I mentioned this to my wife. My wife is not like me. When she was 6, a little white boy called her cousin a nigger, and it has been war ever since. “What if they did that to your son?” she asked.
And right then I knew that I was tired of good people, that I had had all the good people I could take.
This isn't a subtle expression of racial profiling in the least
That poor dumb bastard's never going to stop paying for losing his shit on-stage for 30 seconds, is he?
If Whitaker didn't consent to the frisk, isn't it actually assault?
A search incident to arrest is not permitted except after a full-blown arrest. Unless necessary for protection (see below), no search of a person temporarily detained appears to be legally authorized. (However, a limited “consent to search” may be obtained as a condition of entry onto premises.). Public police are permitted to “frisk” people who have been temporarily detained, if and only if they have legitimate reason to fear for their safety (or the safety of others in the area) from a weapon on the person of the detainee. The need for protection of persons under such limited circumstances should apply also to private agents. A “frisk” is a “pat down” of the outer clothing (only) for weapons (only). Circumstances justifying a “frisk” are rare.
Searches of non-employees who are not under arrest (or their possessions) are probably prohibited, absent consent. A reasonable, limited search privilege may be obtained as a condition of allowing someone access to premises, as, for example, attendees at a concert being required to submit to a limited search for weapons or drugs at the door. Such conditions should be reasonable and limited, and must be effectively communicated beforehand. No penalty or adverse inference should be drawn if an individual declines to be searched and walks away.
And if you can't manage that, be ready to be chewed out by unapologetically PC busybodies.
The "I'm not racist even though I'm doing something actually racist right now" rationale is linked to the notion of racism as something worthy of societal condemnation. That is a good thing. As Sugrue identifies in his book, you see a post-World-War-II consensus forming in the 1950s that racial discrimination actually is wrong.
Along with that (perhaps in the 60s) comes the idea that racism is something that "low-class" white people do. It's not a system of laws and policies, so much as the ideology of Cletus the slack-jawed yokel. But Arnold Hirsch and Beryl Satter's work shows the University of Chicago quietly and privately pursuing a racist strategy of "urban renewal" while publicly claiming otherwise.
None of this is new. It's akin to proto-Confederates loudly and lustily defending slavery, daring the North to war before 1865, and then afterward claiming that the war really wasn't about slavery. The point is to save face.
Last night I had the luxury of sitting and talking with the brilliant historian Barbara Fields. One point she makes that very few Americans understand is that racism is a creation. You read Edmund Morgan's work and actually see racism being inscribed in the law and the country changing as a result.
If we accept that racism is a creation, then we must then accept that it can be destroyed. And if we accept that it can be destroyed, we must then accept that it can be destroyed by us and that it likely must be destroyed by methods kin to creation. Racism was created by policy. It will likely only be ultimately destroyed by policy.
That is hard to take. If Forrest Whitaker sticks out in that deli for reasons of individual mortal sin, we can castigate the guy who frisked him and move on. But if he -- and others like him -- stick out for reasons of policy, for decisions that we, as a state, have made, then we have a problem. Then we have to do something beyond being nice to each other.
Much debate centers on the use of offender profiling as a technique to differentiate criminals from law-abiding citizens. Profiling advocates argue that it is appropriate to reference past experiences and information about known offenders to identify behavioral and demographic correlates that can then be applied to a given population of offenses or offenders. The viability of this argument rests on the assumption that past experiences and information about known offenders are free of bias. Data from an observational study of shoplifting are analyzed to assess this assumption systematically. Results indicate that trained observers, when allowed to deviate from a clearly specified random selection protocol, oversampled shoppers on the basis of race, gender, and perceived age, thus misrepresenting these factors as predictors of shoplifting behavior.
The shopkeeper's privilege does not include the power of search.
8. William L. Prosser, Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of The American Law Institute, 1957 A.L.I. PROC. 283 (remarks of Mr. William L. Prosser, Reporter)
A new social status was to be contrived that would be a birthright of not only Anglos, but of every Euro-American, a "white" identity designed not only to set them "at a distance" from the African-American bond-laborers, but at the same time to enlist European-Americans of every class as active, or at least passive, supporters of capitalist agriculture based on chattel bond-labor. The introduction of this counterfeit of social mobility was an act of "social engineering," the essence of which was to reissue long-established common law rights, "incident to every free man," but in the form of "white" privileges: the presumption of liberty, the right to get married, the right to carry a gun, the right to read and write, the right to testify in legal proceedings, the right of self-directed physical mobility, and the enjoyment of male prerogatives over women. The successful societal function of this status required that not only African-American bond-laborers, but most emphatically, free African-Americans be excluded from it. It is that status and realigning of the laboring-class European-Americans that transformed class oppression into racial oppression.
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