I sent this letter to my local paper this morn, I:
Profiling:The “Ugly Duckling”
The very essence of efficient Law Enforcement in keeping us all safe...is their ability to profile. To walk the streets and eyeball suspicious characters, and put fear in them that would do us harm. Do we really want the Law to arrive, after the crime? Didn’t think so. We want them to prevent crime. Do we think we can call them every time we see one of those characters cruising our front yard, plotting strategy and waiting for their chance to attack. Nope! The bad guys know this, they’re patient; they don’t need to go to work, they are at work all the time.
Reactive commentary of impassioned folk re the Zimmerman trial notwithstanding, the issue of profiling remains the central issue that must be resolved because it will be critical in the near future. It is absurd, and economically impractical and impossible not to profile. There are profiling professionals in the Law Enforcement community who are highly valued when brought into hard cases to spot the bad guys. The politically-correct days of searching Granny and the kids to keep from hurting the feelings of young Muslim men - who apparently don’t give a hoot about old Granny’s feelings - are soon to be over. Foolishness...’strain at a gnat and swallow a camel’. We can’t afford it.
If there is a crime in this community, and a witness saw a pudgy white male, bow-legged, 5'7" with grey hair leaving the crime scene...I would have no problem being stopped if out for a drive in that community. In fact, I’d expect as much, so as to make our dwindling tax money go further. It’s called efficiency and responsibility. We gripe at em’ all the time about it.
And as our civil law enforcement resources are stretched, it will be private individuals that will assume responsibility for local safety. Enter Zimmerman, and many like him. Pre-emptive action - whether in addressing crime or cancer - is a critical difference maker. Responsible, Community Watch individuals should be openly identifiable; a yellow hat or something. That would have changed the whole dynamic down there in Florida.
Zimmerman did profile and engage in pre-emptive action re Martin. Martin - sadly - fit the profile of young black men who are committing crimes at rates that would cause Martin Luther King to roll over in his grave. We can play mind games about the law and justice all day long; but it looks like Justice is now in the eye of the beholder. We may never agree about that trial, but that won’t change anybody’s mind or action when it comes to individuals protecting their loved ones and property in the future.
This whole idea of being insulted in regard to being profiled is not only misguided, but dangerous. It is likely that the young, testosterone-filled Martin became highly indignant at being profiled, and attacked the in-over-his-head Zimmerman. Martin’s record included drugs, burglary and violence (punching bus drivers)...and he was on school suspension when shot. Social Media posts indicate he was proud of his fighting prowess (what 17 yr. old male ain’t), and was looking to gun up. Both the word “child”, and “justice” and “profile” are being misapplied...to a pernicious end. Division...the opposite of Love.
If the boy had understood Zimmerman’s real intent...if Martin’s folk had informed him of the rash of burglaries and fear and that he should be helpful instead of confrontational...if he had walked up to Zimmerman - a good man who had previously worked to mentor Black children - and explained his presence and offered to help the neighborhood...then the two may have become friends. And all this evil division averted.
If Black and White folk are to live close - especially Christians, who in their heart desire to follow Christ’s mandate - then we need to rise above petty biases like color, and rightly discern the dynamics that can cause serious division. If good and responsible Black folk in their neighborhoods form Neighborhood Watch groups because they fear the kind of racism that they now perceive to be everywhere...and if I were to go into their neighborhood...I’d be sure not to wear my Confederate Flag T-shirt or Rebel Hoodie (not that I have either). If I did choose to do so, I’d expect to be challenged by both well-meaning and responsible folk protecting loved ones and the racist, hood thugs as well. I’d congratulate and pray for the former, and pray for myself re the latter.
Black folk should understand and respect the legitimate fears of honest Whites as well. It is not the profiling that will cause respect for law to be abandoned and this place to go rogue, but rather the result of unsuccessful pre-emptive action that has potential for us all to suffer such that we lose faith in the ability of the Law to protect us. We’ll all see real injustice if that happens.
Many of our youth are spiritually lost and desperate; Black and White. Adults too. It’s a sign of the hard times. “Where there is no vision, my people die” (Biblical). The evil powers that we fight against are within us, and employ the ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. It behooves all folk of good will to come together, to watch and profile and condemn wrong behavior regardless of color. And to challenge it. For each other’s sake. “Pride goeth before the fall”. It is real easy to go all in for your team, and be impassioned into dark action before the adrenaline abates. If it weren’t for the Law during an LSU/Ole Miss ball game...the parking lot would probably look like Antietam before the Half.
Martin Luther King was right; it ain’t about color...it’s about character.
This post was edited on 7/18 at 8:31 am