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Racial profiling, or “Driving while Black or Brown”, has been a topic
of considerable controversy. Recently my radio talk show focused on
this issue and several things came up that are too often ignored.
Yes there is discrimination and prejudice. Yes, both are wrong …
usually. I qualify that statement because in the politically correct
rush not to potentially offend anyone about anything, the consequences
generate more negative impacts than the perception of the wrong
allegedly being corrected.
There is a conspicuous list of cases in which the police stop
law-abiding men and women of color allegedly because they are black or
brown. However unless the stopping officer is specifically rude,
unprofessional or discourteous, so what? The immediate assumption is
the only reason the police officer is stopping them is “because” of
race. I think that in most cases, that is accepting facts not in
If the popular phrase were “criminal profiling” instead of the more
politically charged “racial profiling” would there be such a public
outcry? Who would object to the concept and practice of criminal
profiling? Oh yeah … criminals.
Here’s my problem with the various proposals to limit the number of
stops, and make no mistake, a key consequence (intended or unintended)
will be fewer stops. If police are (as was recently suggested in
California) required to maintain a statistical record of the race of
everyone they stop, several new and more insidious problems will likely
- Cops will not stop people specifically because
they fit a criminal profile. Young black men in certain communities
commit a disproportionate number of crimes. In other communities young
Hispanic men commit a disproportionate number of crimes. In yet other
communities young Asian men commit a disproportionate number of crimes.
If potential suspects are not stopped because some leftist bureaucrat
finds a statistical anomaly, crime could actually increase.
- Cops who do make stops based on probable cause regardless of race
could face administrative, disciplinary or legal hassles.
If police are looking for a gray haired middle aged man in a Mercedes
who is reported to have been stalking playgrounds for kids, and I get
stopped, I consider it a minor inconvenience. I want them to find the
Some people say, “Hey you don’t understand. You are not a victim of
this kind of routine discrimination and harassment.” That is true …
A recent New American article referenced the December 1999 issue of
the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, which offers police officers
guidelines to use in conducting traffic stops with suspected “right-wing
extremists.” Yes Virginia, not black or Hispanic gang bangers, and not
Russian or Italian Mafia types … “right wing extremists.”
Even before Hillary was bemoaning the insidious manipulations of the
vast right wing conspiracy, “right wing” anything has been routinely
maligned, vilified, and marginalized by the liberal socialist and their
co-conspirators in the main stream media.
I happen to know a great many right wing extremists and a similar
number of left wing extremists. It has always fascinated and confused
me that those on the right who belong to the 30,000 to 40,000 grass
roots organizations which included some 40-million Americans who feel
strongly the need to defend and protect the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights are positioned as the bad guys. Whereas those (in elected office
and the media) who embrace blatantly socialist agendas and represent the
antithesis of what the framers gifted us with, have succeeded in
positioning themselves as “of the people.” It is absolutely absurd.
Patriotism is demonized and Marxism is lauded.
According to the FBI, “members of extremist groups may reveal their
affiliations in a number of ways,” Sure … as can members of certain
congressional caucuses. “First, the vehicles they drive often provide
clues that can help officers prepare for potential danger before making
a stop. Specifically, extremists’ vehicles may sport bumper stickers
with antigovernment or pro-gun sentiments,” or may otherwise “fit the
profile of vehicles driven by known extremist group members in the
area.” Wait a minute. Who is the arbiter to define an anti-government
sentiment? Is “Clinton Sucks!” anti-government? No. First Amendment
expression of dissatisfaction with a specific administration is not
anti-government. It is anti-administration, or perhaps more
specifically anti-Clinton. “Pro-gun sentiments,” at least so far,
remain an inherent part of the Bill of Rights. Being pro-gun is no more
anti-government than being pro-First Amendment, or pro-Tenth Amendment.
Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “In a republican nation whose citizens
are to be led by reason and persuasion and not by force, the art of
reasoning becomes of first importance.” Come on people … and yes that
means you folks in law enforcement. If folks don’t start using that
gift of reasoning, and persuasion, we are contributing to an environment
in which force will replace reason as a means of persuasion. If or when
the trend is not corrected, we are destined for results that I would
hope no one wants.
Much to my mother’s dismay I am a critic of this administration. I
am a critic of abuse of power under the color of authority. I am a
critic of any and all who swear an oath to preserve and protect the
Constitution, who subsequent proceed to undermine, erode and attrite the
very document to which they swore a sacred oath. Okay, I’ve got several
bumper stickers on my car: Safari Club; LEAA; a Special Forces Crest;
and a conservative radio talk station (that I will soon be removing).
I would be annoyed and offended if I was suddenly the object of law
enforcement harassment because of my political beliefs and my First
Amendment expression of those beliefs. However, racial profiling, I
believe is less a function of police targeting racial groups as it is a
need to target a specific criminal profile.
Maybe my opinion will change when police start harassing me for my
politics. … But I don’t think so. Again, it was Jefferson who said,
“The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us
tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second
will not become the legalized version of the first.”