19 June 2003

President Bush isuued what amounts to a federal ban on federal agents admitting that they used racial profiling (except with Arabs). Will they actually stop using race as a proxy? Unlikely. The problem, of course, is that because certain groups compromise a significant portion of the urban poor they have a significant portion of criminals.** So in times past the Irish were targeted (where do you think the term "paddy wagon" came from?). Currently, when law enforcement is focused on who it thinks is likely to be breaking the law it looks to those who occupy the social positions that Irish and Italians occupied in the past.

**Crime tends to rise out of impoverished neighborhoods - I know - you're shocked by the revelation.


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