Time to profile white men?

Discussion in 'Race Relations/Racism' started by TruthOut10, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. TruthOut10
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    TruthOut10 Active Member

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    My interview with MSNBC ignites a conservative media firestorm -- and exposes America's dangerous double standard

    By David Sirota


    Yesterday, during a cable news discussion of gun violence and the Newtown school shooting, I dared mention a taboo truism. During a conversation on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” I said that because most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men, there would likely be political opposition to initiatives that propose to use those facts to profile the demographic group to which these killers belong. I suggested that’s the case because as opposed to people of color or, say, Muslims, white men as a subgroup are in such a privileged position in our society that they are the one group that our political system avoids demographically profiling or analytically aggregating in any real way. Indeed, unlike other demographic, white guys as a group are never thought to be an acceptable topic for any kind of critical discussion whatsoever, even when there is ample reason to open up such a discussion.

    My comment was in response to U.S. Rep. James Langevin (D) floating the idea of employing the Secret Service for such profiling, and I theorized that because the profiling would inherently target white guys, the political response to such an idea might be similar to the Republican response to the 2009 Homeland Security report looking, in part, at the threat of right-wing terrorism. As you might recall, the same GOP that openly supports profiling — and demonizing — Muslims essentially claimed that the DHS report was unacceptable because its focus on white male terrorist groups allegedly stereotyped (read: offensively profiled) conservatives.


    For making this point, I quickly became the day’s villain in the right-wing media. From the Daily Caller, to Fox News, to Breitbart, to Glenn Beck’s the Blaze, to all the right-wing blogs and Twitter feeds that echo those outlets’ agitprop, I was attacked for “injecting divisive racial politics” into the post-Newtown discussion (this is a particularly ironic attack coming from Breitbart – the same website that manufactured the Shirley Sherrod fiasco).

    The conservative response to my statement, though, is the real news here.

    Let’s review: Any honest observer should be able to admit that if the gunmen in these mass shootings mostly had, say, Muslim names or were mostly, say, African-American men, the country right now wouldn’t be confused about the causes of the violence, and wouldn’t be asking broad questions. There would probably be few queries or calls for reflection, and mostly definitive declarations blaming the bloodshed squarely on Islamic fundamentalism or black nationalism, respectively. Additionally, we would almost certainly hear demands that the government intensify the extant profiling systems already aimed at those groups.

    Yet, because the the perpetrators in question in these shootings are white men and not ethnic or religious minorities, nobody is talking about demographic profiling them as a group. The discussion, instead, revolves around everything from gun control, to mental health services, to violence in entertainment — everything, that is, except trying to understanding why the composite of these killers is so similar across so many different massacres. This, even though there are plenty of reasons for that topic to be at least a part of the conversation.

    Recounting the truth of these double standards is, of course, boringly mundane, which means my comment on television summarizing them is an equally boring and mundane statement of the obvious. However, as evidenced by the aggressive attempt to turn those comments into controversial headline-grabbing news over the weekend, the conservative movement has exposed its desperation — specifically, its desperation to preserve its White Victimization Mythology.

    In this mythology, the white man as a single demographic subgroup can never be seen as a perpetrator and must always be portrayed as the unfairly persecuted scapegoat. In this mythology, to even reference an undeniable truth about how white privilege operates on a political level (in this case, to prevent a government profiling system of potential security threats even though such a system exists for other groups) is to be guilty of both “injecting divisive racial politics” and somehow painting one’s “opponents as racist” — even when nobody called any individual a racist.

    In this mythology, in short, to mention truths about societal double standards — truths that are inconvenient or embarrassing to white people — is to be targeted for attack by the right-wing media machine.

    Of course, just as I didn’t make such an argument yesterday on MSNBC, I’m not right now arguing for a system of demographically profiling white guys as a means of stopping mass murderers (that’s right, the headline at Beck’s website, the Blaze, is categorically lying by insisting I did make such an argument, when the MSNBC video proves that’s not even close to true). After all, broad demographic profiling is not only grotesquely bigoted in how it unduly stereotypes whole groups, it also doesn’t actually work as a security measure and runs the risk of becoming yet another Big Brother-ish monster (this is especially true when a lawmaker is forwarding the idea of deploying a quasi-military apparatus like the Secret Service).

    Time to profile white men? - Salon.com
     
  2. TruthOut10
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    TruthOut10 Active Member

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    Sorry I missed this article and conversation last week, because I've been long hoping that this conversation would come up. Because most people of color know we would having two separate conversations going on in this Country right about now besides gun control, the other would have been about race.

    This has been the most missed point with all of the raging discussion about gun control. So when are we going to start profiling white men?
     
  3. TheOldSchool
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    TheOldSchool Diamond Member

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    Lol white people would never stand for that. They're still the ones in power so they control the narrative. I don't mean to take anything away from Sandy Hook because it was a horrific, obscene crime against humanity, but would we have heard about it if it happened in a poor urban community with high diversity?

    It'll be years before racial profiling comes to an end, but I guarantee that while it's around it will never be against white people.
     
  4. YoungRepublican
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    YoungRepublican Active Member

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    an honest reflection to that question. yes, If 20 black children were shot in a Trenton school we would be witnessing a similar response. If 26 people died do to unrelated Gun murders over the course of the day on the South side of Chi, proably not. Its our shock factor at play, we expect the latter to be a common occurence so we dont pay it much mind, shamefully i might add. What I dont understand is why we arent focusing more on Lanza's mom. I'm a gun owner, I have a safe (expensive as hell), keep the ammo in seperate places and only my father knows either combo. The question is, would you teach your mentally unstable child how to use these weapons? I know he tells me I am, but in all honesty My father would have me no where near our firearms if he knew I wasnt capable of safely handling them. Every gun owner knows safety is the first three rules of ownership. Lets start profiling irresponsible gun owners. this isnt a race thing.
     
  5. Zoom
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    It will take more than the slaughter of those poor.children before they ever think.of profiling white males.

    Think about that. It can't get worse than killing children but that won't do it. nope, not white males.
     
  6. Meathead
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    We should profile everyone as needed and stop this politically correct nonsense. Most mass, spree and serial killers are indeed white males. I have no problem with that because it's true. However, if I were to continue with more "truth" the politically correct police would start howling racism.
     
  7. Godboy
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    Godboy Gold Member

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    If racial profiling will stop mass murders from happening, lets do it, but I dont see how it would. Anyone got an example of how this would work? Do we shake down all white people and ask them, "are you crazy"?
     
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    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  8. TheOldSchool
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    Haha while that would be hilarious, you're completely right. Racial profiling does not work no matter what logic you put behind it because in the end we're all just people. And any one of us could be bat shit crazy.
     
  9. Noomi
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    Hey, if people are okay with profiling Muslims because they are more likely to commit acts of terrorism, then they should be okay with profiling white men to prevent mass shootings.
     
  10. Godboy
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    Yep, we are. Now, explain how it works. Whats the best way to implement this plan?
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012

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