Walter E. Williams

Black Americans have spoken out against racial profiling by police. They've been insulted by store personnel who might give them extra scrutiny. There's the insult of the sound of a car door being locked when a black approaches. It's insulting to have taxi drivers pass up a black person and pick up white people down the street. In a similar vein, I'm sure that a law-abiding Muslim is insulted when given extra scrutiny at airports or listening to Fox News reporter Juan Williams, who was fired by National Public Radio in 2010 for publicly saying that he gets nervous when he sees people on a plane with clothing that identifies them as Muslim. Blacks and Muslims who face the insults of being profiled might direct their anger toward those who've made blacks and crime synonymous and terrorism and Muslims synonymous.

God would never racially profile, because he knows everything, including who is a criminal or terrorist. We humans are not gods; therefore, we must often base our decisions on guesses and hunches. It turns out that easily observed physical characteristics, such as race, are highly interconnected with other characteristics less easily observed.

For most blacks to own up to the high crime rate among blacks is a source of considerable discomfort. Beyond that, it creates suspicions and resentment, which are destructive of good race relations, and it's devastating to the black community, which is its primary victim.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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