Bloomberg, a national publication used the following headline in a story a few days ago; “House Republicans Set to Defy Obama Are Mostly White Men,”. Which begs the question, why they deemed it relevant to focus on the race and gender of the people in Congress opposing Obama? Is this another of those whistle the left is hearing to proclaim some sort of hidden racism. Are they implying that those that are opposing the President are only doing so because they are white? Is Bloomberg racially profiling the Congressmen?
Then there is this a fellow blogger from Australia ask this; Was it racial profiling?
Apparently not according to officials but a case of snitching. The 13-year-old that got the beat down had snitched on one of the 3 for attempting to sell him drugs earlier in the day. In hindsight someone should have noted that they might ride the bus together and there could be problems.
A lot talk recently from the President on down about Racial profiling and Racism as a result of the George Zimmerman Not Guilty verdict in the killing of Trayvon Martin. There have been howl of outrage, calls to replace laws to make it more possible for the prosecution to convict people, for the repeal of the Stand Your Ground laws, though they did not play a part in the case. Some are calling to make it illegal for private citizens to racially profile as it is for government agents, cops, etc.
So what is racially profiling and it is something that needs our attention to the exclusion of other problems in the US but particularly to the black community? It racially profiling the same as Racism or worse? Racial profiling at its worst is prejudging a race of people and assigned them a characteristic or group of characteristics that are not exclusive of the every one of that race. It also used to describe Ethnic profiling as the same. For example, all Asians are considered to be great at math, which may be true for some but not all Asians. Another would be to say that all Mexicans are immigrants, or someone who sees a Spanish surname and assumes that you speak Spanish or that English is your second language, the last two being examples of Ethnic profiling.
Most forms of profiling even racial profiling are harmless, but sometimes the prejudice behind the profiling can become such that it becomes bigotry, and it affects how some people react to others, in some cases with disastrous effects. As it was with slavery and later the Jim Crow laws or Jews and the Holocaust. There are many other examples of where profiling a people led to great tragedy, most recently Bosnia and Rwanda come to mind. In the US the issue is the profiling of certain young black males and minorities as dangerous.
Here’s the rub statistics show that this may be the case, certainly not for everyone but for enough to make the prejudice last and stick. As a father of 2 young black men, this concerns me, which have made me try to ensure that my kids, understand and behave in a manner that is contrary to the stereotype. I cannot get upset a people for behaving in a way that instinctual, while I don’t do ensure on my part that my kids are acting accordingly. If I allow my kids to act and behave like thugs, who is to blame if they are seen as thugs. Racial profiling is not the problem, humans are reacting to what too many young black males are doing.
In France the issue is young Muslim males, in Russia is young disaffected white males, so the issue is not racially profiling but behavior profiling, but those this rise to the level of bigotry or racism? If you listen to civil rights leaders like Sharpton, Jackson or the NAACP they know so, but from my personal experience that is not the case. In my estimation people are behaving to this the same way they behave all around the world in the face of young predators.
As modern humans we do not share all the same characteristics as our earlier ancestors. We don’t depend on instinct to make decisions we use observation and reasoning. Sometimes we read books about a subject or activity and depend on the observation and reasoning of others. As social creatures we share information, it is the sharing of this information, much which have been gathered by the observation and reasoning, sometimes of others that have allowed us to survive, to thrive and be the dominant species in this world. That is not to say that the observations and critical thinking have always been right, in fact many have been wrong but with time they have evolved ensuring our survival.
Each day is a struggle for survival, though it may be something that we don’t think about consciously, most if not all our daily tasks serve the purpose of continuing our survival for another day. Things we do in the course of a normal day such as eating, drinking, working so that we have money to eat and drink. Exercising so that our bodies are fit, reading to calm our minds and entertain, bathing to wash away the daily grime and keep microbes in check just about everything we do daily can be tied to our quest for survival.
The night was specially scary for our ancestors as the darkness allow our predators, who were biologically more capable of functioning in the dark, some had better night vision, others had other senses that allowed to take advantage of the dark and would make us an easy prey. It cause us to become more communal, as there was safety in numbers, we manage to control fire which not only brought us warmth in the cold but also helped to keep the predator away. As our civilization advanced the tables were turned we not feared the night, and those predators were now our prey. But with this advancement a new predator appeared, one that was more cunning, resourceful and worst that any other prey that humans had come up against.
That prey was of course, other humans. As our civilization progressed the need for communal living and help was abated. We did not need to move only in groups to ward off predators and prevent becoming dinner. We could live alone and apart from each other, with the knowledge that except under very rare circumstances there would be no animal predators just lurking to eat us. That worked fine for animal predators but for human ones not so much. We needed new ways to combat the new predator, our homes became impregnable castles in many places, we carry pepper spray, noise makers and guns. We are told by the police who are tasked with suppressing these predators to travel in groups, use well-traveled routes in essence behave as our ancestors did in other to survive. As our ancestors did in that long bygone era, we have to learn who is safe, who is not, where it is safe to go, where it is not.
We need to know who is the predator and how not become a victim of one. Being able to distinguish friend from foe, and knowing which animals could provide food and which to avoid was something that is ingrained in us. It is an ability that allowed us survived and build our civilization. But in today’s civilization were are being asked to forget that which has served us so well, by surrendering to Political Correctness.
There have been much talk about racial profiling, racism and Stand Your Ground laws, SYG for short, all while avoiding why this happens, and nothing really happens in a vacuum. Many people don’t know this but the word “racism” did not become part of the English Vernacular until at least 1935. Before then we use a word that is has a more appropriate meaning to what people mean now, when they use the word racist, bigot. Though the word has a religious origins meaning a religious hypocrite as it is still use in Italian “bigotto”, it became to used to describe someone who is intolerant of someone because of prejudice or bias against that person or group. Racism on the other hand is the belief that one’s race is either superior or inferior to another race which leads to actions in accordance of that belief.
Let’s put that in the context of what the President Obama said in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict, and the human instinct that allowed us to survive all this time;
There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.
There are probably very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me – at least before I was a senator.
There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.
That happens often.
The implication of the President was that these actions were the actions of someone who was racist, but if we examine them they hardly rise to the level of bigotry, much less racism. Department Stores owners follow people all the time for a variety of reasons, is the President saying that security follows or watches a white person that is prudent but watching a black one is racist. Having had the experience of Managing a retail establishment, I would like to inform the President that in my experience the shoplifter at retail establishment, those that like to stuff little items in their bags are almost always white, if a black person is followed it is not because of the danger of stolen goods but for other suspicious behavior. For instances they are tracking customers to pick their pockets. Putting that aside in those communities were there are few blacks, it is still racism if a store owner follows someone, it he doing it out of spite and bigotry or because he is trying to protect his business and those customers that come to his establishment?
The clicks on the car doors are they really because you are approaching and their has been a rash of carjacking in the area, by people who looked very much like you, until you became a Senator and started dressing differently, As for the old woman clutching her purse and holding her breath is this because of racism or someone who is fearful and hoping that she does not become a victim of a predator. Being in an elevator in a small enclosed spaced is terrifying enough but being along with a large stranger, more so. But is this racism? It is even bigotry? Or it more likely, that it is a self-fulfilling prophesy, of those that see racism in the shadows, and interpret every action as such.
Nothing happens in a vacuum, if a black shopkeeper follows some young black males is he being a bigot against his people or is he acting prudently to protect his business. A black woman who clutches her bag under the circumstances described by the President is she also being bigoted, or perhaps someone who knows that she could become a victim at any time. This is not to say that racism does not exist in the true meaning of the word. But racist are all colors and not just white or white Hispanic as the PC establishment would have us believe. It is evident all around us though few recognize for such, because we have been indoctrinated into thinking only white on black.
A few years ago, Jeremy Lin an Asian American Harvard grad, became a sensation in New York when he became the starting point guard for the team, leading the team to a streak of victories. What many don’t remember is the many black players and commentators that called him a fluke, and that there were many black players that did what he did and better but were not getting the same type of publicity. That is racism, the belief of their race superiority over the Asians ball playing skills. It is the same with many European basketball players that come to play in the NBA, too often their role is of bench-warmer and they were given little opportunity to fail of succeed over comparable black players who were performing the same. Sports racism is rampant in the US, though it is not recognized.
Racism exists and it will always be around, because we are all human, thinking and believing that we are superior to others in one way or another is just a way of group identity. The issue is that most of the problems that are called racism are not, but what a reasonable person would think in a set situation. Cops in NY, don’t stop and frisk more blacks and minorities for their jollies, they do so because it is an effective way to prevent crime and catch criminals, as it is shown by New York city being the safest large city in the country and the world.
Nothing happens in a vacuum, people will continue to act in a way that will aid their survival, not because they are racist, or bigoted but because history has shown that being prudent and acting accordingly in the face of the threat of danger, can mean you live another day. It is why calling every action a form of racism has exhausted the Race Card. The problem will not be solved by ignoring the cause and people’s attitude and prejudices will not change until the cause is address and change becomes permanent.