, is a no-no. Check others.

Answer #26

you’re wrong.

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