Diversity vs. Freedom (contd.): Crime will Explode If Racial Profiling Ends


Speaking
before a luncheon hosted by the Anti-Defamation League
of B`nai B`rith last week, Attorney General John
Ashcroft swore eternal enmity to the evil of racial
discrimination and its offspring, racial profiling.
Discrimination, the attorney general solemnly
warned
, remains “pervasive,” and needs to be
combatted “vigorously.”

That,
he continued, is why “racial profiling is an area of
special concern to me. It is totally unacceptable and
un-American to think that there would be a problem of
`driving while Hispanic`
or `driving while African-American` in America. I am
pleased that the president of the United States … made
it clear that he finds racial profiling totally
unacceptable, and it`s time to work to make sure that
it is not only unacceptable, but … no longer in
existence.” As noble as all the oratory may sound,
what it may mean is that Mr. Ashcroft really isn`t
qualified to be attorney general after all.

“Racial
profiling”
—the use of known correlations between
race and criminal behavior for the purposes of police
investigation of crimes—is not only not
“unacceptable” but virtually essential for the effective
performance
of police work. And if it really is
abandoned and ceases to exist in the United States,
crime—especially crime committed against
non-whites—will probably explode.

Two
years ago a small foundation called the New
Century Foundation
issued a report entitled “The
Color of Crime.”
(PDF download). Written by the
foundation`s president, Jared Taylor, an expert on
race relations in the United States, the report used
U.S. government statistics to show that more than 90
percent of the interracial crime in this country is
committed by blacks against whites. That alone is a
finding of major significance, but it`s not directly
relevant to the controversy about racial profiling.

More
relevant is Mr. Taylor`s finding that blacks are
arrested for murder at about nine times the rate of
whites. Hispanics are arrested for murder about two to
three times more often than whites, at least in the
state of California, which collects statistics on
Hispanic crime rates. Similar correlations between race
and robbery are also true.

The
statistics for national crime rates are drawn from a
federal survey called the
National Crime Victimization Survey
, which is made
up of a representative sample of some 100,000 Americans
who have been victims of criminals. The survey asks the
victims, among other questions, about the race of the
criminals who victimized them. It therefore avoids the
possibility that mere arrest records simply reflect the
racial biases of the police doing the arresting. Crime
victims have no motivation at all to lie about the race
of those who commit crimes against them.

But
the results of the victimization survey are almost
entirely consistent with the results from arrest
records. That too is significant, since it suggests that
arrests are not the product of police racial bias and
indeed that the police are less racially biased in their
work than some people would like us to think.

But
the really significant finding in Mr. Taylor`s study
is that “When it comes to violent crime, blacks are
approximately as much more likely to be arrested than
whites, as men are more likely to be arrested than
women.” That is directly relevant to racial profiling
because police make use of “gender profiling” all
the time—and no one objects.

It`s
close to common knowledge that men are more likely to
commit violent crimes than women and that young people
are more likely to do so than older people. No one
objects to police stopping younger men as more likely
suspects in violent crimes than women or older people.
No one whines that the police are penalizing citizens
for “driving while male” or “driving while
young.” For that matter, no one complains that
criminal profiling shows that serial killers are almost
always white and that police investigations of serial
murders almost always concentrate on white males.

Police
have to make use of what criminological statistics tell
us about who is and who is not likely to commit certain
kinds of crimes. If they don`t, there`s no real
point in collecting the statistics at all, and we can go
back to nineteenth century standards of criminology.
Police would no longer be able to distinguish likely
suspects from unlikely ones, and they would probably
wind up simply not investigating those who happen to
belong to certain racial categories. The results of that
would be to allow the violent criminals in these
categories to go unapprehended.

When
that happens, the complaint will be that the police
aren`t adequately protecting minorities because
they`re “racist.” And probably the first to join
up in the posse of whiners, the first to vow that such
“discrimination” has no place in America, will be
the leading law enforcement officer in the federal
government, John
Ashcroft.

COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS
SYNDICATE, INC.

May 10,
2001