Racial Profiling–Revisited

By Thomas Kochman - 12.02.2011

We’re all familiar with stories of black motorists being targeted for special attention by law enforcement agencies, airlines and government agencies.

Stories of racial profiling of whites by blacks, however, also occur, especially in sports –the truism or stereotype being that black athletes are superior to white athletes.

This was made much of in “White Men Can’t Jump” and was the basis of a “con”, or “hustle”, perpetrated by the characters played by Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson in the movie.

Green Bay quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, brought this matter up on his talk show recently as a possible reason why wide receiver Jordy Nelson –who is white—continues to get one-on-one coverage compared to Packer black wide receivers.

As is customary when the topic of “race” is offered as a theory or explanation of why something happens, it immediately and automatically gets downplayed, as either being false –it’s dismissively called “playing the race card” by whites at work when blacks bring it up—or, as shown in subsequent media coverage on Rodger’s comment, too provocative to discuss, reflecting the U.S. mainstream cultural orientation that puts “peace before truth”.

This, in contrast to the more forthright African American cultural orientation that puts “truth before peace”, to which our black colleague often adds, “Without truth there can be no peace.”

One could also add, that without “truth” there can also be no further discussion of the topic –a form of putting one’s head in the sand– a rule of  public social etiquette that disallows, by fiat, any opportunity to explore further  what’s “out there,” and “really going on”. Read more »