The conservative press lost no time in converting the Henry Louis Gates affair into a morality play that pitted a loose-lipped race-baiting President against a squeaky clean policeman with an excellent record in what is politely termed “minority relations.” To cap the list of Sgt. James Crowley’s virtues, conservatives triumphantly point to his five-year record at a nearby police academy in “teaching his fellow officers about racial profiling,” as our friend Pat Buchanan put it so delicately. What, precisely, does “about racial profiling” mean in Cambridge? It means: how to avoid racial profiling. As the head of academy (alas, his name is Thomas Fleming) explained to the AP, ” The course, called “Racial Profiling” teaches about different cultures that officers could encounter in their community “and how you don’t want to single people out because of their ethnic background or the culture they come from.”
What is racial profiling, if not an acknowledgment that different racial and ethnic groups are statistically more likely than other groups to engage in different sorts of illegal behavior. The Irish, who have a genetic weakness for alcohol, are too prone to get into fights, while Sicilians and South Italians have demonstrated an amazing ability to organize extortion, protection, prostitution, and gambling rackets. When O.J. Simpson kills a white woman or engages in other violent acts, he is simply living up to a statistical stereotype that informs us that African Americans, who make up less than 15% of the population, commit roughly 50% of violent crimes. And, O.J. is as exemplary a representative of his group’s criminality as Bernie Madoff, John Gotti, Mohammed Atta, and Joaquin “El Chapo” Loera Guzman (a billionaire Mexican drug lord who made the exclusive Forbes list in 2009) are of theirs.
Obviously, most Sicilians are not crime lords and most Jews are not international swindlers. One has even heard of Jews who murder their wives and Mexicans who swindle investors. “And WASPS, what about WASPS?” some of you are undoubtedly asking. Their crimes are often on as massive a scale as Madoff’s and usually papered over with hypocritical justifications, such as patriotism or democratic human rights or the free market. I suppose it is enough to mention such names as Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, Warren Harding and Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Dick Cheney to suggest the astonishing range and success of Anglo-Saxon American villainy. But police departments and insurance companies must both take account of ethnicity—along with sex, age, class, education—in drawing up general policies. Young white male high school dropouts tend to get into automobile accidents more often than middle-aged Asian female professors, and the New York police would be ill-advised to crack down on Upper West Side Jewish stockbrokers, when they are searching for someone who knocked over a liquor store.
To defend the public, police departments have to practice ethnic profiling. To the extent they refuse to profile, they are failing in their duty, though I like to think that in cities less enlightened than Cambridge, all this repudiation of ethnic profiling is so much political rhetoric. But even this rhetoric has a demoralizing effect on the American people. It is also dangerous. The news media will tell us everything that is known about a serial killer—except his race and (if he is Muslim) religion. The local “Crime Stopper” will often tell you to “be on the look out for” a male in his mid twenties, medium build, dark hair, etc., without ever mentioning his race. How in the world are we supposed to protect ourselves, if we don’t know whom to look for? The simple answer is that the people who run police departments—I do not speak of the officers themselves—often do not care. Race is only a factor when the victim is black. There would have been no “Gates Gate” if the tenured faculty member had been a straight white Christian male—the rarest of rare minorities on an Ivy League faculty. Too many police departments today are more interested in shielding us from the truth. As a result, they refuse to protect us from the ugly reality of violent crime.
One of the more obtrusive consequences of the campaign against racial profiling is the inconvenience to which passengers are subjected in airports. Mohammed Atta’s more radical brother, dressed in turban and robes, can sail through security, while TSA gives the business to a sweet old lady from Alabama or—and this happened to a group of kids I was taking to France—a home-schooled girl who dressed like a refugee from the 1950’s.
Inspector Harry Callahan would not have shrunk from ethnic profiling, nor would he have gone to the White House to sip a Belgian brewski with a man who had slandered him and then refused to make an actual apology. Obama took a page out of the Clinton book when he spoke about “calibrating” his remarks—a phrase as dishonest as it is illiterate. Sure, Harry Callahan is a fictional character made up by Don Siegel and his writers, but he represented something real in American cops of earlier times. He had the guts to stand up not only to criminals but to all the corrupt effeminates who are in charge of the criminal justice system. He constantly put his life and career in danger because he cared about protecting the public, which is why, as his Mexican-American partner comes to realize, he is called Dirty Harry. ” Now I know why they call him ‘Dirty’ Harry. He gets the sh-t end of the stick every time.”
Clean Jim Crowley is cut from another cloth. He may be the finest officer in Cambridge, in Massachusetts, in the whole United States, but in promoting racial sensitivity and opposing racial profiling, he is defending a leftist political system and not the citizens of America who are robbed, raped, and murdered by “ethnically diverse” criminals. I have witnessed, up close and personal, what happens when white people make the mistake of trying to defend themselves from black criminals and fight back. If the officers on the scene are black—or as racially sensitive as Sgt. Crowley—it is the victims who may be arrested. At best it is, as one officer told me, a “he said/he said” situation. The best advice I have received from the police is to install alarms and security cameras in my house.
I know there are still plenty of good cops in our country. Some of them even read Chronicles. But if Clean Jim Crowley can be praised as among the best police officers America has to offer, we might be better off without police departments. We could keep the money we spend on their inflated salaries and benefits and invest in private security agencies that will work for us instead of for governments that do not care, literally, whether we live or die.