Who Isn’t Profiled?

umWho isn’t profiled? Webster’s Dictionary says that profiling is, “A set of characteristics or qualities that identify a type or category of person or thing.” Everyone is whining about blacks and Muslims being profiled. But are they really the only ones? Obama and friends were talking about “their kids” being followed around or avoided on the street. Guess what? So are our kids!

I live in a very white community. My friend’s son complained one day that while he was in Sears with his friends, a clerk followed them around then finally asked them what they were doing. No hoodies, no color. Just teenagers.

Many times I have been in stores near high schools and saw signs that said, “Only two teenagers allowed in at once.” Again, no color, no hoodies, in a white community. So why would any teen walking into the store be “profiled” as a problem? My guess is because the store owner has had issues with shoplifting and particularly noticed it after one or more teens had been in there together.

So is the shop owner a terrible prejudiced person because they posted that sign? No, if they put particular characteristics together with particular incidents, they have every right to protect their livelihood. It may seem unfair to suspect all teens but what else can the store owner do? Be PC and get shoplifted blind? Which of the PC-police are going to reimburse the store owner for their losses? None, they just want to sit in judgment of the store owner.

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As human beings, we learn to categorize things from very early in life. You can watch children as they try to figure out what characteristics fit. What makes a boy, what makes a girl? Is it their hair, their color of clothes? They’ll line up cars by color or put all pickups together. We categorize – that’s what we do. Categorizing, figuring out characteristics, is not bad. Generalizing is bad. That’s where you say “all” of some group behaves some particular way. We have to remember there is good and bad in all races, all genders, all groups. None are perfect.

But how many times have you heard judgmental (aka “profiling”) remarks made about people based on the car they drive? The house they live in? Whether they live in the city or the country? What kind of music they listen to? Whether they are wearing a suit or a flannel shirt and jeans or saggy pants? Whether they are thin or overweight? Their political affiliations? The TV shows or news channel they watch?

I just read that the federal Department of Education will be investigating “Redneck Day” at a school in Arizona? Why? Aren’t they profiling rednecks? If someone is a redneck it means they must be racist? Why is profiling wrong if it pertains to liberals but justified if it pertains to conservatives? Currently it seems to be PC to attack gun owners and say we are all horrible people who want children to die and every other nasty thing that can be said about us. Why is that not profiling and more astoundingly, why is it acceptable and encouraged for our own elected officials to say such generalizing, judgmental and profiling comments about us?

There is not one single person, even the so-called open-minded and compassionate liberal, who can tell me that they have never had a profiling thought about a group of people based on their characteristics. I’m not saying I’m perfect at all. I am just as guilty of it myself but those who never admit that they profile others are either delusional or just plain bald-face liars. Just because they may not profile a black or a Muslim does not mean they don’t profile others.

So let’s quit pretending profiling is just a race thing. Sorry, but none of us are really all that special – we are all profiled one way or another and we all do it to each other. This is another one of those times when we all just need to get over ourselves.


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