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Racial Profiling Comes to Minnesota

When one of my daughters was a freshman at the University of Minnesota, a kid was shot just outside the front door of her dormitory. That was only one of many such incidents: in recent years, the university campus, which is located near downtown Minneapolis, has become a crime scene. One young man she knew, walking along a main street in the middle of the day amid a crowd of people, was blinded in one eye by a hoodlum wielding a baseball bat in what likely was a gang initiation. Along with shootings, assaults and rapes, there were 25 reported robberies between September and November on or near the campus. The crime wave has gotten bad enough that the Minnesota legislature held a hearing a week or so ago at which students testified.

It’s a big problem. So what did the Minneapolis Star-Tribune headline today? “Crime alerts raise concern of racial profiling at U.” You see, most of the predators who rob, rape and assault students at the University of Minnesota are African-American:

A spate of campus crime alerts has raised concerns among black student and faculty groups about a rise in racial profiling around the University of Minnesota.

In a letter to the university president, the Black Faculty and Staff Association and other groups expressed alarm “about the recent increase in crime alerts in which the suspects are Black males,” saying they were fueling racial fears and racial profiling on campus.

But why are black males suspects in the crimes? Because victims and witnesses have given descriptions of the perpetrators to the police:

The concerns about the impact on the university’s black community continued to echo Friday, after the university issued another crime alert about a female student who was robbed at gunpoint near campus Wednesday morning. The suspect in that case was identified as a black man in his early 20s.

So if the police try to find a suspect who matches the description given by the victim, it is “profiling.” Administrators tie themselves in knots to avoid the obvious:

President Eric Kaler said Friday that while officials are being vigilant about safety concerns, “the University of Minnesota will not tolerate racial profiling … period.”

So what does that mean, exactly? Are policemen supposed to look for suspects who fit the description of the perpetrator, or not? The Black Student Union sent a letter to administrators with suggestions as to how “profiling” might be avoided:

Among other things, the letter called on the university to stop including the race of suspects in crime alerts, and to post the university’s policy against racial profiling on all future alerts.

So the university alerts students to crimes and incidents of violence, but in describing the suspect against whom students are to be on the lookout, they shouldn’t mention his race. That will be helpful. Next time there is a sexual assault on campus, policemen can go around interrogating elderly white ladies.

Has our society reached a point where it is too stupid to survive?

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