Sarah Palin is a bigot

>> Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Big surprise.

And it's not the only time she's gone off about this.

I asked about Palin's upcoming visit to Ft. Hood. "We had planned on that before the tragedy struck," she said. She commented on the trail of evidence linking the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Hasan, to militant Islam. "There were such clear, obvious, massive warning signs that were missed," she said. "This terrorist, even having business cards" that identified him as an "SoA" or soldier of Allah. Palin blamed a culture of political correctness and other decisions that "prevented -- I'm going to say it -- profiling" of someone with Hasan's extremist ideology. "I say, profile away," Palin said. Such political correctness, she continued, "could be our downfall." If the upcoming investigations into the attack reveal bad decision-making on the part of senior officials, Palin continued, those officials ought to be fired.
Business cards? Shit, this woman is so dumb it's ridiculous. Palin would clearly be happier if we lived in a segregated society where Christians have one set of rights and non-Christians & Muslims have a different set.

Profiling doesn't work anyway as a NYC police commissioner noted a few years ago.
"We have a policy against racial profiling," Raymond Kelly, New York City's police commissioner, told me. "I put it in here in March of the first year I was here. It's the wrong thing to do, and it's also ineffective. If you look at the London bombings, you have three British citizens of Pakistani descent. You have Germaine Lindsay, who is Jamaican. You have the next crew, on July 21st, who are East African. You have a Chechen woman in Moscow in early 2004 who blows herself up in the subway station. So whom do you profile? Look at New York City. Forty per cent of New Yorkers are born outside the country. Look at the diversity here. Who am I supposed to profile?"

Kelly was pointing out what might be called profiling's "category problem." Generalizations involve matching a category of people to a behavior or trait—overweight middle-aged men to heart-attack risk, young men to bad driving. But, for that process to work, you have to be able both to define and to identify the category you are generalizing about. "You think that terrorists aren't aware of how easy it is to be characterized by ethnicity?" Kelly went on. "Look at the 9/11 hijackers. They came here. They shaved. They went to topless bars. They wanted to blend in. They wanted to look like they were part of the American dream. These are not dumb people. Could a terrorist dress up as a Hasidic Jew and walk into the subway, and not be profiled? Yes. I think profiling is just nuts."


Update (11/20/09): An excellent segment by Rachel Maddow on Thursday.

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