First, A Story:
Nine years ago, I left Houston Texas (as my place of residence) for good; moving back to the small East Texas town I grew up in.
I was driving on a particular stretch of highway in my hometown when I noticed a trooper behind me. I knew this stretch of highway had a lower (than normal/expected) speed limit and was luckily going at that speed... so... I quickly set my cruise control to that speed and kept going. And the officer followed me... and followed me... and followed me for a long, long time. A mile or two before a major intersection... he lit me up.
Officer: (upon approaching my open window) Do you know why I pulled you over.
Texas Lynn: No sir, I'm afraid I don't.
Officer: 57 in a 55.
TexasLynn: (pause)... (pause)... OK
TexasLynn (mentally thinking): (OK, OK... yes... I give you permission to give him a cussing... BUT NOT until he actually hands you a ticket.)
Officer: May I see you license and proof of insurance
TexasLynn: Yes sir.
Now all my information (license, insurance, etc) still contained my Houston address. The officer stepped back to his cruiser and after a while came back to the window and started asking more questions; the gist of which was "What are you (a young, petite, black woman from Houston) doing along this stretch of highway?
I explained that I was in the process of moving back to this stretch of highway and would be updating my information at first opportunity. I noticed that he asked a few conversational questions that only a local (or someone who grew up there) would know.
Eventually he seemed satisfied, handed me my license, insurance card and a warning ticket and said something like "Thank you, please drive safe." And that was it.
What the $%#@:
What just happened there? I was profiled! Maybe not racially (I don't know), but it definitely was a case of profiling!
My original reaction to this event was, "that was weird" and moved to "wow... profiling... that's what that was". But to be honest, my reaction never reached one of "I was a victim, or that was wrong".
The key to the whole profile, I believe, was a license plate that originated in Houston. I'm assuming his computer confirmed that and he knew that before pulling me over.
Moving on, I propose that there was nothing wrong with the scenario in which I was profiled and inconvenienced. With that in mind, I question if all profiling is wrong and even question if all racial profiling is wrong. Is it within the realm of possibilities that targeting someone primarily on the basis of race is OK in some circumstances.
A Couple of Scenarios:
When young, petite, black women start hijacking and blowing up planes... single me out; until then have a special line for young (18-30) middle-eastern men.
*&^% random checks. Never, ever, perform a "random" check of a ninety-year-old man/woman in a wheelchair; or blond-haired, blue-eyed little girls... there is NO logical or useful reason to. And no... politically correct conscious soothing is not a logical or useful reason.
See a car load of white yuppie looking boys slowly cruising a neighborhood rife with drugs and prostitutes? Pull those dumb-asses over, separate them and see if there stories match.
There may even be a scenario or two where young black males (or young, petite, black women) are profiled... use your imagination.
It all comes down to common sense vs political correctness. It’s time for common sense to reassert itself in the world. Or are we beyond that point?