April 17, 2012

Is there anything left to say about racial profiling?

The George Zimmerman case, in which the special prosecutor signaled the Epitome of All Evil out for having "profiled" an unfamiliar 6'2" young black male, has, as they say, Reignited the Debate over Racial Profiling. But is there any actual debate in terms of either side grappling with the other side's arguments, rather than for one side to have the other side's proponents fired?

For example, here is what I wrote in VDARE way, way back in October 2000 after listening to a Presidential debate in which Bore and Gush Gore and Bush denounced racial profiling. As iSteve readers, but nobody else in the whole world, will recall, Bush was particularly insistent that profiling of Arab and/or Muslim airline passengers as potential terrorists -- "flying while Arab" -- would be abolished by a new Bush Administration. And so it came to pass ...

I went on to say in 2000:
This debate over racial profiling shows how utterly divorced American political discourse has become from personal reality. Every single person who lives in a diverse part of the country racially profiles every other pedestrian as he walks down the street at night. Jesse Jackson notoriously admitted that he does exactly that - and sighs with relief when he finds that the footsteps following him don't belong to a young black male.  
Indeed, the black-white ratio would be even higher if the FBI didn't insist upon counting most Hispanics as whites. This obfuscatory tactic makes it hard to break out precise crime figures for Hispanic groups. Most estimates place their rates of violence as well below those of African Americans - but well above those of whites. For example, Fox Butterfield reported in The New York Times on August 10, 2000 that Hispanics are imprisoned at a rate three times higher than "Anglo" whites. 
The reason we all do this is simple: African Americans commit far more violent crimes than anybody else. For example, according to official Clinton Administration statistics, in 1998 on a per capita basis blacks were seven times more murderous than whites. And this ratio is down significantly from the early nineties when the black crack wars were blazing. [http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/race.htm]
Actually, now I come to think about it, I do recall meeting one (1) man who never engaged in racial profiling. At a wedding reception in 1985, I got to talking with someone from Grant's Pass, Oregon. He was most upset by how whites (other than himself) worried more about black muggers than muggers of other races. "That's pure racism!" he insisted. 
I proposed to him a thought experiment. Say your wife's car runs out of gas in the middle of the night in a desolate neighborhood. She has no idea which way to walk to find a gas station. However, if she walks one way she has to pass by a half dozen black youths lounging on a corner. If she walks the other way, she would have to pass by a half dozen Indian immigrant youths. Which way would you prefer she went? 
"I would be completely indifferent," he replied. 
"Well, then, for your sake, I'm glad you live in Grass Pants, Oregon." 
"Where I live is irrelevant!" he responded triumphantly. "I've already been mugged three times!"

About all I can think of to add after all these years is this: Is it shamefully illiberal and politically incorrect for one sex to profile the other sex while walking down the street late at night with little security around? Is it a violation of our most sacred beliefs in gender equality that, for example, I try to make women walking late at night on an empty street feel less nervous by the presence of a strange man by my, say, crossing to the other side of the street, or by my walking on the far edge of the sidewalk out of arm's reach of them when passing them? Should I be deeply insulted that these good manners make women less nervous? Should I nurse a deep sense of rage over how these women are, subconsciously profiling me as a possible violent crime threat to themselves based solely on my accident of birth as a man?

On the other hand, on a busy, safe afternoon in broad daylight, would I resent it if a woman expected me to inconvenience myself by crossing the street? Sure. Especially if she were wearing a chador and didn't want me come close enough to her while walking down the street to cause a scandal with her in-laws that might lead to her brothers setting her on fire or whatever. 

Yeah, of course, who needs that kind of drama and those kind of people in their own neighborhood?

Now, the feminist explanation is purely Who? Whom? I possess Patriarchal Privilege so I must sacrifice for women. But my perspective is more realistic and sophisticated: that politeness suggests different behaviors for different people in different situations. Moreover, I also believe in political responses: treat rape as a serious crime, have the police hassle gangs of men who make weird sucking noises at women as they walk by, and so forth.

Of course, much of the response to allowing Women to Take Back the Night involves racial profiling and other police tactics with disparate racial impact. The liberal response is that to point out conflicting interests between liberalism's various sacralized victim groups (women, blacks, illegal immigrants, etc.) is crimethink, so we should all engage in crimestop, or protective stupidity.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

People like your friend from Grants Pass always interest me. Is he crazy? Is he suicidal? He's obviously not acting from self-interest or a deeply held religious belief. So what do you think is his motivation?

Remember that liberal chick got 'necklaced' in South Africa? Its that kind of crazy liberalism that always puzzles me. I wonder what their TRUE motivation is.

William Jefferson Blythe III said...

I have never practised racial profiling, and never will.

Now, I might have to weigh my options if you removed my unassuming security detail.

acdc said...

You've recounted this exchange before, and it is as jaw dropping now as ever; but I don't know the Grant's Ass demographics. I'll say this though: living in Oregon in 1985 he can be understood as probably inexperienced--maybe he really was mugged by white meth addicts. Oregon after all. What's scary is that I can just barely imagine somebody claiming this nonsense in a large metropolis like Chicago. There do exist PC-adherents that insane, that afraid, and that much in denial; because they sure as hell wouldn't be that inexperienced or that ignorant.

Anonymous said...

rather than to have to the other side's proponents fired from their jobs.

Well, only one side get fired.

Anonymous said...

It should be perfectly legal for men to make sucking noises at women, at any time. It's not touching.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading that freakin anecdote 12 years ago about that mentally ill dude from Oregon. I laughed as hard now as I did then.

Keep on truckin'

Dan in DC

APH said...

Well Heather Mac Donald has an entire section devoted to her writings on racial profiling: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/mac_donald.htm and she's been going at it (mostly alone) for at least a dozen years. I don't think any of her critics ever seriously engage her on this topic because she takes the shock and awe approach to hate facts.

Anonymous said...

" Is he crazy? Is he suicidal?"
Suicide by NAM

Arnold Alois S. said...

Neither can I stand this raciss behavior and I totally agree with you, William.

ben tillman said...

People like your friend from Grants Pass always interest me. Is he crazy? Is he suicidal?

Is he apocryphal? Is he a composite like Polly Perkins?

Z said...

No, there is nothing to say anymore. There is no meaningful discourse. Statics are lost on them and we like our jobs. So it stands. In some bygone era maybe we could've compromised on it through some horse trading: Ok, you can profile black drivers if you give more funds to after school programs. But we those kind of deals don't get done. I am sure Arabs, overall, would prefer to be profiled if we opened up flights to more Arabic destinations which would make it easier for them to go back and forth and bring visitors, or I don't know.

OT I have a working theory that if there is a story involving an anonymous suspect, that suspect is NAM. White guys get leaked. This could be way off, but whoo is this Secret Service guy who refused to pay the hooker? We all want to know...

Persuasive whipping-up rhetoric said...

> Is he a composite like Polly Perkins?

Heh; so I'm not the only one that found and watched that ('Metropolitan') thanks to this place. I'm glad; I loved it.

Anonymous said...

I must have been raised poorly. I've never heard of crossing to the other side of a street late at night to avoid making a woman nervous. It does make sense though.

Anonymous said...

Please add http://chasthuglife.blogspot.com/ to your blog links.

NAACP calls it profiling, but it's really an amazing look into what gangsta thugs post on facebook.

Anonymous said...

It is ironic, no, that part of American women's, or perhaps I should say American feminists' anti-man stance is due to the prevalence of rapes in this country committed by... African-Americans. Yet hapless white guys bear the brunt of the wimmin's righteous rage and are turned into emasculated ninnies without quite knowing why.

[enter username here] said...

In the old pre-Internet days of prostitution the hookers would profile customers by the quality of their shoes (vice cops favoring nondescript/cheap brands; women just finding shoes to be important in general). Of course this was totally discriminatory against johns who couldn't afford better footwear

jody said...

if you go back and read my comments on steve's blog in 2001, you'll see i identified norman mineta as the main offender of the bush cabinet "We will never profile anybody" policy. mineta, a democrat, was secretary of transportation at the time and adamantly refused that he would profile anyone. in all public statements and official government functions, anyway. who knows what he actually practiced in private. but he would be damned if anybody was going to think muslims were more likely to blow stuff up than anybody else.

part of his absolutely moronic reasoning was that he had felt the effect of profiling himself during the world war 2 isolation camps the US operated to keep suspicious japanese, german, and italian people seperated from the general population. in my opinion, the US was completely correct to take this measure. the guy was an ideological idiot, on the level of steven chu, another cabinet level "smart" east asian american who is also an ideological idiot, led to say and practice positively retarded policy informed by liberal ideas and utterly divorced from reality.

mineta is the kind of moron who, today, would flatly deny up and down that chinese spies are a problem in US industry and academia, and would tell you that anybody is equally likely to be a spy as that chinese guy who just came in on a visa 2 years ago and wants to know all about the engineering operations at your california plant.

what's funny is that under the obama administration, everything was turned around by janet napolitano, so that european american men specifically were openly profiled as america's most likely enemies by department of homeland defense. although perhaps "america" should be in quotes, as the obama administration, correctly, identifies themselves as the enemy of european americans, and knows that some of them will figure this out and won't like it.

Anonymous said...

"Is he crazy? Is he suicidal? He's obviously not acting from self-interest or a deeply held religious belief. So what do you think is his motivation?"

I've been starting to wonder about this more as I realize how utterly fixed some people are in regard to PC, even when confronted with complete personal evidence that should at least make them think (crime victims, for instance). It's the Blank Wall (not the blank slate!). Nothing penetrates!

There is a prof at Stanford (yeah, from the Anthropolgy Dept...), Tanya Luhrmann, who has a new book out, "When God Talks Back". Her basic claim seems to be explained in some recent papers, for instance, "The Absorption Hypothesis: Learning to Hear God in Evangelical Christianity", T. M. Luhrmann, Howard Nusbaum, and Ronald Thisted, and "Hallucinations and Sensory Overrides", T. M. Luhrmann (a web-search should easily find copies).

If I understand, she's claiming a significant number of "normal" people (10% or more?) experience true hallucinations and that with training and effort (i.e., things like prayer and mediation) they can, unknowingly, enter an artificially defined mental world, as it were. Lucid hallucinations, or hallucinations shaped by learning and training, I take it. She calls this mental state (trance?) "absorption".


Perhaps extreme "I don't care if I get mugged" liberal political positions actually are mentally the equivalent of religiously believed/experienced knowledge. Not a mental disorder, much more mundane, just the normally religious and often confused human mind. Joan of Arc marching to the tune of the New York Times. Maybe humans are barely intelligent creatures or just "somewhat" intelligent... Perhaps controlling the narrative is more powerful then most of us would normally give credit, for some small but significant part of the population.

NINJA said...

This is a funny conceit, that in certain environs women will start profiling men--do they ever stop? Whether a guy's drunkenly staggering down Skid Row or all up in the club she be profilin'

Ted Bundy column in Tigerbeat said...

The rhetorical example of hyper-polite hypothetical Steve, walking away from the female stranger's path, has a latent weakness aside from oversimplification (guessing he was thought-experimenting a bygone era since women tend not to be very nervous on a sidewalk with a late-middle-aged dude of any race). In that case he's said to be passing Theoretical Woman in the opposite direction but there's a cousin situation, i.e. the informal urban practice of women "falling into step" behind the nearest adult male going the same way. This is dramatized cleverly in the rather nice SWPL film "Melvin Goes to Dinner" albeit for a separate dramatic purpose. Generally speaking the herd instinct depends on some rudimentary ability at profiling, since if a cosmopolitan party girl opts to shadow some Shriners leaving their evening meet-up that's just worse for everyone.

Anonymous said...

"if you go back and read my comments on steve's blog in 2001"

hey, sounds like a plan. surely nobody else thought to write functionally anonymous comments under the same or a similar name in that primitive era...

as said...

Steve, based on what you look like (harmless looking white man), I think it would be better if you did NOT cross the street. Late at night, a woman might find your presence comforting.

Depending on who they are, I like to see other people on the sidewalk late at night.

Whiskey said...

Hapless White guys bear women's rage because they are not ... SEXY. Women will forgive anything, and I mean anything, for the most part, most of the time, if men are sexy. And nothing if they are not.

The worst thing in the world is to listen to anything women actually SAY. Rather, pay close and minute attention to what women DO. Since there is a massive gap between them, and actions reveal true desires.

The Grant's Pass idiot was just mouthing stuff women like to hear. Because (as the MOST judgmental people in the universe) they are all about being non-judgmental.

Anonymous said...

To put it bluntly, all this 'equality' business is just one stinking steaming pile of shit, and the manic, mad phase of 'equality' in the (following the 'civil rights' ruckus of the '60s, ERA and the rest), is wrought immeasurable harm on the USA.
The tragedy is how this nonsense captured the moral high ground of the American political eilte and has become enshrined in tablets of stone.
The point is that is all a myth, a lie, the USA is the kingdom of the lie - a nation state founded on the core value of a blatant and obvious lie as its national mission.
Yes, people have said the same thing about religion, but put in its own box religion is relatively harmless, but when staes are founded on lies as obvious trying to declare that 'black is white' (the colors not the ethnies), because 'I say that black is white and the full weight of the law will destroy anyone who dares to challenge what I say', then you know the state is doomed.
Kennedy, Johnson, MLK killed the USA.

Simon in London said...

"Steve, based on what you look like (harmless looking white man), I think it would be better if you did NOT cross the street. Late at night, a woman might find your presence comforting."

NB: You don't need to cross the street when walking TOWARDS a woman at night. You cross the street to the other side to avoid walking close BEHIND a woman at night. When you're behind her she can't see you, all she can tell is that there's a strange man close behind her.

BrokenSymmetry said...

"Steve, based on what you look like (harmless looking white man)"

Meant well but isn't this just a teeny bit insulting to Steve?

Anonymous said...

Z said - OT I have a working theory that if there is a story involving an anonymous suspect, that suspect is NAM. White guys get leaked. This could be way off, but who is this Secret Service guy who refused to pay the hooker? We all want to know...

There are already acronyms for these mysterious suspects.

MONA: Men Of No Appearance (though we know they dont have a white appearance because that would slip into the report - somehow)

There is also MONDEO: Men Of No Discernible Ethnic Origin (but not white obviously, see above)

Mark Caplan said...

Based on Zimmerman's 911 call, Zimmerman wasn't sure of Trayvon Martin's race at the beginning of the call, which undermines the profiling charge. When the dispatcher asked Zimmerman to report the race of the person who aroused his suspicion, he said "He looks black.

Only later in the call does Zimmerman conclude that Trayvon is indeed black:

"Now he's coming toward me. He's got his hands in his waist band. And he's a black male.

urban cowgirl said...

"i.e. the informal urban practice of women "falling into step" behind the nearest adult male going the same way."

What? I'm an urban woman and never heard of that. It would be very presumptuous and embarrassing if he noticed you and didn't want you around. Good gracious. Although on a dark street with no one else around except undesirables, I can see the logic of tagging along with some guys who look more, shall we say, desirable, as long as one didn't have to make any actual claims on their attention.
I will have to keep this plan in mind.

el dorado said...

If I understand, she's claiming a significant number of "normal" people (10% or more?) experience true hallucinations and that with training and effort (i.e., things like prayer and mediation) they can, unknowingly, enter an artificially defined mental world, as it were. Lucid hallucinations, or hallucinations shaped by learning and training, I take it. She calls this mental state (trance?) "absorption".


Perhaps extreme "I don't care if I get mugged" liberal political positions actually are mentally the equivalent of religiously believed/experienced knowledge. Not a mental disorder, much more mundane, just the normally religious and often confused human mind. Joan of Arc marching to the tune of the New York Times. Maybe humans are barely intelligent creatures or just "somewhat" intelligent... Perhaps controlling the narrative is more powerful then most of us would normally give credit, for some small but significant part of the population.

Joan of Arc acted consciously and knew and accepted the dangers. In the long-view, she won, burned or not.
I live in area full of delusional PC liberals, but any of them going into predominantly black areas, especially at night, is a rare occurrence which leads me to understand they have their limits.
It is well known in psychiatry that masochists are far less likely to act out their more extreme fantasies, while that is a more likely danger in the case of sadists. I think we all get that.

Drawbacks said...

Steve, based on what you look like (harmless looking white man)...
'"I think I know those shoes," he said.
What did he mean, he knew those shoes?
"You're a different person altogether."
"Different in what way, Eric?"
"You won't take offense?" he said, the grin turning lascivious, rich with secret meaning.
"Of course not. Why would I?"
"Promise you won't take offense."
"I won't take offense."
"You look so harmless, Jack. A big, harmless, aging, indistinct sort of guy."'

NOTA said...

There's a really important discussion to be had about profiling, which I've never seen really examined. (But maybe that's just my lack of reading in this area.).

Profiling is ultimately about applied statistics. No air traveler is at all likely to be a terrorist, but the 23 year old Saudi grad student is much more likely to be a terrorist than the 76 year old American black lady in the seat next to him. And yet, we need to balance our response to that difference in probabilities with two things:

a. The correct use of statistics here has a big cost to the Saudi guy who is, almost certainly, just trying to fly to a job interview or fly home or something. (Actually, the probability is so low that it's not clear that the right use of the statistics will inconvenience him rhat much--at most,it probably makes sense to lookhimover a litttle more carefully and maybe look through his bags with a bit more care.)

b. Our use of those statistics can be used as a cover to hassle people you don't like, to shake people down for money, etc.

This gets much worse with criminal profiling. There have been two guys who have tried and succeeded at slipping bombs onto planes to try to blow them up in a decade, despite the inept federal rentacops at the airports, but crime is happening all the time. If you're not a war correspondent in Afghanistan or something, you shouldn't spend a microsecond worrying about your risk of dying from terrorism, but dying from violent crime is a serious risk, especially when you're relatively young.

Profiling means giving a lot more unwanted police and suspicious citizen attention to young men, expecially young black men and young men dressing and acting in certain ways. This has to massively suck if you're a 21 year old black guy whose main concern is getting your MCAT score high enough to get into medical school or something, but who gets a suspicious glare everytime you walk into a store. It must really, really suck when you get pulled over a lot because not many black kids live in your neighborhood, since getting pulled over is an opportunity for things to go very badly for you, up to getting beaten up or shot in the worst case.

At the same time, ignoring correct statistical information means making worse decisions, snd that has a cost. If the probability that a white kid driving a Lexus in this neighborhood stole it is 1%, and the probability a black kid stole it is 5%, we either hassle innocent black kids more often than innocent white kids, or we let more car thefts happen. That tradeoff is something that is a matter of values, not expertise--there's no right answer, but we ought to work out in public, ultimately via elections and laws, what tradeoff we want to make there. But making a good decision means acknowledging both sides of the tradeoff, and trying to quantify both sides.

It might also make sense to try to get better information technology here. If the cop following the teenage black kid driving the Lexus could quickly learn that the owner is a black guy, maybe that would decrease the rate of pulling some kid over for driving his dad's car when he's home from college. Dashcams rhat can't be erased or altered might also work to make it much less likely that anyone pulled over who doesn't get violent will get beaten up. (There have been a lot of reported cases where the dashcam mysteriously gets erased, though.).

David said...

>American feminists' anti-man stance is due to the prevalence of rapes in this country committed by... African-Americans. Yet hapless white guys bear the brunt of the wimmin's righteous rage<

About 25 years ago, at a certain state university in the south, the lefties stapled all over campus gigantic posters of young men's faces with the caption "RAPIST". The faces were photos of male students of the current student body. The photos were deliberately chosen at random: none of the young men were rapists. The point was supposed to be to "educate" the campus that that every male has rape in his heart. (Well, the photos weren't chosen *entirely* at random: all the young men were white.) To my amazement, I never heard of any libel lawsuits being filed; there was merely a kerfluffle in the student newspaper. Imagine seeing your face all over campus with the caption "RAPIST" under it.

This, by the way, is the same university where a law student who - Luther-like - nailed a more or less civilly worded argument against "affirmative action" to the law school's bulletin board was compared in the student rag to a murderous arsonist who had been in the recent news - and then was *expelled* from the law school for his having advertised his opinion in that way. (He left the university soon after.)

It all goes to show what Atticus Finch said so many years ago: "The political left is simply evil and must be summarily destroyed." Or maybe that was some other Finch.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

It should be perfectly legal for men to make sucking noises at women, at any time. It's not touching."

Sure, and it should be perfectly legal for that woman to pepper-spray those men, or for her male friends or relatives to beat the living tar out of them.

Chicago said...

Bush inveighed against the profiling of Arabs and then we had 9-11. I wonder how much that contributed to their ability to pull it off. With all that took place during his time in office Bush reported his personal low point came when he was insulted by some black rapper, which must place Bush in a special category of stupidity for which we'll have to coin some new, catchy terminology.
I get the feeling many people are living in various states of fear, uncertainty and mistrust as they go about their daily lives. This is living? Having to look over one's shoulder all the time can get fatiguing. However, the writing is on the wall. The country has gone from a level of medium trust to much lower trust and will continue to slide down to yet lower and lower levels of trust; there's nothing discernible out there that might act to reverse this progression. Makes you wonder if this country has a future.

Londoner said...

HLWMs of the blogosphere, unite!

Bill said...

Anonymous said...
People like your friend from Grants Pass always interest me. Is he crazy? Is he suicidal? He's obviously not acting from self-interest or a deeply held religious belief. So what do you think is his motivation?

The fact that he is from Grants Pass, OR is significant. Josephine County, OR (where Grants Pass is) was:
93.9% white
0.3% black
0.6% Asian Indian
1.3% American Indian
2.7% multiple race
in 2000. The multiple race people are most commonly white+American Indian.

Kylie said...

"It is ironic, no, that part of American women's, or perhaps I should say American feminists' anti-man stance is due to the prevalence of rapes in this country committed by... African-Americans.

Not really. It allows Nice White Ladies to hate the sin and love the sinner.

"'Steve, based on what you look like (harmless looking white man)'

Meant well but isn't this just a teeny bit insulting to Steve?"


A sign of the times. I'm old enough to remember men were supposed to look harmless. They were supposed to look as though a woman or child could safely approach them for some valid, non-sexual reason, such as needing help with starting cars, rescuing kittens from trees, etc.

I think Steve, being so tall, would be great at getting kittens out of trees. He probably wouldn't even need a ladder to rescue them, except for the most intrepid climbers.

The only thing that really scares me about this whole topic is how nice and approachable Gary Ridgway looked. Even one of his female former classmates called him "cute". He looks positively benigh when wearing his reading glasses. No wonder he was so successful at his moonlighting job. By contrast, both Gacy and Bundy looked too slick by half, Gacy as a huckster and Bundy as a would-be ladies' man.

But what do I know? Obama never fooled me for one second. But Mark Sanford sure did.

Anonymous said...

"Is he crazy? Is he suicidal?"

I think liberals are simply incapable of admitting to themselves obvious truths about race, and about crime. It seems almost like their very identity, concept of themselves, is dependent upon it. As for Amy Bielh (the girl he was referring to) I blame the way her parents raised her. They infused her with their own liberal, foolish beliefs and she was racially unaware. Note how her parents supported the release of her killers, who served only a few years in prison, and then shook their hands. Almost unbelievable...

On another note, as per Mineta and profiling. It is always assumed that the Japanese incarceration was 'wrong', presumably because the internees were loyal and it was "racism". However perhaps it was the very internment itself that prevented sabotage. Who can say? Even the very presence of a large Japanese community, could provide cover, if nothing else, for Japanese spies and saboteurs. This was a real problem at Hawaii and partly explains why the Japanese navy had such detailed information about Pearl Harbor.

Maya said...

""Steve, based on what you look like (harmless looking white man)"

Meant well but isn't this just a teeny bit insulting to Steve?"

Why? Is there a teeny part of Steve that wishes to be perceived as a probable rapist, a potential murderer or a mental patient bound to go off any second?

Anonymous said...

Tremendous movie news.

Truth said...

"A sign of the times. I'm old enough to remember men were supposed to look harmless. They were supposed to look as though a woman or child could safely approach them for some valid, non-sexual reason, such as needing help with starting cars, rescuing kittens from trees, etc."

Yeah, I know chix are glad them days are over!

"Why? Is there a teeny part of Steve that wishes to be perceived as a probable rapist, a potential murderer or a mental patient bound to go off any second?"

LMAO; There's a teeny part of that in every man, Miss Elementary-Schooteacher.

hbd chick said...

@steve - "I try to make women walking late at night on an empty street feel less nervous by the presence of a strange man by my, say, crossing to the other side of the street, or by my walking on the far edge of the sidewalk out of arm's reach of them when passing them."

on behalf of women everywhere -- even the stupid ones who would call you sexist (or whatever) -- thank you!

this guy approached me in a supermarket parking lot once at one o'clock in the morning (i was on my way home from a night job) and i seriously told him off for approaching a woman in an empty parking lot that late at night. he slunk away with his tail between his legs, poor guy (looking back on the episode later, i think he was a homeless guy genuinely approaching me for some money and not some scary rapist or killer).

since then, i've never stopped off for something on my way home at such a late hour.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, indirectly comparing him to Jack Gladney--how many is that worth in the drinking game?

Anonymous said...

Ted Bundy etc. wrote: "...the informal urban practice of women "falling into step" behind the nearest adult male going the same way."

Can anyone expand on this? I don't doubt it at all, but I've never heard of the behavior and would like to read more, if possible.

ben tillman said...

I must have been raised poorly. I've never heard of crossing to the other side of a street late at night to avoid making a woman nervous. It does make sense though.

Wow - Steve is probably one of those tall guys who stands by the wall in a music venue so he doesn't block anyone's view of the band.

Svigor said...

People like your friend from Grants Pass always interest me. Is he crazy? Is he suicidal? He's obviously not acting from self-interest or a deeply held religious belief. So what do you think is his motivation?

He's an idealist who desperately wants to believe. It's a religious thing, really. It's like fanboys who desperately defend their preferred content, even from valid criticism. Their identity's bound up in it, at that point. It's easy enough for them to say one thing, and do another - 3 muggings or not, we don't know how many he actually avoided, when no one was looking.

Hapless White guys bear women's rage because they are not ... SEXY. Women will forgive anything, and I mean anything, for the most part, most of the time, if men are sexy. And nothing if they are not.

You've never been in a Black neighborhood.

But never mind that. Tell us how sexy those Japanese males are. What other explanation can their be for those closed Japanese borders?

BrokenSymmetry said...

"Why? Is there a teeny part of Steve that wishes to be perceived as a probable rapist, a potential murderer or a mental patient bound to go off any second?"

Most every man likes to be perceived as having a sort of an "edge", it doesn't necessarily have to be intimidating or thuggish. I thought you'd understand seeing how often you trawl Chateau Heartiste (I'm assuming that you're the same Maya).

Anonymous said...

An interesting example of profiling. When I lived in Cambridge and then a rather rough part of North London in the 1990s I was less nervous about passing young black men on the street at night than young white men, especially if the white men had very short hair (i.e., skinheads). Experience and viewing the news had shown me that I was more likely to be attacked (usually for "fun" rather than robbery) by whites than blacks. (I am white.) Don't know how true this is anymore in the UK, but it was all about probability.

Anonymous said...

The shoes thing rings a bell. I knew a retired high class call girl years ago and she told me that, shoes were one of her first notices. When she worked she knew a lot about men's shoes. Hands, fingernalis and teeth were also big things she loked at. His 'package' was way down the list.

Dennis Dale said...

Who the hell gets mugged three times in Grants Pass?

Mr. Rational said...

Who the hell gets mugged three times in Grants Pass?

A really slow learner?

Baloo said...

This seems like the last word on the subject, but you'll have to keep saying it over and over anyway. This is riffed on and linked here:
http://ex-army.blogspot.com/2012/04/just-little-bit-more-on-profiling.html

NOTA said...

Mr Rational:

The guy who lives next door to the only mugger in Grant's Pass?

Vincent said...

I know I'm late to the party here, but when I ask people about profiling, I always think it's fun to ask about all the guys who WANT to be profiled.

Lots of young guys, particularly young black guys, try really hard to convince people that they're dangerous thug types. This certainly seems to be the case with Trayvon Martin. Everything on his twitter account and Facebook gives the impression that he really wanted people to think he was some kind of thug, regardless of whether or not he really was.

So when people put that much effort into convincing people they're thugs, what's so wrong when guys like George Zimmerman believe them?

In a way, it seems a little rude NOT to profile them, actually. They've worked so hard at their gangsta image, isn't it just polite to respond accordingly? Basically, all you're doing when you profile them is taking them at their word.

You'd think they'd take it as a compliment when people call the cops on them. They managed to convince people that they're dangerous, didn't they? Isn't that what they were trying to do?

inquiry said...

" Experience and viewing the news had shown me that I was more likely to be attacked (usually for "fun" rather than robbery) by whites than blacks. (I am white.) Don't know how true this is anymore in the UK, but it was all about probability."


Can you provide statistics broken down by race? This sounds like sort of the implausible. Sort of like the troller who liked presenting hypothetical black man-saves white woman from white male attack -- something that might happen once or twice in a century or two. Blacks talking about white attackers are also always referencing "skinheads" as if they were a particular ethnicity prone to sexual violence. There are virtually no stats linking "skinheads" to violent stranger rape in the U.S. I doubt there is much in Europe either, but perhaps I am wrong.
Nothing I've heard about blacks in England suggests they are massively different from blacks anywhere else on the average. The only thing that saves the situation is that there aren't too many of them. Yet.

Anon said...

Excellent point by Vincent

Z said...

Returning to my point about how I "profile" anonymous suspects in the media, notice now that two senior white sounding Secret Service agents have been forced to retire, but the guy who refused to pay the hooker is still unnamed. What gives? Isn't this the same press that hacks dead girls' phones?

And thanks anon witht the acronyms for this phenomenon.

MONA: Men Of No Appearance (though we know they dont have a white appearance because that would slip into the report - somehow)

There is also MONDEO: Men Of No Discernible Ethnic Origin (but not white obviously, see above)

Anonymous said...

The reason we all do this is simple: African Americans commit far more violent crimes than anybody else.

Great. My state of hyper-vigilance, trigger-happiness and dick-shriveling terror is totally justified because every black male on the street is out to murder-rape me.