Safir blasts Bloomberg’s no-profiling policy

Three cheers for Howard Safir, New York City’s police commissioner during most of Rudolph Giuliani’s mayoralty. Appearing on Hardball, Safir blasted Mayor Bloomberg’s dhimmi-like, demoralizing command to the police that no profiling be used to check subway riders for possible terrorists. So pathetically, mindlessly liberal is Bloomberg that he is even requiring the police to keep records of subway searches to ensure that all racial groups be targeted equally! In contrast to Bloomberg, Safir says we know what the 9/11 hijackers looked like, we know what the Cole bombers looked like, and we know what the African embasssy bombers looked like. “Using information on the profile of what a terrorist looks like is smart and intelligent anti-terrorism work.”

By the way, if Bloomberg is requiring that all racial groups be checked equally, isn’t that racial profiling? He’s assuming that all races are equally likely to be terrorists. In other words, in the complete absence of any supporting evidence, he’s prejudging all groups other than Muslims. He’s assuming that Chinese men or white women are equally likely to be suicide bombers as Muslim men. So, which policy, Bloomberg’s or Safir’s, is more liberal and more non-discriminatory in the true sense of those terms? To target groups that don’t show any propensity toward terrorism, or to target groups that do? This a further demonstration of Jim Kalb’s idea that, while liberalism claims to be value neutral and non-discriminatory, such neutrality is impossible in the real world. If you refuse to profile (i.e. discriminate against) the actual group that contains the terrorists, you must profile (i.e. discriminate against) everyone else.

The profiling issue also demonstrates a key argument about liberalism from my article, “How to Oppose Liberal Intolerance.” To demand equal outcomes for people, whether in the economic or the moral sphere, requires that the more productive or better behaving people be treated worse than they deserve, and that the less productive or worse behaving people be treated better than they deserve. Moreover, the worse the badly behaving people behave, the more they must be favored over their actual deserts, in order to attain the requisite equality. Equality of outcomes thus requires a systematic inversion of ordinary moral reasoning. In a rational, normal world, the worse people behave, the more we criticize them. But in the world of liberalism, the worse people behave, the more we favor them, until, when it becomes a matter of the worst behaving people on the planet, Muslims, the undeserved favoritism we grant them becomes cosmic, infinite. This is the fatal complementarity of Islam and the liberal West.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 05, 2005 05:43 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):