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Racial Profiling at its Best

July 22, 2013

The recent murder trial of George Zimmerman brought the issue of racial profiling to the fore in American conversation again.  (If you would like to read my initial thoughts about the trial you may do so here.)  I would like to present a “racial profile” that is currently in use in America today, and is gaining popularity in other parts of the world.

Group Racial Profile

  • lazy
  • entitled
  • exclusive
  • racist
  • dumb
  • conniving (I realize those two are in many ways contradictory, but this is how the group is portrayed.)
  • gun-happy freaks
  • educated
  • successful (at the expense of others)
  • wealthy
  • cold and unfeeling
  • power-hungry

These are in no particular order.  This group is portrayed as being nearly all that is wrong with society.  Apparently, their propensity for causing problems is nothing new, but has manifested itself for centuries.  Who is this group?

This is the currently popular profile of the white male.

Is this a Correct Profile of the White Male?

Racial profiles are typically filled with flaws.  I personally would consider myself a white male.  However, I would think that only one of the traits I listed would describe me, and that only remotely.  I have tried to educate myself.  I worked myself through four years of college, so I suppose I would be considered somewhat educated.

As to the other parts of the list, I

  • like to earn what I get – I’ve averaged about 57 hours per week at the factory over the last 6 weeks.
  • have friends from many walks of life and ethnic backgrounds
  • think a person’s color should have no bearing on the way they are treated
  • own one rifle with which I like to hunt deer
  • am far from wealthy (at age 31)
  • believe that all are created in God’s image and have equal value

While I understand that I may be an exception to the rule, I have a hard time believing that any thinking person would think that this profile would be typical of most or all white males.

Racial Profiling of White Males in Action

I recently read a post by Andrew Joseph Pegoda, a modern historian and teacher, which illustrates racial profiling.  In it, he says that George Zimmerman is white (or has degrees of whiteness) because –

  • He is male.
  • His first name is likely German – for sure “white.”
  • His last name is German and “white.”
  • His accent indicates that he speaks so-called correct Standard English without anaccent.
  • His parents have been successful with “good jobs,” and his dad is a “white” judge.
  • He acts like a police officer.
  • He murdered a “black” man (and used a gun to murder the “black” man) and never apologized.
  • Society usually takes “Hispanic” to mean “white.”
  • His lawyers were “white” (and for the two who spoke, male).
  • The prosecution’s lawyers were all white (and male).
  • The judge was “white.”
  • The jury was all “white” (with one possible exception).
  • He has several priors for which “whites” do not end up in prison but “blacks” usually do.
  • He says he is not a racist.

There are several unproven assumptions here, along with huge leaps of logic.  However, he (AJP) is considered an authority on history, especially where it relates to African Americans.

I for one, never realized that most of these things where common traits of “white” people.

In Conclusion

Racial profiling is truly abhorrent.  To assume that all the individuals of a group are identical, motivated by the same things, or have the same frame of reference for life (world view) is overly simplistic at best.  It’s time to treat individuals with respect as equals, differing only as their individual actions and statements may merit.

Thanks for reading my thoughts,

Dave

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