'Ignorance is bliss' when it comes to crime alerts, according to black student groups at the University of Minnesota
A formidable assemblage of groups representing black students at the University of Minnesota is requesting that crime alerts on campus avoid including race. CBS Minnesota reports:
School officials at the University of Minnesota are working with black student and facility organizations after they wrote a letter to the school's president about the racial descriptions given in crime alerts.
The letter, sent on Dec. 6, 2013, was issued by members of the African American and African Studies, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, Black Men's Forum, Black Student Union and Huntley House for African American Males. (snip)
The organizations wrote that while campus safety is crucial, the profiling can be devastating for black male students.
"[We] unanimously agree that campus safety should be of the UMPD's utmost importance; however, efforts to reduce crime should never be at the expense of our Black men, or any specific group of people likely to be targeted. In addition to causing Black men to feel unsafe and distrusted, racial profiling is proven to inflict negative psychological effects on its victims."
At Wednesday's forum, Ian Taylor Jr., president of the Black Men's Forum, said members of his organization feel threatened when the use of a racial description is given in the crime alerts.
So, apparently the hurt feelings of black men are more important than alerting students to potential danger and capturing suspects. Of what imporance are a few more rapes, assaults, robberies, and other crimes when balanced against self-esteem?
As my colleague Rick Moran puts it, how useful would this be: "Be on the lookout for a man/woman of a race that is none of your business"
Instead of asking for less information and endangering public safety, how about working to reduce the criminality that underlies that apparently disproportionate (no statistics are given, but that is the obvious conclusion) incidence of alerts featuring black males.