Thursday, May 27, 2010

Racial Profiling Success

Last week, I was coming home from Brooklyn on the N train. It's a fairly long ride, Crown Heights to Astoria, and when I transferred at Atlantic-Pacific, the train was already full. It wasn't jam-packed, but there were no seats left.

I knew that the train would empty out (and fill back up) at Times Square, but I didn't want to stand for that long if I didn't have to. I took a look around and positioned myself in front of some tired looking older Asian folks.  Then I waited. The next stop was Canal Street, which, as it happens, is the entrance to Chinatown.  The Asian folks got up and I got my seat.



  1. Unconstitutional!!! Seriously, though, I think I need to find a solid definition of racial profiling. It's become a four-letter word, a politically incorrect, lightning rod around which no discourse can occur.

    I play a fair bit of poker and every decision is about calculating odds. What are the odds my opponent is holding aces? What are the odds that I catch a straight on the river? How do these odds compare to the number of chips I need to place into the pot to call the bet (also factoring in that chip amount compared to my overall chip stack)? Isn't so-called racial profiling similar?

    You made a calculated assumption. It doesn't mean you love or hate
    Asians more because you thought about the stop at which they are most likely to exit the train.

    It so happens that terrorist activity around the world tends to be perpetrated by a segment of the world's population whose ancestry stems from a few select regions. That is a fact, no matter how much we'd like to ignore it. Does that mean I assume all dark-skinned people are carrying bombs? Absolutely not. But if you were to tell me that there is a bomb threat in my neighborhood I won't mince words about who "looks suspicious."

  2. Oh, I love Asians. Some of my best friends are . . . oh, wait. I don't really have very many Asian friends. But that's just a coincidence.

    I read a very interesting article on racial profiling that took me by surprise and really made me think, especially since I had read and was angry about the New York Times article that it was written in response to.

    Gma always thought it was ridiculous that TSA made her take off her shoes, etc. and MomGiraffe always responded that if they stopped including older, white ladies in their searches than the terrorists would start strapping bombs on older, white ladies. Although she put it more elegantly.

  3. Gma thought it was ridiculous because she had about THREE DOZEN metal hair pins that NEVER set off the metal detectors. She figured that she could have hidden several tons of explosives in there and all they'd be concerned with is her shoes.


  4. I totally didn't know that, or at least I didn't remember it. That makes me laugh. (see: LOL)