Mike Kueber's Blog

April 2, 2012

Profiling, Geraldo, Trayvon, and Zimmerman

Filed under: Culture,Law/justice — Mike Kueber @ 7:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

Geraldo Rivera caused a liberal/media flap when he suggested that Trayvon Martin’s hoodie had something to do with his getting killed.  The liberals/media ardently attempted to debunk Rivera’s assertion by positing that a hoodie does not justify George Zimmerman to conclude that a teenager is “suspicious” and “up to no good.”   President Obama provided the liberals/media with their strongest argument by claiming that Trayvon looked like an Obama son would look.  All of which caused Geraldo to pseudo-apologize to the Martin family yesterday: 

  • But to be clear, I apologized for insensitivity and for the hubris caused, not for the potentially life-saving advice given to fellow minority parents.  Don’t let your young man go out into the cruel night wearing an outfit that may as well be a sign that says: “Stop and frisk,” or even “Shoot me.”
  • I am not, as one clever critic suggested, asking black or brown young men to dress like “Family Matters” Steve Erkiel.  But if you’re flying Jolly Roger’s skull & crossbones don’t be surprised when some jerkoff with a gun takes you for a pirate.

In hindsight, I wonder if President Obama’s comment about Trayvon looking like an Obama son was based on the widely circulated, outdated photo of short, innocent-looking Trayvon Martin or a current photo of a much more mature, gangly young adult.  Similarly, the media depicted Zimmerman with an outdated photo showing him to be an overweight slob instead of his current respectable appearance with much lost weight.  If we are going to discuss the effect of profiling, you would think the media would at least start with accurate profiling information.

Regarding the merits of profiling, there seems to be an unspoken understanding by the liberals/media that profiling based on race or ethnicity is wrong.  That is why the Arizona immigration law has been castigated – i.e., people were fearful that all Hispanics would be considered as “suspicious.”  Similarly, the concern is that George Zimmerman deemed Trayvon Martin as suspicious, not because of the hoodie, but because he was black.  Of course, that same argument is made in NYC, which compiles voluminous data regarding the race/ethnicity of people subjected to NYPD stop-and-frisk, the vast majority of whom are minorities. 

Conservatives counter that you can’t expect the brain to ignore all sorts of common-sense facts – i.e., Middle-Eastern males commit an inordinate amount of terrorism, Mexicans comprise an inordinate percentage of the illegal immigrants, and young black males in gangster garb commit more than their share of both property and violent crime.  Just because the Miami Heat endorse gangster garb (they already are tattooed from head to toe) doesn’t mean that gangster garb isn’t a reliable indicator.  It may be politically incorrect to know these facts, but our brain is trained to override political correctness.  Or as Geraldo said, “But if you’re flying Jolly Roger’s skull & crossbones don’t be surprised when some jerkoff with a gun takes you for a pirate.”

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