On the frequently disgusting but reliably gripping CBS drama “Criminal Minds,” viewers quickly get accustomed to hearing the FBI profiler heroes alert police and public to be on the look-out for a “white, middle-aged man.” Why man? Easy: virtually all serial killers are male. Why white? Same thing: although a rare black serial killer comes along (the D.C. snipers were African-American), the vast majority of serial killers from Jack the Ripper onward have been Caucasian.
You know, I just don’t feel denigrated by the fictional FBI’s alert (the real FBI would do the same.) Telling the public that the individual butchering prostitutes or massacring families is the same race as I am isn’t bias, bigotry or racism, it’s logic. It is also, beyond question, racial profiling, which, under the right circumstances, makes sense, prevents crime, catches criminals, and isn’t unethical or racist in the least.
So effectively have civil rights advocates and the media managed to bias the public against rational racial profiling, however, that the phrase itself has become a synonym for racism. When you mangle and distort a descriptive term in this way, blurring the distinctions between phrases and concepts, the culture gets a lobotomy and forced aphasia. What is the term for a fair and legitimate conclusion that a particular crime in a particular area is more likely to be performed by one race than another? Right now, the term is racism. Continue reading