Friday, June 23, 2006

Profiling: Mathematical, Not Racial

Much like the Beating a Dead Horse post about my disdain over the misuse of the word torture and the virtual castration of our troops...I am also still mystified by the opposition to profiling.

Ad/marketing agencies profile everyday, because it only makes sense. The FBI profiles -and has celebrated adept profilers after the capture of some real monsters. Profiling is only describing the person who is most likely to have committed or will commit a crime to better find that person. Profiles are derived from statistics and mathematical models.

"A formal summary or analysis of data, often in the form of a graph or table, representing distinctive features or characteristics." (

I have said it before... If little blondes were bombing bridges and I crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge without being pulled over and searched, I would be disturbed. How many other little blondes were they letting pass. I would much rather the inconvenience than death -anyone's death caused by the leniency...

This becomes abundantly clear when we remember the outrage over the bag searches in the NYC subways --the claims that Muslims were being searched more often (duh!) and the ACLU's fight to stop it. Then we find out that there was indeed a Muslim-born plot to use poison gas in the NY subways.

This morning, we learn more about the 7 arrests in the plot to blow up the Sears Tower by Muslim men.

Profiling isn't a racial thing --it's a law enforcement tool. A factual model pulled from statistical data to reach the most probable end. No one has even complained about the "35 year old white Protestant male" profile to catch serial killers --why the outcry over the model to catch potential bombers and suicide bombers?

No comments: