Americans should embrace racial profiling
© Greg Nash

It’s not just Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE’s election, Brexit and the anti-establishment wave sweeping the West. It’s that when even a mainstream media outlet opines approvingly on “racial profiling,” you know change is afoot. 

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Writing at Bloomberg, Leonid Bershidsky explains that New Year’s Eve in Cologne saw no repeat of the 500 sexual assaults committed in that city on Dec. 31, 2015. The reason is Germany’s “new policing model,” he said, which involves a sort of racial profiling.

 

It’s ethnic profiling of Arabs. (At least technically: The classification for Arabs is “Caucasian”). But call it what you will, the German police exhibited “some hard-nosed realism,” Bershidsky wrote, screening and detaining hundreds of North African men. The reason? The group commits a disproportionate amount of crime in Germany. Moreover, as Cologne police chief Juergen Mathies bluntly stated about the city’s 2015 New Year’s sexual attackers, "There were no gray-haired older men or blonde, young women there."

Anyone now crying “Racism!” betrays his own unexamined biases. Note that Mathies didn’t just allude to ethnicity, but also to age and sex. Will anyone scream “Sex profiling!” or “Age profiling!” or call for restructuring the police on these bases? Does anyone ever? Risibly rhetorical questions both. 

Though misunderstood, profiling is merely “a practice where people use an observable or known physical attribute as a proxy or estimator of some other unobservable or unknown attribute,” as Professor Walter Williams wrote in 2009. Everyone does it, too. If you cross the street to avoid a group of rough-hewn looking youths, decline to pet a strange dog, or refuse to hire as a babysitter a girl with purple hair, tattoos and body piercings, you’ve engaged in “profiling.” 

Not profiling properly risks lives. Consider that doctors take race, ethnicity and sex into account when evaluating patients. They know, for example, that Pima Indians have the world’s highest diabetes rate, Vietnamese-descent women’s cervical cancer rate is five times white women’s, and black men are twice as likely as white men to develop prostate cancer. 

Then, since men do occasionally develop breast cancer, “[s]hould doctors and medical insurance companies be prosecuted for the discriminatory practice of routine breast cancer screening for women but not for men?” as Dr. Williams asked. 

While we could check our brains at reality’s door, reality isn’t suspended because we transition from medical to criminological science. With today’s terrorism being almost exclusively an Islamic phenomenon, that Israeli airport security scrutinizes Muslims more closely isn’t properly called prejudice but prudence. Since 96 percent of all NYC’s crime is committed by blacks and Hispanics, that 83 percent of all those stopped during the city’s erstwhile stop-and-frisk program were from those groups isn’t properly called racism, but recognizing statistics. 

Race hustlers agree, too. Jesse Jackson himself once lamented, “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery…then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” 

In the same vein, Williams pointed out that a black Washington, D.C. taxicab commissioner recommended cab drivers engage in racial profiling and that Papa John’s Pizza delivery-service drivers, mostly black and Hispanic themselves, embraced the practice in St. Louis. 

But shouldn’t we just treat everyone the same? Well, should doctors waste resources screening men for breast cancer? Profiling allows us to make decisions based on scant information when the cost of obtaining more information is prohibitive. For example, flying would be safest if airport security could spend a month living with every prospective traveler. This is unrealistic, however — ergo, profiling. 

Of course, liberals complain about “racial profiling,” but it’s not that they don’t practice it.

They just do it all wrong. 

After the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist shooting, MSNBC profiled the perpetrators as possible pro-lifers (profile: white), pointing out that a Planned Butcherhood facility was “just a few blocks away.” Then there’s liberal senator Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by PhRMA — Dem victories in `18 will not calm party turbulence Election Countdown: Minnesota Dems worry Ellison allegations could cost them key race | Dems struggle to mobilize Latino voters | Takeaways from Tennessee Senate debate | Poll puts Cruz up 9 in Texas MORE’s assertion that “white males” are our biggest terrorist threat. 

In reality, “racial profiling” is a passion-stoking propaganda term — there’s basically no such thing. There’s only good profiling and bad profiling. Good profiling considers many factors, such as but not limited to age, sex, dress, behavior, religion and, yes, ethnicity and race, in accordance with sound criminological science. Bad profiling is governed by politics and puerile priorities.

This is where the real prejudice lies, too. Fairness means that all groups overrepresented in a crime category factor into a relevant profile. To say only some such groups will — youths and men, for instance — while others receive a special dispensation from reality’s slings and arrows, is damnable discrimination, indeed.

As with a bad physician who fears the truth and won’t make a proper diagnosis, it can also be deadly. Would we really rather be politically correct than alive?

Selwyn Duke (SelwynDuke@optonline.net) is a conservative media personality whose work has been published on The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, and American Thinker. He has also contributed to college textbooks published by Gale - Cengage Learning, and is a frequent guest on radio and television.


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