There is no such thing as racial profiling: My students are a pretty PC bunch, so once in a while I have to provoke them. I asked in class the other day, what would people think of the statement that there is no such thing as racial profiling. A Mexican-American students raises his hand and tells me he knows it happens because one time he was just walking into some store, and all of a sudden some cop slams him up to the ground. Then the officer tells him it was a mistake--they were searching for a suspect who looked like him.
So I asked the student if the cop would have done the same thing if he were an elderly Latino woman. He said no, and I replied, why not--she's Latino. He guessed that the police were looking for a young male Mexican. I jokingly said they were going around slamming 5 year old Hispanic boys? More seriously, I said, oh so this is case of age profiling, or maybe a case of gender profiling.
Then I asked if he would have been grabbed if he were a skinny 7 foot Mexican. He answered probably not, and I told him they must have been profiling a person with medium height and a stocky build (like him). So, evidently, they were "body-size profiling." I asked what he was wearing, and when he said jeans and a white T-shirt, I asked him if they would have targeted him if he was in a limo in a rented tux--he said maybe not. So I told him that maybe they were clothes profiling. Then, I pointed out his tattoos on his arms and suggested that the suspect probably had those too.
They were getting the point, so I summed it up by saying that profiling is always a multi-factor thing, and it is arbitrary and political to call it racial. Not surprisingly, the white students seem to like it when I talk like this, while it chafes blacks and Hispanics.