Friday, March 22, 2002

WHEN RESEARCH CONTRADICTS A PREVAILING THEORY, do you (a) publish the research and subject it to public scrutiny or (b) suppress the research? The Justice Department's civil rights division wants option (b) for a report that suggests black drivers speed more than white drivers in New Jersey, a finding that undermines the claim that disproportionate traffic stops of black drivers results from "racial profiling." The research may turn out to be bogus; it may also turn out to be accurate. But the Justice Department would rather we not find out. I guess this is the kind of zealous civil rights policy Democrats were hoping for. (There's another funny story hidden in this article: the lead researcher has one concern about the report, "the driving habits of Latino motorists. Latinos can be of any race, making it nearly impossible to distinguish their ethnicity from a snapshot." If reseachers can't tell whether a driver is Latino, that would seem to cut against the claim that cops are racially profiling Latinos, right?)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails