Thursday, August 04, 2005

Profiles in Cluelessness

And in this week's edition of WTF News, Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Jew (representing gentrifying Flatbush and mainly Jewish Boro Park), and Republican Councilman James Oddo, an Italian-American representing parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn (including Bensonhurst, no stranger to racial unrest), both think the subway searches should be based on profile. I mention the locale, party affiliation, and cultural distinction for a reason.

Both politicians, who could be unseated in the next races, believe that because terrorists of late have been mostly young Arab men, the police should stop any young man who is, or looks Arab, or Muslim. Says Hikind:

"There is a terrorist profile for a potential suicide bomber, and it's not the 75-year-old grandmother with sloping shoulders, who has an oversized tote bag firmly tucked under her arm."

Says Oddo:
"Plain and simply, young Arab fundamentalists are the individuals undertaking these acts of terror."

I'm not going to dwell on the obvious, like the White kids in Columbine, or Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma, who were also White. And I'm also not going to dwell on Randall Terry, the recently convicted bomber of reproductive clinics. And I'll leave it to Dov the Mensch to read the report of the former Israeli soldier who, wearing his yarmulke, opened fire on a bus full of Arabs, killing 4. I'm sure he's familiar with the 1990 killing of 7 Palestinians, and the 1994 killing of 29 Arabs, both by Jewish extremists, both young men. I'm just gonna keep it simple.

James Oddo doesn't have much of a positive track record outside of his mostly White, working class, 50 and older constituency. In fact, in a 2004 op-ed piece in the New York Daily News, he basically said it was a waste of time to try to get the attention of young voters as most 18 to 24-year-olds were more interested in their iPods than in politics. In 2002, he sponsored legislation (complete with a 5 1/2-hour discussion) to ban aluminum baseball bats from schools and little league games because a kid got beaned, and severely injured.

Dov Hikind has either been absent for or has voted against strengthening hate crimes legislation, and has voted for deregulation of rent, which allows landlords to increase rent on a vacated apartment by 18%. He didn't bother to vote for legislation calling for coverage of contraception by health insurers. When 40 cars had their tires slashed around Thanksgiving Day, he called it a hate crime because the neighborhood is largely Hasidic.

They've become allies suddenly, even though Hikind's sister-in-law attempted to unseat Oddo.

These two dunderheads couldn't poor piss out of a boot, much less fairly represent all the members of their neighborhoods. Now they want to put their two cents in on a policy with broad-sweeping effects? These White guys, who will very likely experience little maltreatment because of their ethnicity or cultural identification (even yarmulke-wearing Hikind), think it's okay to go on the record in support of profiling just because of one's appearance?

Give me strength.


Blogger It's Me, Maven... said...

It's all smoke and mirrors babe! I think I posted something similar over at ABB, but it's all the *appearance* that they are doing or suggesting something to *help* when in actuality, it's just going to give some MTA pseudocop to hassle anyone non-Caucasian. Perspective is a hysterically ironic thing though--not long ago, Jews were not considered truly white, and turn of the 20th Century, some didn't think Italians (or Irish, etc) were not white either. Not saying I hold that as a personal belief--just noting history.

7:40 PM  

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