Students Talk Racial Profiling in DPS Alerts

Robbie Austin, Michigan Daily, November 13, 2011

The issue of racial profiling in University crime alerts took center stage at a University town hall meeting on Friday.

University students and Ann Arbor residents gathered at the University Law School to discuss the relation of safety, campus climate and diversity on campus. The event–chaired by Rackham student David Green, the political action chair of Students of Color of Rackham–focused on racism and social justice at the University, with an emphasis on racial profiling.

One of the key issues discussed was the use of racial descriptions in the University’s Department of Public Safety crime alerts. Of the 22 crime alerts released by DPS between Jan. 1, 2011 and Nov. 9, 2011, 12 incidents occurred off campus and nine took place on campus, according to data released by DPS. Of these 22 alerts, 11 specifically identified the skin color of the suspect as white, five as black, one as darker skinned, one as hispanic, one as tan, one as olive and two had no race information.

Philosophy Prof. Elizabeth Anderson said information about race is not needed in crime alerts because it doesn’t add any information to the description.

“There is no value added in the description (of race),” Anderson said. “It reinforces the legitimacy of spreading stereotypes and damages the reputation of black men.”

The speakers argued that racial descriptors apply to broad groups of people on campus and therefore generate fear of these groups. Anderson said innocent people fitting the racial description are negatively impacted by the wording in DPS alerts.

{snip}

DPS Chief Greg O’Dell then addressed the crowd and pointed out that the University must adhere to federal requirements when issuing crime alerts. The guidelines mandate the inclusion of “all information that would promote safety and that would aid the prevention of similar crimes,” the guidelines state.

{snip}

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  • Anonymous

    “There is no value added in the description (of race),”

    ******************

    Following that logic, there is also no logic in supplying age, sex hair or eye color or various other identifiers, either. All police records would read “The bank was robbed by a person about 5 ft. 8 in. tall wearing a white jacket, blue jeans and black shoes…”)

    This could be a white woman with blonde hair, a black man, a Japanese Samurai or an Eskimo. But of course, anything else would be “profiling” somebody.

  • Anonymous

    Of these 22 alerts, 11 specifically identified the skin color of the suspect as white, five as black, one as darker skinned, one as hispanic, one as tan, one as olive and two had no race information.

    Of 20 race-identified criminals, roughly 30% are black? Ann Arbor is 6.5% black per city-data.com, so blacks are 4.6 times over-represented. That’s actually not as high as I expected. Ann Arbor must have relatively law-abiding blacks!

  • Anonymous

    Of course mentioning the sex of the perp might legitimize the stereotype that males commit more crimes than females, while mentioning size legitimizes the stereotype that average size folks commit more crime than midgets or extremely frail people. Even noting the type of crime or the address where committed could imply something that stereotypes someone. In fact mentioning that it was a human being legitimizes the stereotype that humans commit more crimes than animals. Why not just say some kind of crime was committed somewhere recently and let it go at that. I can’t see why the public deserves to know any more to be apprised that there is danger around.

  • Robert Binion

    I don’t know how it happened. We had gathered in the Common Room to read the selected verse of Al Gore . . .

    Swollen water rising, bulbous hillock taken, the pulsing stream

    Ever throbbing, surging, probing, stroking–

    “Hey, this is c***,” says Bobby Lee and jumps for the exit. “Uh uh,” responds Demetrion with ire, “it be a tragic vision of how dat nogoodlowdownskunkdog Whitey done pimped out Momma Nature” and cuffs the critic on his ear. Unmoved by the dialectic, Bobby responds with a kick to the shin. At once, both scholars engage in bare-knuckled literary deconstructionism without regard for Prof. Anderson or the proper citation of research material.

    And that’s when the cop broke his nose. Bummer! I guess this here higher education just ain’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

  • GenX ANZAC

    Maybe the police should mention every racial group except black males.

    “All points bulletin, be on the look out for a 5’10…..”

    ….Native American male.

    ….Caucasian male.

    ….Hispanic male.

    ….Asian male.

    Or just ….an kind hearted and upstanding male with good intentions who just fell in with the wrong crowd.

    Bleeding heart logic says not to bring someone down to just being a racial description, but I think you lose that right once you break the laws of the greater community, then you just become ‘a thing’ which needs to be hunted down and removed.

    If something happened to you or your loved ones, what would you want the description of the perp to be:

    A: the warm and fuzzy, vague but respectful, politically correct and useless version to go out.

    Or B: the completely objective, factual and hard hitting description that will really narrow it down for law enforcement to do their job.

    But then if it was your buddy who was the perpetrator and you didn’t give a fig to who the victim was, then what description type would you choose?

  • Anonymous

    “There is no value added in the description (of race).”

    That sounds like a fun game – let me play!

    “There is no value added in the description (of sex).”

    “There is no value added in the description (of age).”

    “There is no value added in the description (of height).”

    “There is no value added in the description (of build).”

    Did I win? Did anybody win?

  • Anonymous

    This is a safety alert my college put out today:

    “This email is to notify the campus community of an incident that occurred on 12/5/11 between the hours of 6:30-7:45 pm. The Public Safety Department received a call concerning an individual exposing himself/masturbating in front of two female students at two different times while they were walking to their respective vehicles. Both incidents occurred outside building 19 and in the “K” parking lot.

    The suspect was described as a black male, 5’5-5’7, thin build, 150lbs, mid twenties wearing a red and white plaid coat with a black hooded sweat shirt underneath it and dark pants.”

    I was shocked to see an actual description of the suspect. I’m just so used to the politically correct “youths” term.

    Stereotypes aren’t just made up on a whim. If there is news of a crime most people think black or hispanic. Survival instinct kicks in if your walking alone down a street and you see a group of blacks, not because of racism, but because it’s obvious that most blacks are violent and uncivilized. No amount of PC conditioning on the part of liberals can undo this.

  • Anonymous

    this professor needs to meet those three somali sisters and their cousin by herself.

  • White E

    Where do you even begin with this article? According to this man sending out a report of a crime with a physical description of the suspect is worse than someone commiting the crime in the first place. Yeah, that sure makes a lot of sense. And how on earth is a physical description of the perpetrator not useful in tracking them down? How can the police officers find the guy if they have no idea what he looks like? These liberal types get a little more kooky every year.

  • Question Diversity

    “There is no value added in the description (of race),” Anderson said. “It reinforces the legitimacy of spreading stereotypes and damages the reputation of black men.”

    Even though half of those “crime alerts” were looking for white men. Why include gender? It adds no value to the description, and it also reinforces the legitimacy of spreading stereotypes and damages the reputation of men. Were these suspects wearing any peculiar kind of clothing? Don’t say that, either, for the color or brand name might beget stereotyping. Why even say that the incident was a crime? After all, we all know the word “crime” is racist dog whistling for “black.”

    This makes me so glad that police run police departments, and that philosophers don’t.

    DPS Chief Greg O’Dell then addressed the crowd and pointed out that the University must adhere to federal requirements when issuing crime alerts.

    Federal guidelines? Wait until Eric “My People” Holder hears about that.

    In relatively short order, the only description of a crime and/or criminal suspect that political correctness will allow is:

    At some time on some day, one or more people behaved in some fashion toward another person or group of people. If you have any information about this incident, please call your city’s department of welfare health care and self-esteem at (insert phone number).

    To include anything else would be to engage in “racist dog whistling” and stereotype black men.

  • Anonymous

    What was the ethnicity of every terrorist highjacker in 2001 according to the official souces? They were Arabs! It makes too much sense for Mr. Green, apparently! Too hell with white thought police and the constant guardians of politically correct thought! Of you did a study of race issue thought police could you logically ethnically profile? Yes. One group of thought police and politically correct guadians is vastly over-represented in the group that demands to damand correct thought patterns! The aforementioned is anti-white racism! These dirty hypocrites do not mind ethnically profiling whites like Janet Napolitano recently did in to DHS videos that showed Anglo-Americans or nordic types as terrorists to watch out for and to report to authorites (a.k.a. organized crime).

    To hell with the race thought police and the panderers of ethnic grievance! I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

  • Anonymous

    P.S. Ann Arbor is a marxist hub!

  • Rob

    “There is no value added in the description (of race),” Anderson said. “It reinforces the legitimacy of spreading stereotypes and damages the reputation of black men.”

    _____________

    And yet of the 22 “alerts”, 11 of them described the suspect as “white”. Yet, this professor doesn’t concern herself with their reputation. Hmm, I wonder why?

  • white is right, black is whack

    So we can’t mention race when the assilants are black or hispanic, but we can mention race the rare times a white and a nonwhite have an altercation? Ok…

  • Daniel Williams

    “There is no value added in the description (of race),”

    Very true. You’re usually pretty safe assuming the perp is black.

  • The Bartender

    Yay! As a tall White Male with dark hair, it hurts me when they describe a suspect as a tall White Male with dark hair. Luckily for me most crime is committed by blacks a hispanics!

  • Bill R

    Yeah, SO much better to not broadcast the ethnicity of the gun toting guy on campus shooting up hallways, and thereby have the entire school population in fear of the entire school population and trust NOBODY. Dumb. I’d bet in such an incident the school population would love to know that a Korean, or Asian, or Black or White guy was a possible threat rather than be in fear of everybody and not knowing WHO to trust and who to run from.

  • Anonymous

    it’s hard understand the professors reasoning, if noting the race will narrow the possible suspects down to 5 percent population (in the case of black males). that has to benefit society

  • Who In Their White Mind?

    The denial from lefty marxists is almost at a frightening level. Check that- it’s twenty years past that time. What I’m learning from this is that egalitarians like this “philosophy” professor Anderson are actually doing more harm to their own argument.

    Example: I work in a factory and from the office comes several purchase orders ranging in dates shipping early to latest. The people creating the orders get directives from the sales people to red stamp new orders as URGENT or EXPEDITE.

    The problem is when every other order has these stamps on them, then every order has this stamp, people stop paying attention. None of them are priorities anymore.

    The same concept has occurred here in police and criminal profiling. The public, White and black, start seeing crime reports and think no description is given, so they start assuming, “hey they must be looking for a black suspect”. When all along the,perp may be a white guy, and he or she is enabled to continue their crimes because of a PC indoctrination policy. Unless they tell you he’s white. But the only problem with that is we Whites are the majority by 7x on the population scale. To which most people would say, “oh they are looking for a white guy with a black ball cap and facial hair. That narrows it down.”

  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    Philosophy Prof. Elizabeth Anderson said information about race is not needed in crime alerts because it doesn’t add any information to the description.

    “There is no value added in the description (of race),” Anderson said. “It reinforces the legitimacy of spreading stereotypes and damages the reputation of black men.”

    – Robbie Austin, Michigan Daily, November 13, 2011

    ———

    The truth hurts. If young black men do not like the stereotype of young black men as violent street criminals young black men should stop committing all those violent street crimes.

    My local newspaper has a policy of not reporting the race of criminal suspects. However, when they are arrested or convicted it does post photographs of the criminals. Because the photos are nearly always of young black men, we assume that blacks commit nearly all the crimes in our city, and we are right.

    About the only time a local black man gets his photograph in the local newspaper is when he wins an athletic honor, or when he commits a crime. Blacks are good at basketball and mugging, but they are unimpressive when the test scores come back.

    An essay by Thomas Edsall quoted a black professor at Howard University as saying, “With the [black] underclass the stereotype is not a stereotype any more. It is a description of the way things are.” It is unfortunate that only blacks can talk that way safely. Everybody knows it is true.

  • HH

    I cannot believe there is a single legitimate law-enforcement officer – of any race – who would agree for a second with such an absolutely ludicrous assertion! When people talk about Political Correctness “run amok” this must surely take the cake!!

  • Eric

    Perhaps the U of M could just adopt Eastern Michigan’s non-disclosure of things like murder and rape committed by black men prowling around campus. You know, when they find a white girl raped and strangled to death and call it “natural causes” so as to not upset students. It would be very progressive of them if they did.

  • Jeddermann.

    “DPS Chief Greg O’Dell then addressed the crowd and pointed out that the University must adhere to federal requirements when issuing crime alerts.”

    Forget about the law, forget about the policies, forget about the rules, forget about the protocols, forget about the unwritten rules, laws, protocols and policies. If it makes THEM happy, just do it. Whatever it is THEY want, just do it. And NOW too.

  • Anonymous

    It boggles the mind — the idea that such a major characteristic as a person’s skin color is not useful is finding a suspect.

    Only a mind warped by the soul sucking study of a useless discipline and many years of kissing faculty ass could come up with such an inane idea.

    Just saw her picture on the web. She looks like someone who has been limited in her choice of white beaus and has therefore been relegated to “diversity.” Or maybe she chooses diversity as a part of her own individual affirmative action program. If true then, it could explain her silly brain-dead non-commonsensical views.

  • GM (Australia)

    Will cultural sensitivity get us to the point where descriptions of offenders will be like in the episode of The Simpsons where the police officer sends out an alert: “The suspect is driving a car and is hatless, repeat the suspect is …”

  • Anonymous

    Since the majority of crimes are committed by the “few”, there is no need for a racial description. It’s a given.

  • BO_Bill

    Professor Elizabeth Anderson’s home page. People pay her to teach them.

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~eandersn/

    Nobody wants to read cut and paste, but perhaps consider her work ‘The Imperative of Integration’, available at the link.

  • Tom Iron

    I wonder, at what point people like Prof. Anderson can be thought of as insane?

    Tom Iron…

  • Anonymous

    Of course there is no value added by describing the race of wanted perps. Next time someone rapes a woman, molests a child or murders someone, just say a man is being sought. End of description. Or better yet, say a person is being sought.

    As far as the 22 incidents in the story, with 11 of them involving a White perp? That doesnt add up. Especially in an area like Ann Arbor. Sounds like some pc fudging of the numbers to me.

  • mark

    “Philosophy Prof. Elizabeth Anderson said information about race is not needed in crime alerts because it doesn’t add any information to the description.”

    Race doesn’t add any information to the description????? And this woman is a professor at the university?????

    Unbelievable!!!!!

  • Jesse from Sweden

    Yes, why include anything in a description of a criminal that might actually describe the criminal.

    Better to just report it as a person having committed a crime, and even leave out the gender of the criminal, that way we won’t point out anyone at all.

    But why stop there?

    Let’s just leave out reporting the crime altogether, that way noone risks being vilified and noone has to know what happens, and we can all instead imagine a world filled with people of all colors living together in peace and harmony, without letting all this reality get in the way.

  • Anonymous

    To those who wonder at the fact that 11 of 22 crimes were committed by whites: we would probably find a better indicator in the TYPES of crimes involved (violent vs. non-violent).

    I wish the police chief had had the “stones” to call the professor what she is: an indoctrinated fool.

  • Joe Walker

    Philosophy Prof. Elizabeth Anderson said information about race is not needed in crime alerts because it doesn’t add any information to the description.

    Just one more reason to avoid philosophy classes in college. Using Anderson’s logic, we shouldn’t report criminal activity at all since it leads to people having a more negative view of their fellow human beings. We should just pretend that we live in Utopia where no one ever does anything bad.

  • Anonymous

    @ 1

    That is very heightist of you, because your implying that all 5′ 8″ people are going to commit crimes. As someone of a pretty close height it worries me that people will take it too far!

  • Anonymous

    If the prep of multiple crimes always wore a red hat and a black shirt, wouldn’t that be helpful to alerting the public of who to avoid?

    Granted a few red hat wearers would be avoided as well, but no harm that.

    So clearly color worn by the prep is an important descriptor. How about if the color worn by the prep is the color of their skin? Hard stop, not allowed!

  • Anonymous

    If most of the crimes were committed by whites in a black neighborhood, you can bet the skin color would be made part of the police description.

  • Anonymous

    Humans learn to compensate. By not saying what color the prep is, we know it was most likely a black. By saying “youths” we know that they were black kids.

    It is unfortunate that the institutions charged with the safety of all can’t provide a reasonable description of a perpetrator. Blacks too need protection and would like to know who to avoid, and who to notify the police about. Ironic that blacks are denied information about blacks.

  • Anonymous

    “The speakers argued that racial descriptors apply to broad groups of people on campus and therefore generate fear of these groups. Anderson said innocent people fitting the racial description are negatively impacted by the wording in DPS alerts.”

    But the FBI crime stats also indicate that individuals have reason to fear certain other groups, and not fear others.

    Perhaps an SAT question; You are a women walking alone at night on a poorly lit street at the edge of campus, a black man with ghetto clothes asks you for the time. a) stop and tell him the time, b) keep moving c) scream and run or d) submit.

    Similarly, you are a woman walking alone at night on a poorly lit street at the edge of campus, a white man in suit and tie asks you for directions…

  • sbuffalonative

    Crime reports should fit this template:

    “A humanoid was robbed and beaten by another humanoid. Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for the humanoid suspect”.

  • GM (Australia)

    Re Ms Anderson and her Integration Imperative. She is behind the times. Attempts at forced integration were tried here with the Australian Aboriginals well over 100 years ago, they even tried to teach them basic living skills to become part of White/Anglo Australian society. The authorities even used the same terms “Integration is Imperative”. It just did not work, the whole system was abandoned in the 70s as it was thought to be paternalistic.

  • Anonymous

    Professor Elizabeth Anderson sounds like an imbecile. To make a statement like, “There is no value added in the description (of race)” a person has either be high on some kind of hallucinogenic drug, completely delusional or just plain ignorant. The campus police department, campus conservatives and concerned local citizens should be calling for her immediate resignation.

  • Up to the neck in CA.

    This is how the liberal rags describe the perps in SF Bay Area.

    “The suspects, described as a man between 25 and 30 years old and another around 40 years old, remained at large Wednesday morning, police said.”

    http://goo.gl/IZmYR

    With hard hitting reporting like this, the streets will be cleaned up in no time. Ask yourself this, who are they protecting? The black thugs or White victims?

  • Mr.White

    Unless the perp is white, then we will get a full description down to the color if his socks and a picture from his most recent mug shot if available.

    That’s already the direction the MSM is going…..

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, typo. I meant to say politically correct, not “political correct”. Can the mods please just post what is below?

    ***********

    So does this “professor” take issue with a suspect being described as male as well? Or is that acceptable under her politically correct criteria?

  • Alexandra

    #39:

    But that makes humanoids look bad. How do you know it wasn’t an insectoid?

    “Someone was the victim of a crime” might do!

    I read the article and burst out laughing at the part about stereotypes. I mean, it’s so ridiculous! We wouldn’t want the truth known, would we, “Professor” Anderson?