Thursday, July 21, 2005

Opening Doors for Racial Profiling- In the Subway!

Frightening news, people! The PoPo are sanctioned to perform "random" checks on people's bags on the subway. That's right, the new york city police noted for their fine work with 9-11, Abner Louima and countless other unarmed black men, will now have the freedom to approach anyone entering a subway station and check their bag. The only breathing room we have here is that if you don't want your bag searched, you can just leave- well according to the CNN article I just read.

Now the problem is, obviously, these searches probably will not be random in most stations, not in a city where officers are scot-free after sodomizing and killing black people, and stopping minorities for just not wearing their seatbelts...when you can't actually tell until the officer has actually stopped the car. hmmm. So yes, I do expect there to be an awful lot of not-so-random searches, especially since these searches are unlikely to be well-regulated. Come on! Unleashing NY cops on the subways!? Well, from my past experiences during a time when terrorism wasn't on anyones mind, cops took many liberties with their profiling.

In a climate where profiling is actually better-tolerated since it is on a different racial group that really has no unified political power, well, things can get bad for people who look like they could be arabic. Watch out: Middle Easterners, Pakistanis, Indians, generally people of the South Indian diaspora, non-Caucasian Latinos, darker people of the mediterannean, people with scarves, people with religious paraphernelia bla bla bla. I don't know how they can choose
at my station, so I'm not too worried.

In the end, I'm not too opposed to this if it helps somehow. It might, I dont know. But this is retarded:
"Kelly said passengers selected for searches will be approached by officers, who will ask them what they are carrying, and request them to open their bags. If an officer looking for explosives finds some other form of contraband, police said that person would be subject to arrest."

This is the very essence of why racial profiling sucks in other circumstances and inflates the rates of certain racial groups being arrested or sent to jail. You, a member of some undesirable group, get stopped and searched at a higher rate than other groups and they search for anything incriminating and BAM!! you're in jail. That's how it goes down and Kelly is just enabling this machinery to work in the subway. So I don't have the explosives, but I do happen to have an 8-ball(nickelbag, can of mace..whatever) and so I'm arrested. Doesn't this seem a tad scary? The whole point is to make sure no one blows me up, when did it turn into some anti-drug campaign? I think people should be sent on their merry way if the police have determined that they will not be blowing a train up that day. When did we ever agree to submit ourselves to be checked for drugs or other kinds of incriminating things lurking in our bags??

I'm not a druggie, I don't carry anything illegal when I commute to work so rest assured that my concerns are not about my diminish capacity to get away with stuff, just the weakening of gov't principles.

Don't be fooled New York, America, THE WORLD, this entire thing is invasive and lowers our quality of life tremendously. It's also likely to make me even later for work than I usually am. damn, i hate this nonsense.


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