Are Portland Police Committed to Ending Racial Profiling?

Jo Ann Hardesty

Chief Sizer released her report this week, only 26 months after it was promised.

The Portland Police Racial Profiling Plan lays out a plan to ensure that all members of the Portland community are treated fairly by Portland Police. Chief Sizer should be applauded for moving this issue forward and her commitment to follow through to address this systemic problem in our community.

Having said that however, there appears to be a disconnect between the desire to end racial profiling by police and the current Portland Police Bureau effort called "Operation Cool Down". This operation is targeted at reducing the gang activity that has increased in the last few months. It's disappointing that we can continue to find money to pay Police overtime to target Black kids between 14-24 indiscriminately while we can't find money to provide positive activities and living wage employment opportunities.

In addition the downtown livability project that has 467 people on a secret list, that allows police to force those on the list to plead guilty to a felony in order to become eligible for alcohol & drug treatment. No one knows how you get on the list nor does there appear to be a way to get off the list. Thankfully the ACLU has filed suit to make this list public and to provide some standards for police in applying this secret effort. African Americans are 67% of the people on this list.

The Police plan includes some good policy changes. It requires Portland Police to provide business cards at the conclusion of police initiated stops; recruit & train a diverse police force; provide training to police in cultural competence. Other parts of the plan however are less encouraging.

Still there is no plan to hold police accountable for inappropriately targeting kids of color. No sanctions, no accountability, no redress for community members who are constantly stopped and searched by the police. It's discouraging to think in 26 months the police still refuse to track individual officer's behavior and hold them accountable for the intimidation and harassment of African American's in our community.

How can you eliminate racial profiling if you don't know who is racially profiling? Chief Sizer seems to think it's possible, I don't. Portland Police contract will expire in 2010. This year City Commissioner. Dan Saltzman will start negotiating a new contract. Let's make sure that he negotiates a contract that respects the civil rights of all who live within our city.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Jo Ann~

    Thanks for all your work on this.

    I'm writing City Hall to echo your concerns right now.

    -Mike

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    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for weighing in on this important issue.

    Jo Ann

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    a secret list, that allows police to force those on the list to plead guilty to a felony

    A plea entered under duress isn't admissible. I assume you mean that they make them an offer they can't refuse. I would like to know the details. In many of these cases, the devil is in the details and the basic violations of rights are often rooted in the administrative details of the criminal legal system. The law around "Drug Free Zones" and the idea that if jail time is not involved, then you are not entitled to a jury trial, are two good examples. That may be as, if not more important, than the details of the contract.

    This is just another example of the current social policy that holds that black males under 40 should either be in the military or under custodial supervision. Many of these trumped up prosecutions are brought simply to gain a guilty plea with the stipulation of probation, instead of jail time, to get them into the system. Running through this is the thread you will find in almost every topic, the basic abuses, precedents and racist formulation is found in the War on Drugs. Until we get control of that, addressing specific injustices is like swatting fleas and ignoring the mangy hound that's spreading them.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    SENTINEL NEWS SERVICE ~Cornelius Swart

    Jan 29 - Police and city officials report that they are seeing a decrease in violent gang activity in inner North and Northeast Portland after the launch of their gang enforcement program known as ‘Operation Cool Down’.

    On Jan.16, the cities of Portland and Gresham and Multnomah County announced that they were launching ‘Operation Cool Down’ to address a rash of gang-related shootings in inner North and Northeast Portland and East County. Between the December 12 slaying of Darshawn L Cross at a North Portland funeral and mid-January, police reported 16 shootings and three homicides, most of them in North and Northeast Portland.

    “Since Operation Cool Down, we’ve only had one shooting,” said Lt. Michael Lelof of Northeast Precinct. The shooting occurred on the 6000 block of North Banks Street at approximately 11:50pm, on Jan. 24. There were no injuries.

    “That was an Asian gang,” Lelof said. “Most of the gang shootings we were seeing before were black gangs.”

    Lelof credited an increase in patrols, including in and around the Lloyd District and Lloyd Center mall. The Portland Police Bureau and Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office have pointed to recent weapon seizures as signs of progress. “We’re using the same model we used out on 82nd Avenue with prostitution,” said Saltzman’s Chief of Staff Brendan Finn. “And we’re seeing results.”

    Northeast Precinct reports the seizure of six weapons in three incidents since Operation Cool Down began. In one incident, Lelof claimed police came upon five suspects “hiding in bushes” along Northeast Dekum Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard “with their hands in their jackets watching cars go by.”

    One suspect ran and dropped a sawed-off shot gun. The other suspects were arrested on site. Lelof believed the combination of weapons seizure and increased patrols was having an effect. “It’s definitely working,” said Lelof. Source

  • Idler (unverified)
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    This operation is targeted at reducing the gang activity that has increased in the last few months. It's disappointing that we can continue to find money to pay Police overtime to target Black kids between 14-24 indiscriminately while we can't find money to provide positive activities and living wage employment opportunities.

    Jo Ann, your approach is completely misguided and counterproductive. The cops are dealing with a gang problem that is race-specific. What you should be worrying about is why that gang activity is so high. Why do these young men choose to behave this way?

    At least the police's efforts appear to be bearing fruit, improving the quality of life and preserving life and liberty of those who might be harmed by criminal activity.

  • Michael M. (unverified)
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    Still there is no plan to hold police accountable for inappropriately targeting kids of color.

    Of course not, and there's one glaringly obvious reason why: unions.

  • Joe Hill (unverified)
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    Michael M. you've got to be kidding me. Or, pardon me if I'm missing this. I'm hoping that your invocation of "unions" is sarcastic, ironic, and I'm just not hip enough to see it clearly.

    What the hell is it with so-called progressives on this blog? As soon as the word "education" is mentioned, the other shoe drops . . . an attack on "unions." When the police force is profiling or acting with clearly unnecessary and unprofessional force, we blame "unions."

    I have lots and lots of problems with my own union, but even so I know that unions are the solution, not the problem. If that is unclear to you, then in what sense do you call yourself a progressive?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    @Joe Hill

    Given that you have just deemed unwavering love of unions the new hurdle along the path of "progressive" enlightenment, a better question is : in what sense do you call yourself a progressive?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Jan 29 - Police and city officials report that they are seeing a decrease in violent gang activity in inner North and Northeast Portland after the launch of their gang enforcement program known as ‘Operation Cool Down’.

    I wouldn't know if the statistics bear out the claim, but even if they do, you cannot actually demonstrate that Operation Cool Down had any effect. It's not as though you can rewind the clock and re-run the last 3 weeks, this time without Operation Cool Down, and then compare the two "experiments".

  • Idler (unverified)
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    I wouldn't know if the statistics bear out the claim, but even if they do, you cannot actually demonstrate that Operation Cool Down had any effect. It's not as though you can rewind the clock and re-run the last 3 weeks, this time without Operation Cool Down, and then compare the two "experiments".

    There's certainly the possibility of a post hoc ergo propter hoc misinterpretation here, but there's also the danger of rationalizing away an outcome you may find inconvenient.

    Perhaps the situation would have wound down on its own, but one has to at least entertain the possibility that an action aimed at interfering at criminal activity , and which some people obviously found intrusive, might have provided some useful friction to slow down (or cool down) the situation.

    It may also be that a closer study of tactics and events during the given period would actually reveal clear cause and effect. The fact that you don't entertain that possibility makes your statement look more like rationalization than impartial inquiry.

    In any case, the real problem lived by people who live in the city is not police harassment, it's gang violence. We can be vigilant about police conduct without losing sight of the big picture.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Joe Hill, of whom I dreamed last night: I assure you that the anti-union sentiment expressed by "progressive" Democrats is not ironic (At least it's not meant to be ironic.)

    Without unions, workers have no power, no dignity, no means to bargain collectively. All workers, even those who are not in unions, benefit from a strong union movement.

    Those who attack unions either are managing elites who see their interests as diverging from workers, or are fools who rant against their own interests.

  • Notorious JES (unverified)
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    Joanne:

    We need to get them to stop killing people, regardless of race.

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    Idler & Joel Dan Walls,

    Is it too much to expect that well trained police would only target gang members? If the police were stopping and searching every white kid between 14-24 I suspect you would both be up in arms about that.

    But some how when the activity is focused on black kids, you can justify the behavior as a public safety issue. Please....

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    When the Profile Fits the Crime

    By PAUL SPERRY Published: July 28, 2005

    IN response to the serial subway bombings in London, Mayor Michael Bloomberg prudently ordered the police to start searching the bags of New York's subway riders. But there will be absolutely no profiling, Mr. Bloomberg vowed: the police will select one out of every five passengers to search, and they will do so at random, without regard for race or religion.

    In that case, the security move is doomed to fail.

    Young Muslim men bombed the London tube, and young Muslim men attacked New York with planes in 2001. From everything we know about the terrorists who may be taking aim at our transportation system, they are most likely to be young Muslim men. Unfortunately, however, this demographic group won't be profiled. Instead, the authorities will be stopping Girl Scouts and grannies in a procedure that has more to do with demonstrating tolerance than with protecting citizens from terrorism.

    Critics protest that profiling is prejudicial. In fact, it's based on statistics. Insurance companies profile policyholders based on probability of risk. That's just smart business. Likewise, profiling passengers based on proven security risk is just smart law enforcement.

    Besides, done properly, profiling would subject relatively few Muslims to searches. Elderly Muslim women don't fit the terrorist profile. Young Muslim men of Arab or South Asian origin do. But rather than acknowledge this obvious fact, the New York Police Department has advised subway riders to be alert for "people" in bulky clothes who sweat or fiddle nervously with bags.

    You can read the rest here

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Is it too much to expect that well trained police would only target gang members?

    This isn't Compton cira 1985. Gang members don't run around wearing head-to-toe blue/red.

    If you have some insight into how the police can discern gangbanger from law abiding citizen, they would greatly appreciate it.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    Yeah, and what about the white meth freaks, and the white gangbanger wannabes?

    Oh, I forget, when those crowds kill each other, it's not Gang Action.

    What too many of us forget is that the same attitudes that right now are focused on black gang members can just as easily be focused on anyone else. Having had one experience where I got pulled over as a result of a police officer operating on a profile (white lady driving a junker in an upscale neighborhood), and having the cop obviously react to what the address was on my driver's license (a different upscale neighborhood), I suffer no illusions that such attitudes are at all a positive thing. I'd sooner not have the attitude focused on anyone, period.

    It's possible to have reasonable and good cops. Problem is, you get into the profiling and targeting mentality, and that ends up demonizing the population and leading to more problems than it solves. I'm old enough to remember the "Don't Choke 'Em, Smoke 'Em" t-shirts, and I worked in that particular neighborhood at the time it happened.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Ms.Bowman, WHOA! You completely misinterpreted my comment. The point is that there is no unambiguous way to know that the Operation Cool Down deployment accomplished anything. I'm actually on your side! To explore Idler's comments a bit more:

    Perhaps the situation would have wound down on its own, but one has to at least entertain the possibility that an action aimed at interfering at criminal activity , and which some people obviously found intrusive, might have provided some useful friction to slow down (or cool down) the situation.

    I am happy to entertain the possibility stated above. This is what is known in my up-tight scientific world as "a hypothesis". The next step is to test the hypothesis. Can you even do so in an unambiguous way? I don't think so, but I would be happy to listen to your counter-argument.

    It may also be that a closer study of tactics and events during the given period would actually reveal clear cause and effect. The fact that you don't entertain that possibility makes your statement look more like rationalization than impartial inquiry.

    I haven't "entertained" a lot of things, including, say, the effect of lunar cycles on crime. (It's not a flippant statement: lunar cycles are known to affect menstrual cycles, so why not crime?) You're playing rhetorical tricks akin to setting up strawmen.) And by the way, the best you could hope to reveal, I would maintain, is a set of correlations. Correlation is not the same thing as causality.

    In any case, the real problem lived by people who live in the city is not police harassment, it's gang violence. We can be vigilant about police conduct without losing sight of the big picture.

    I think Ms. Bowman would be quite happy to argue that police harassment in indeed a "real problem".

    The item posted by mp97303 about profiling Muslims is pretty odd. What in the world does it even mean to profile Muslims? Can you identify someone as Muslim from physical characteristics? Well, given that Muslims are of all races, pretty obviously not. Oh, mp97303's article attempts to dodge this bullet by qualifying things in terms of "[y]oung Muslim men of Arab or South Asian origin", but I would maintain this fails as a criterion, too: Can you possibly pick out a South Asian Muslim from a South Asian Hindu, South Asian Sikh (sans turban), or South Asian Christian?

    One of the profiling "tools" used by airlines and the TSA now is to give the 3rd degree to anyone who buys a one-way ticket or makes a last-minute booking change. Last summer I found myself in precisely that situation at Logan Intl. after arriving from Europe late at night, missing my connection to the West Coast, and then being forced to spend the night in Boston. The search of my person and my belongings was far more intrusive than any other search I've ever been subjected to. (At least the TSA guy was polite.) And all because I fit some supposedly sound set of criteria that labelled me a potential threat to aviation....

  • (Show?)

    Okay Joel- you are talking theory while I am talking about observed behavior on the street of Portland. Your position of privilege gives you the opportunity to have an intellectual perspective. Meanwhile I have observe the unchecked attack on young kids of color just for walking down the street in their neighborhood.

    While I don't want anyone in our community to suffer from this type of police abuse, today it is happening to black kids indiscriminately. I don't believe there is any justification for it. I don't believe someone is a gang member just because the Portland Police says it is so. You may remember in the early 90"s Portland Police would put kids on their gang list simply because of where they lived or went to school.

    Who decides someone is a gang member? Why aren't police trained to determine the difference between a kid that dress like kids dress and a gang member? What is the criteria they use to decided who to stop and search on the street?

    Portland Police have a history of this type of behavior, so it is not an exercise of "what if", it is a fact of how Police choose to do their job when interacting with black kids.

    I will ask again, if white kids were being stopped and searched at the same rate as black kids, would you be concern?

  • Idler (unverified)
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    Jo Ann wrote:

    If the police were stopping and searching every white kid between 14-24 I suspect you would both be up in arms about that.

    You suspect wrong. If rival white gangs were killing each other, I'd support exactly the same tactics. If I were living in the neighborhood where it was happening, I'd be clamoring for the cops to do it.

    jrw wrote:

    What too many of us forget is that the same attitudes that right now are focused on black gang members can just as easily be focused on anyone else.

    And so they should be. If a bunch of white people were known to be in charge of the meth trade in a given neighborhood they should be on the alert for them. See above comment for reference to white gang activity.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    Portland PD and any other PD couldn't tell who a pot dealer is unless they were sporting dreads, wearing sandals, and had a counter culture tee on. The same goes for gangbangers where PD perceive any young Black man aged 18 to 24 sporting a hoodie and/or baggy pants as a potential gangbanger.

    Those who are attracted to law enforcement typically come from very pristine, "leave it to beaver" backgrounds where being "in the know" with illicit behavior would never occur in the first place.

    Henceforth, you have racial profiling, which raises the question of how can one expect to uphold the law when one has no experience, firsthand or otherwise, with illicit behavior in one's background?

    It is quite comical if you consider it. You have the "can do no wrong" goodie too shoes upholding the law having to deal with the dregs of society, many of whom bask in a criminal lifestyle.

    Under this scenario, racial profiling is here to stay.

  • Idler (unverified)
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    I haven't "entertained" a lot of things, including, say, the effect of lunar cycles on crime.

    Joel, the cops applied certain tactics and the problem quietened down. That their tactics were effective is one of the most obvious possibilities to entertain even if proving those tactics' efficacy may be difficult. Fair enough?

    I think Ms. Bowman would be quite happy to argue that police harassment in indeed a "real problem".

    Obviously she is; the question is whether that is reasonable. To me, it seems insane to dwell on the perhaps necessary but minor evil of police stopping young men at the expese of dealing with the major evil of young men killing each other and endangering others.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    will ask again, if white kids were being stopped and searched at the same rate as black kids, would you be concern?

    Your darn right I would be. It would be an utter waste of time and resources to target "white kids" when they are not the problem of this SPECIFIC crime wave.

  • Roy McAvoy (unverified)
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    Jo Ann, you and I agree this a step in the right direction, but some of the reasons we have may differ some. Perception can be as damaging as reality. You obviously believe profiling by Portland Police is a problem here, while some others may feel that is an over-reaction. I admit that many who don't think it is problem here may be coming at it from the perspective a white middle class citizen, seldom in contact with the police. Whether it is perception or reality makes little difference in the end. It leaves the same bad taste in the mouths of the community. I don't want PPB to stop and harass innocent teens, and I don't want PPB to be driving past gang bangers, afraid to stop them for fear of being called racist. I want stop data and other measures in place to prove there is no bias, and to give cops the freedom they need to put the pressure on the bad guys, black or white. It looks like Portland's Chief is headed in the right direction, and it is a good thing that community activists like you are there to help push it along. I hope you will be there continuing to support the cops who do the right thing, and that you continue to keep a watchful eye on those who don't.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Ms. Bowman, again, you are completely misinterpreting what I wrote, and again let me write that fundamentally I agree with you. Profiling is bullshit. Can I be any plainer? And you are free to criticize me as a pointy-headed intellectual, but I'm going to keep insisting on rigorous arguments, especially when I read stuff like what Idler writes: the cops applied certain tactics and the problem quietened down. That their tactics were effective is one of the most obvious possibilities to entertain even if proving those tactics' efficacy may be difficult. Fair enough?

    An example of precisely the same sort of argument by correlation as Idler is making:

    I decided to become a vegan a few weeks ago and what do you know, Barack Obama was inaugurated president shortly thereafter. It's obvious to the most casual observer that my dietary decision caused Obama's inauguration.

    (On the other hand, despite the similar timing, I disavow any connection between my dietary change and the lunatic who shot those teens downtown.)

    Roy McAvoy writes: I want stop data and other measures in place to prove there is no bias

    I would like an cogent explanation of exactly how traffic stop data by race, say, or ethnicity, or whatever, can be used to test for bias. Not saying this cannot be done, I just want to know the methodology. Perhaps someone can point me at an appropriate study.

  • Idler (unverified)
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    An example of precisely the same sort of argument by correlation as Idler is making

    You can be sure I won't be accusing you of being a pointy-headed intellectual when you persist in misinterpreting what I'm saying. Could I have been any clearer that the situation is subject to post hoc ergo propter hoc? At the same time, one is being obtuse not to acknowledge, "Yes, given the application of tactics and the results, it MAY have worked." Did you notice the word POSSIBILITIES in the sentence you quoted?

    The funny thing is that I think Jo Ann is being too intellectual. She's caught up in a certain notion, she obsessively clings to it (she's not alone here) meanwhile, Rome burns.

    Again, one can monitor police activity while recognizing what's driving the program we're talking about here and not losing sight of the genuine mayhem it's trying to address. IN short, there is a serious inversion of priorities going on here.

  • (Show?)
    I would like an cogent explanation of exactly how traffic stop data by race, say, or ethnicity, or whatever, can be used to test for bias. Not saying this cannot be done, I just want to know the methodology. Perhaps someone can point me at an appropriate study.

    It doesn't seem that difficult to me. If 20% of PPB-wide routine traffic stops are of blacks while blacks are only driving 10% of the vehicles on the road then I'd say that racial bias has to be presumed unless or until the PPB can give a cogent argument for why that's not the case.

  • Roy McAvoy (unverified)
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    Kevin,

    If an area of Portland has a high crime rate, wouldn't it be likely to get more attention by police than other areas of the city? If that same area happens to populated with more people of color than other areas of the city wouldn't more people of color be stopped? I would bet that if you are white, but driving at night in one these high crime areas you would be more likely to get stopped than in other areas.

    Stop data alone is seldom conclusive, but it can be an indicator. Crime report data is just as important. It is helped along when combined with other efforts being discussed. I like the business card idea, it puts ownership and a name to the stop.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)
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    The whole topic of music and culture is absent from this conversation. I will inject it.

    As a millennial who has grown up with Rap music, many of my middle-class, White peers are enthralled by the whole Hip Hop culture and dress the part (personally I have grown out of that phase).

    That part is looking like the thug rapping who is boasting about how many b**tches he has, how many shots he has taken, how much weight he is holding, and how many suckas he has shot.

    Police officers have children. Many of them have kids my age who listen to the same stuff my peers do. So when "Daddy Police Officer" sees and listens to the music his children watch on television, then what do you think his perception of young Black males is going to be?

    Likewise, when you put "Daddy Police Officer" in one of the Whitest metropolitan areas in the USA, then what do you think his biases against Black people, especially young Black males aged 18-24 wearing hoodies will be?

    One cannot ignore culture and the biases it gives to individuals who have very little real life contact with members who are creating that culture.

    I am not going to give some drawn out emotional, intellectually exhausting spiel of what should be. I live in reality. You cannot paint a pretty picture and think that is the world when it is not and I am waiting to torch your painting.

    Now for the interesting question: If young black males were dressed more like Bill Cosby than Tupac Shakur, would the rates of racial profiling be the same? Lower? Higher?

  • (Show?)

    Roy, of course a specific area with higher crime rates would get more attention. Note that I stipulated "routine traffic stops." That's not looking for a red sedan suspected of being the getaway car from a minimart robbery ten minutes prior.

    If I'm driving through a rough part of town and am not violating any rules of the road then there is no more reason to pull me over there than if I were driving down the road not violating any rules of the road in the lowest crime rate area of the city.

    Pulling someone over who isn't violating any traffic laws simply because of the color of their skin and because of the crime rate in the area is racism. I see no way around that reality.

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    I always find these kinds of "crime and punishment" discussions interesting because I'm a recovering cocaine & meth addict who did plenty of things that could have resulted in my being imprisoned. The thing is... the overwhelming majority of it took place way out in semi-rural areas. But I have white skin and didn't hang out in a ghetto and thus am perceived differently because of it.

  • Idler (unverified)
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    I ... did plenty of things that could have resulted in my being imprisoned. The thing is... the overwhelming majority of it took place way out in semi-rural areas. But I have white skin and didn't hang out in a ghetto and thus am perceived differently because of it.

    OK, so you're perceived differently than a young black guy in a place where young black guys are committing a lot of violent crime. What's the point? If you were younger and lived in an area where there were only white people, or only white people were causing a crime wave (not exactly a rare phenomenon in history) you'd have been looked at differently than, say, the Indian guy who owns the corner shop, who is stereotyped for his work ethic and traditionalism.

    Furthermore, it's not as if there aren't negative stereotypes of rural white people, e.g. "hicks," "hillbillies," "white trash." Most people think of whites when meth is discussed. That's probably an overgeneralization, but it's not without some basis on real cultural phenomena or at least established patterns of behavior. Like any generalization, it should be treated with skepticism.

    Similarly with YoungOregonMoonbat's point about black stereotypes from rap. To a certain extent popular music (or whatever it is) is more about fantasy than reality. Posing as a gangsta is not the same as being one.

    However, I find with YoungOregonMoonbat this same obtuseness with regard to real problems owing to ideological habits. He says:

    One cannot ignore culture and the biases it gives to individuals who have very little real life contact with members who are creating that culture.

    He elaborates a ridiculous stereotype in order to sustain his ideological preconceptions. He dwells on how he imagines the "Daddy police officer" is influenced by gangsta rap but he doesn't stop for a minute to think about how young black men are influenced by gangsta rap.

    You would think, reading his analysis, that gangs and gang violence were a superstition of "Daddy police officers" who strangely, given their daily routine, are presumed to have "very little real life contact" with the inhabitants of the neighborhoods they work in.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Can you possibly pick out a South Asian Muslim from a South Asian Hindu, South Asian Sikh (sans turban), or South Asian Christian?

    Sure. You casually engage them in a conversation about their favorite dishes. That's what I used to do in interviews to see if various South Asians would play well together. Rice v bread, use of dairy products, curry leaves, and onions and garlic vis a vis hing, are dead give-aways. Can't wait to wear my new Pakistan cricket warm-up cap through customs.

    This thread has been informative. I've finally got the message. This blog is about responding to the poster, not so much the post. Perhaps "Club Progressive" is a better moniker? Just the right amount of self-important pseudo-awareness!

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    The profiling of Muslims advocated in a previous comment would be a godsend to terrorists. If certain categories of people were exempt, they could focus their resorces and be nearly guaranteed success.

    Gain access to a little old lady's carryon--not that difficult a thing to do--and you are home free.

    From a strictly operational perspective, particularly in a country as diverse as the US, randomness is a critical strategy.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Still there is no plan to hold police accountable for inappropriately targeting kids of color. No sanctions, no accountability, no redress for community members who are constantly stopped and searched by the police. It's discouraging to think in 26 months the police still refuse to track individual officer's behavior and hold them accountable for the intimidation and harassment of African American's in our community.

    Likewise no sanctions, no accountability, no redress whenever a bunch of cops jump some poor mentally ill guy and he winds up getting a trip to the morgue. (Remember James Chasse?)

    I don't have any answers, and I sure as hell would not want to be a cop, either.

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)
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    Having been a sixties-era counter-culture member who was profiled, jailed, and humiliated, I can assure those without such experience that any racial or cultural profiling is threatening, intimidating, and infuriating to those who are its targets. If you want large groups of infuriated black kids prowling your streets, keep it up.

    Furthermore, the anti-Arab/anti-Muslim bias exhibited by BO posters, and reflected in U.S. (and U.S.-Israel) foreign policy, in and of itself will be the cause of further attacks against us. Keep up the slaughter, rendition, and support for crimes against humanity, and you will get what you deserve. Stop these actions, and you will be safe. (Of course, you'll also have to give up your "right" to dominate others' resources.)

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    The only way this will ever work at it's best is if all Portland police officers (Sizer included) have manditory anger management counceling on a yearly basis. When that counceling is in place, them we can talk about other issues like profiling.

  • Idler (unverified)
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    Having been a sixties-era counter-culture member who was profiled, jailed, and humiliated, I can assure those without such experience that any racial or cultural profiling is threatening, intimidating, and infuriating to those who are its targets. If you want large groups of infuriated black kids prowling your streets, keep it up.

    Let's agree that the cops should be not only restrained but polite, when possible, in doing their neighborhood stops. Could you not give a thought for the reason they're doing it? Is the occasional stop of young men in the area concerned not reasonable given the level of violence that was occuring?

    It's interesting that you seem to think that profiling is going to lead to "large groups of infuriated black kids prowling [the] streets."

  • Stefan (unverified)
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    @YoungOregonMoonbat

    As a millennial who has grown up with Rap music, many of my middle-class, White peers are enthralled by the whole Hip Hop culture and dress the part (personally I have grown out of that phase).

    That part is looking like the thug rapping who is boasting about how many b**tches he has, how many shots he has taken, how much weight he is holding, and how many suckas he has shot.

    As another young, lower-middle class Millenial, who has actually spent some time with lower-class people of color, I can safely say that your understanding of "hip-hop" is...limited. Those middle-class thug-wannabes you speak of a re the primary consumers of gangsta rap in today's market. They fuel the misogynistic spiral as much or more than anyone. You're more likely to find truly innovative and positive lyrics originating from the actual inner-city. Sure, there will be some Black kids who make all their peers look bad. The same is true for White kids in the 'burbs.

  • Idler (unverified)
    (Show?)

    They fuel the misogynistic spiral as much or more than anyone. You're more likely to find truly innovative and positive lyrics originating from the actual inner-city. Sure, there will be some Black kids who make all their peers look bad. The same is true for White kids in the 'burbs.

    I'm curious as to exactly what you mean by the "misogynistic spiral."

    As far as "making their peers look bad," this kind of equivalence is an evasion, just like focusing on police intrusion rather than peer homicide. White kids in the suburbs aren't killing their peers at anything like the rate as the black kids are. Why is that? Well, you might be onto something with your notion of misogynistic spiral, depending on what you mean by it.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Cute. Harry Kershner is now channeling Ward Churchill. Is Harry going to further emulate Churchill by writing a book and posing for a cover photo that shows him packing heat? Inquiring minds want to know.

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