Counterpoint: Racial Profiling

Counterpoint: Racial Profiling

Apparently the Arizona government has passed a law allowing racism in their state. Forgive my knowledge of specifics as I get all of my news from SportsCenter, but there’s something in this bill that says police are allowed to ask people to see their citizenship papers without any other just cause other than just cause you’re Latino. This is a reaction to the increasing amount of illegals in their state. That’s really as much as I know and much of it could be wrong because my fantasy stats were scrolling at the bottom of the screen when John Anderson was talking about why the Phoenix Suns were wearing “Los Suns” on their jerseys last night.

Anyway, this is a blatant example of the kind of stereotyping that this country needs to do away with. Unless of course you’re a white guy in the security line at an airplane. Don’t pretend you haven’t had that thought. That one that says “Do I look like a terrorist?” Of course not. Odds are against anyone being a terrorist really. But if there’s gonna be one, I know where I’m placing my chips. And if you want to pretend that stereotyping isn’t a rational way to generalize information we simply don’t have available to us and cannot acquire in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll invite you to take your nightly stroll through North Philly. I’ll be in Bryn Mawr if you need me.

Do I think all Latino people in Arizona are there illegally? Of course not. But do I think that any white people are? From where, first of all? And no, I’m not against Latinos or any race. I’m not even sure that I’m against illegal aliens in the country. I haven’t thought too much about it. But here’s something I have thought about. Stereotyping is just another way of playing the odds with information from previous experiences. And to deny we have them is ignorant to ourselves, however romantically idealistic it may be. If you want to try to get somewhere faster in the right lane or play a 3-6 off suit, be my guest. Just understand that you’re a card racist.

Yes, I’m exaggerating. Calm down. But I have a point. I don’t run to the other side of the street when two young black guys in baseball caps walk toward me on South Street, but I feel less comfortable than if an elderly Asian couple in pajamas was walking that same path. Feel free to try to hook up with the brunette in the pant suit with the laptop at the bar. I’m going after the bleach blond in the miniskirt with the yard-long fuzzy navel hanging from her neck. I’m just sayin.

Where I think the governor went wrong was in being a politician. You can think whatever you want to without persecution in the non-Orwellian world we actually live in, but you can’t go out and say stuff like I just did and expect to get away with it. There’s a game that you need to play, an accepted politician dance that they all do in unison like the Electric Slide at a wedding. You can think whatever you want, but you can’t actually say this stuff. Just smile and pretend that all races, genders, ages and sexual orientations are treated equally by the law and give yourself plausible deniability when shit goes south. Oh, and you’re a Christian. Because the world isn’t ready for that yet, no matter how ridiculous that part of the dance is. As a country, we’d rather stand behind a man of faith than a man of logic. But what do I know? I get all my news from SportsCenter.

Just making sure you’re still thinkin out there.

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2 thoughts on “Counterpoint: Racial Profiling

  1. So, I’m writing a paper on this for my final in Sociology 101. Stereotyping is fine by most people, you are right, because it is based on past experiences. However, prejudice is unequal treatment of a different social class based on their race, religion, ethnicity, or any other social factor. It’s due in 2 and a half hours and I haven’t written anything yet because your blog is too enticing.

  2. The distinction between prejudice and stereotyping is an important one to make. And as it’s already 3pm, I hope you’ve made it already.

    Also, I don’t necessarily promote either stereotyping or prejudice, but I understand it. I just wanted to make sure people think before they completely dismiss things (a.k.a. the law in Arizona that I don’t really know much about).

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