drp By: drp

Brown Skin + Heavy Coat + Backpack = ?

Op-ed pieces by New York newspaper reporters Paul Sperry, Charles Krauthammer, and Haim Watzman endorsed the practice of using ethnicity, national origin and religion as primary factors in deciding whom police should regard as possible terrorists - in other words - racial profiling.


Krauthammer blasted the random-bag-checks program adopted in the New York subway in response to the London bombings, calling it absurd and a waste of effort and resources. His answer: Security officials should concentrate on "young Muslim men of North African, Middle Eastern and South Asian origin." He argued that authorities should work backward and "eliminate classes of people who are obviously not suspects." In the category of the innocent, Krauthammer would place children younger than 13, people older than 60 and "whole ethnic populations" starting with "Hispanics, Scandinavians and East Asians . . . and women," except "perhaps the most fidgety, sweaty, suspicious-looking, overcoat-wearing, knapsack-bearing young women."


Sperry has his own proxy for suspicious characters. He warned security and subway commuters to be on the lookout for "young men praying to Allah and smelling of flower water." Keep your eyes open, he said, for "a shaved head or short haircut" or a recently shaved beard or moustache. Men who look like that, in his book, are "the most suspicious train passengers."


Watzman argued that the London police officer who chased down and put seven bullets into the head of Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes without asking him any questions or giving him any warning "did the right thing." In their heightened state of anxiety, witnesses reported that Menezes was dressed in a heavy coat and acting suspiciously - jumping over the ticket gate before bolting from armed officers toward a train. Police also said that he failed to obey their instructions. British ITV news, citing closed circuit footage, said that Menezes was dressed in a denim jacket and walked casually into Stockwell subway station, stopping to pick up a newspaper before riding the escalator down and running to board his train.


So while advocates of racial profiling would have authorities subject men and women of black and brown hues to close scrutiny for criminal suspicion, the following would pass the Krauthammer/Sperry eyeball test for terrorists with ease:


• White male Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people, including 19 children, and damaged 220 buildings


• White male Dennis Rader, the "bind, torture, kill" (BTK) serial killer who terrorized Wichita for 31 years


• Washington D.C. born-and-raised white male John Walker Lindh, who converted to Islam and was captured in Afghanistan fighting for the Taliban


• Those "non-Arab, non-South Asians without black or brown skins" Muslims from Chechnya who've taken down passenger jets, hijacked schools and used female suicide bombers to kill hundreds and wound thousands in Russia


• The IRA bombers who killed and wounded hundreds; the neo-fascist bombers who killed 80 people and injured nearly 300 in Bologna, Italy; and the truck bombings in Colombia by Pedro Escobar's gang.


As Colbert I. King wrote in the Washington Post last month:


"What the racial profilers are proposing is insulting, offensive and - by thought, word and deed, whether intentional or not - racist. You want estrangement? Start down that road of using ethnicity, national origin and religion as a basis for police action and there's going to be a push-back unlike any seen in this country in many years."


- Info compiled from various internet and print news sources



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  • s2art PRO 10y

    » I disagree with Hilary Curioush, the images are haunting the text is haunting, they remind us of our fragile existence, the tenacious grip we have on our own destiny in a world gone mad, and this makes them terribly terribly important.........

    ...and haunting
  • Katya Horner PRO 10y

    Very insightful and powerful words, Duane. They work really well with the photo.
  • conspirisi 10y

    interesting and kind of agree. But I think John Lindh Walker was fighting an invasion even if it was by his own country, and the chechens are probably more on the recieving end of terror having 250000 of their people killed by russians.

    good photo though.
  • David Mery PRO 9y

    You may be interested by Techie and terrorist behavioural profiles are the same. I hear more and more about people being detained and/or stopped for taking pictures (in London).

    br -d
  • Michael PRO 9y

    So racial profiling wouldn't be effective?
    high security in the subway by simply innocuous
  • Brunocerous 9y

    bravo to you!
  • Eugen Schaffner 9y

    You ignorant naive idiot don't know anything about profiling, violence and terrorism. Hope You will be a victim one day of an angry Turkish very soon!
  • Michael PRO 9y

    I thought I was only joking because the point of the subway picture is that public transportation in a large cosmopolitan city serves many ethnic/racial peoples and to profile would be to effectively shut it down, but somehow welpen2004's comment seems to make the issue of racial profiling serious, as in maybe we better start doing it.

    Is there a cultural divide here, that Americans and Europeans speak in ironic modes but welpen2004 reads the texts as literal?
  • marcellyumistenkyl 9y

  • matkaantytto 8y

  • matkaantytto 8y

    Well, I read that and that was in ancient times, although many Muslim countries really need to work on their women's rights like crazy not every1 (yes, even in Iran) goes exactly by what the Quran says, and women, for example, in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon have political power, education in college, own businesses, many are doctors, voting rights, etc.
    Others are not so lucky like Saudi Arabia and destroying of genitals
  • matkaantytto 8y

    isn't the only trully peaceful religion Buddhism?
  • matkaantytto 8y

    but yes Islam is a violent religion. So is Judaism and Christianity.

    we should all convert to common sense and patience
  • Patrick B PRO 8y

    So police should use no barometer for any profiling what so ever?
    All people are equally a threat? That amounts to all people are a non-threat, thanks for bombing us today.

    Western Societies are full of nice juicy soft targets, at certain places airports, malls, train stations there is a large density of people that make perfect places for attack, if your happy with police searching NO ONE in an effort not to offend/profile(how can you truly have "random searches" then do not bitch when people strike and kill 50, 100, 200plus.

    Sorry to say but Islamic radicals do not care about happy go lucky western values and many of them were too strict to live in their own countries so they ironically came to the UK, US, Canada, France.

    My guess is your not gonna find a Wahhabi in an Irish bar or wearing a Crown Royal shirt.

    I've been all over the world and I am not afraid of Islam or Moslems in anyway, but to say the risk of suicide attack is the same with a 90 year old Irish granny and a 20 something year old Salafalist is not based in reality.
    Profiling can and does work, and every person here profiles people inside their mind every single day.

    Jesse Jackson once said when he is walking down the street late at night and hears two young men approaching from behind him, he is relieved when he sees its two white men. ....
  • Cozitsme 8y

    Great piece DRP...

    I have thought long and hard about many different fears that govern our modern day lives. It's almost a psychological warfare has overtaken us. We are constantly being pounded with images of war and disaster, created by Governments with hidden agendas, reported to us by mass media houses, whose incentive is to guide minds and steer us like sheep, then to put everything into an even bigger spin, Religion steps in, further fuelling the fire of hatred and mass hysteria on a grand scheme. No wonder we all feel so helpless at times.

    Sometimes we have to remember " The greatest thing we have to fear is fear itself ".

    Blair and Bush have really sucked us all in to this decade of terrorism.........
  • _mattxb 8y

    Five men have recently been sentenced, in the UK, for plotting to develop a fertiliser bomb and destroy (one of?) several UK targets, including the Ministry of Sound nightclub (this is usually known as the "Fertiliser Bomb" Plot).

    This page has pictures of the five men: . This bbc page has *some* pictures, but a better picture of Anthony Garcia: . Does he fit the profile? In some news reports it's explained that the organisation got Garcia to buy the fertiliser itself, because he was the least asian (muslim) 'looking'...
  • Jordyn// 8y

    Powerful. It is wonderful to have this up.
    It (in SOME cases, but it is not always true) may be that some terrorists aren't white, but there are many that are.
    The statements of people to watch (or not watch) are so rascist and prejudiced. They think women aren't capable of eing terrorists, also.
    Thank you for the truths.
    I would vote, but I couldn't find the area.
    Good luck to you!
  • vries4Life!! 8y

    great shot(_(_)_)
  • farhan farhan 7y

    two thumbs up for your caption.
  • Felix M 7y

    interesting talk!
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