I’m very curious about this NYPD commissioner, because he seems focused on security without being racist. At least from what I’ve read, he rejects racial profiling not so much as a moral value, but as an ineffective approach to catching bad guys — and I like that. OF COURSE, I do not want us to get bombed or hurt by other countries, but I’m also really, really not into racism and am extremely uncomfortable at folks using terror as an excuse for simplistic thinking. What I’ve read from interviews, Kelly, after 9/11, convened his own posse expert in Islamic extremists, and took advantage of NYC’s diversity and has a ton of voluntary and employed folks fluent in Arabic working on his team. He also learned that folks who worship in a mosque are generally not the danger babies — those who stray from the flock are the ones to watch, and I just appreciate anyone who’s going to take a nuanced look at the question of WHO. What a relief. His approach to fighting terrorism has been commented as even more sophisticated than what the Feds are doing. Hmmm. If he wrote a book, I’d be all over it.
What else? I don’t know. I guess I spend a fair amount of time thinking about these issues. One colleague strongly believes in stereotypes as a useful device to expecting certain kinds of behavior. After all, this person reasons, they exist for a reason, they have some basis in reality. From my perspective, I think stereotypes actually hinder your ability to assess the person in front of you. How can you fully see them if part of your mind is already made up about them?