Opinion: Students wrong to condemn racial profiling
In two successive Addison Independent issues (April 20 and 23) there have been letters to the editor purportedly from students at Mt. Abraham Union Middle School expressing outrage at the widespread and unacceptable racial profiling.
I find it very difficult to believe that these students (two per letter) came up with this urge to right a social injustice on their own. It appears that they are likely dupes for a teacher with an agenda and were given a class assignment to write about a problem plaguing society. There was probably a list of “suggested topics” to choose from such as climate change, renewable energy or the wealth gap.
Racial profiling is a valuable tool in police work along with gender profiling, economic profiling, behavioral profiling and many other avenues of profiling that help police and other law enforcement agencies prevent crimes and catch criminals. Did you ever hear of the FBI profilers that help catch major criminals by creating a profile of the type of person who likely committed a particular crime?
There is all kinds of profiling going on all the time. If there is an armed robbery at a convenience store and the perpetrator is described as a white male wearing a blue jacket, it would make no sense to stop a black man wearing a red jacket. Stopping a white man (even without a jacket) would be racial profiling because he could have discarded the jacket.
In the letter from Miss Campbell and Miss Benson on April 23, they recount the racial profiling of Mr. Hal Colston, who is black, in which he was pulled over after stopping at his son’s apartment, at night, so that the son could “drop some of his belongings off.” Mr. Colston stated that he was pulled over shortly after pulling away from the apartment, asked for his driver’s license, sat for five minutes while the officer checked his identification, and then given an apology by the officer who told him that they were told to watch for a black Honda with two occupants. Mr. Colston and his son were then free to go.
Mr. Colston is a community organizer and social justice activist who founded Good News Garage and has since founded the community action organization, NeighborKeepers. By all accounts, Mr. Colston is a good man who wants to help the community in general, but he is also an outspoken advocate for social justice and believes that the police are out to harass African Americans wherever and however they can. This is laughable and ridiculous.
Mr. Colston was not a victim of racial profiling but was, instead, a victim of vehicular profiling. It is more likely that a neighbor seeing an unfamiliar car stopped in front of the building and running, called the police to report a suspicious car and the police responded (as they should). Or, the officer saw a car parked with engine running and a person in the driver’s seat at night in what may have been an area of recent burglaries and was checking to make sure no crime had just been committed.
If the officer had just intercepted two burglars with a pillowcase full of someone’s jewelry, would it be profiling then? Yes, that’s the point. Profiling works. The officer was doing his job and attempting to keep the public safe.
There are always incidents where an innocent person might be stopped and Mr. Colston did exactly the right thing. He stayed calm and let the police do their job. He was treated respectfully and not detained any longer than necessary. He received an apology for the inconvenience and left to continue his evening. What a harrowing experience. Oh, the horrible memories. I don’t see how Mr. Colston has been able to succeed in his life and career from all the racism and profiling going on.
These four students are writing letters about a subject for which they obviously have no information other than what they are taught by activist teachers and what they see on Facebook and Twitter. They are brainwashed by the social justice crowd and jumping on the politically correct bandwagon that is now trying to paint all police as racist bullies that are gunning down young black men (because they’re black) and pulling over black drivers (because they’re black). It’s ridiculous.
I am a retired police officer that worked for years in an all-black neighborhood in North Philadelphia. I dealt with African Americans all the time either as complainants, victims, suspects or also partners (yes, there are a lot of black officers as well). At no time did I ever have the thought that I would stop someone solely because of race. Although, if I saw a white man driving a new BMW in an area known for drug distribution, I would likely pull him over… I guess that makes me a racist.
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