Is racial profiling of groups rational?

Here’s something I definitely wouldn’t talk about at the Orthosphere.

Many liberals have pointed out that just because most terrorists are Muslims doesn’t mean that most Muslims are terrorists.  Also that just because blacks are heavily overrepresented among violent criminals doesn’t mean that the average black you pass on the street is likely to be a violent criminal.  P(A|B) =/= P(B|A), and all that.  Therefore, profiling is irrational.  This is a good argument, and I even agree with it as far as it goes, but Leftists had better not lean too heavily on it.  After all, most contentious racial issues involve large groups of people.  Should we settle a thousand black refugees here?  Should we bus in a hundred inner city black kids there?  Whatever irrationality there is in attributing the group’s average to a random sampling of its members goes down with the square root of the number of those members.  Bring in a lot of disproportionately violent people (even when the probability that any given one of them is violent is well under 0.5) and you will have a violent crime problem, one that can fundamentally alter your neighborhood.

Now, I point this out just to be mischievous, because nobody really cares.  For Leftists, smashing white communities is an absolute moral imperative, and they don’t care what suffering it causes.  I also don’t think much about crime or other antisocial behavior because I’m a pretty radical particularist.  I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to let one’s home be swamped with cultural outsiders, no matter how well-behaved they are.  If it’s cultural preservation one is interested in, letting in a small number of cultural Marxist intellectuals can cause far more damage than letting in a large number of lowlifes.

2 Responses

  1. I think profiling would be more accurate if it also had in mind the social class of the group/person (on document: a year’s wage, employer or time being unemployed, close relatives’ employer, etc.) A high middle-class black would most likely behave better than both a lower-class white or lower-class black. Blacks tend to be stuck in a lower-class culture from which they can’t manage to get out of. Much of the hatred that I we see in the 19th century proletariat towards robber barons, is similar to the one that blacks have towards whites – outrage, envy, frustration. And just like the proletariat of old, they are not only uneducated, but have no idea what the education they need is like.

    And the following statement/joke would be true until black people overcome their lower-class, uneducated cultural stagnation:
    “A black who is part of the middle-class is already half-way white.”

  2. Also that just because blacks are heavily overrepresented among violent criminals doesn’t mean that the average black you pass on the street is likely to be a violent criminal. P(A|B) =/= P(B|A), and all that. Therefore, profiling is irrational. This is a good argument,

    This is an incredibly stupid argument.

    Suppose you have the resources to investigate N people out of a total population of M. Suppose further that you have a probability assessment of guilt, based on their characteristics, for each individual m, call it P_m. Which N people do you optimally investigate? This is the easiest optimization problem ever. You investigate the N people with the highest P_m. I’m implicitly assuming independence and some other stuff, but it doesn’t really matter.

    If race is helpful in estimating P_m, then you use it (and, boy, is it!). Racial profiling is a good idea. Not only should we not stop racial profiling, it isn’t even possible to stop racial profiling. How are you going to get cops to not notice that blacks are violent?

    Even this:

    the average black you pass on the street is [not] likely to be a violent criminal

    is highly questionable. The average black male you pass on the street in a crappy neighborhood is, I’ll bet, considerably more than 50% likely to have committed a violent crime in his life. Maybe even more than 50% likely to have been arrested for one or even convicted of one. But committed one? Definitely over 50%.

    You know, for example, that the lifetime probability of spending time in prison is almost 1/3 for black males, right? And a large majority of violent crimes are not solved. And many solved violent crimes do not result in prison time. For whites, 1/25. http://www.prisonpolicy.org/scans/bjs/llgsfp.pdf

    I hate this whole “most black people are OK” stuff. Especially from obviously smart people. In fact, most black people are a total disaster. A minority are OK. White people who have never spent time around real black people absorb the most incredible nonsense from our culture.

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