Patterico's Pontifications


Jack Dunphy on Racial Profiling

Filed under: General,Race — Patterico @ 4:58 pm

Jack Dunphy has more on the Gates affair and racial profiling at the Corner, here. Quotable:

So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

Brilliant. And for more along the same lines, see these two insightful old columns of his on the subject, here and here.

42 Responses to “Jack Dunphy on Racial Profiling”

  1. =yawn= It’d be more entertaining to just watch “In The Heat Of The Night” and “My Cousin Vinny.” They pretty much cover cops, cars, courts, stereotypes and prejudices past and present.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  2. Is DCSCA David Ehrenstein’s alternate ego?

    Because I had someone come up to me acting like a movie tough guy. But he had not given me the script to read. Or brought a director and stunt man along. So he ….

    And that’s what happened to Gates. It was not one of his movies.

    nk (a0200f)

  3. Did you know DCSCA used the word “=yawn=” in 28 comments over the past 2 months? That means we bore him at least once every other day.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  4. Fortunately Jack Dunphy is never boring. Excellent column.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  5. “And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.”

    Really? If I assert my rights, the cops might shoot me? Come on, that isn’t even close to being reasonable. If I did get shot for no other reason than annoying the cop, would he get charged with attempted murder? I think we all know the answer is “no.”

    We also know what would happen if the cops broke down my door at 3 AM during a mistaken no knock warrant service and I shot one of them, thinking, most reasonably that I was defending myself – the same thing that happened to Katherine Johnston or any other number of innocent drug war victims.

    DeadGuy (becaa9)

  6. Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon argues that your attitude is akin to blaming the victim of a rape.

    Thought you might like to know.

    Fritz (a80742)

  7. That’s good but it doesn’t exactly speak to the part where Skippy got arrested… my feeling is that when you’re in the presence of people that *can* arrest you, your mission if you choose to accept it is to keep that little thought bubble from forming over their heads.

    This is important because police and such are very important helpers even if they are not always warm and fuzzy people. We have to be able to police the police. We can’t do that as well if goof-ass losers like Skippy Gates do their best to contrive situations where the good cops are dragged into gray areas where they can be slapped upside their heads by race-baiting fascists.

    It seems to me that the only way for the cop to ensure that this pompous jackass didn’t file charges of racisms and such later was to take steps to see that his histrionics were well-documented, up to and including an arrest which would generate the needed documentation.

    Imagine if there had been less witnesses to and documentation of Gates’s womanly histrionics. Gates would have seen to it that this officer paid and paid dear for his temerity. I don’t like cops except for the good ones and in general they make me nervous unless I’m lost or scared or hurt. But a good cop is a good cop. So I would appreciate it if people stopped messing with those ones.

    happyfeet (c75712)

  8. The Pandagon thread is exactly what Krauthammer referred to when he said the incident plays into all the stereotypes about Democrats being soft on crime and hostile to cops and all forms of law enforcement. If they want to make a big issue about that, I see no objection on my part. It is sad to see the black community, if indeed it is doing so, take the side of those hostile to civilization and law enforcement. My very limited experience with this demographic tells me that lots of them are pro-police but quiet while the jive talkers are noisy and seek publicity.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  9. Along that line, Juan Williams on Fox this morning commented on the statistic that ONLY 72% of blacks approved of Obama’s comments last week. This is a group that has 88% approval on everything else.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. I happen to be fairly dark complected especially in the summer. I was coming out of my house one day and a Chicago cop who was passing by slams on his brakes and demands to see my ID. Was I happy about it? No. Did I cooperate? Yes. I showed him my DL. He asked a few questions and then handed me a list of break ins that had occured in the area and I happened to fit the description of the perps, you know, tall, dark and handsome,:) Anyway, he and I did not become best of friends but that is not his job. His job is to find the bad guys and I looked alot like them. That happens. I don’t tend to smart off to cops, so I have little sympathy for Gates. For all of Gates’s Harvard pedigree, and supposed Black Street Cred, he should have figured out in his post racial mind that a cop has a job to do and sometimes it means that he may not be the most polite guy on the face of the earth. The bottom line is that there was a potential break in and Gates’s address. That is a pretty serious crime and cops generally are no non sense about serious crimes. Apparently they don’t teach such things at Harvard.

    BT (78b929)

  11. §unday afternoons are always so fun, as DRJ always seems to come up with some interesting factoids. Plus, International Man of Paroday tends to go off the rails on Sundays.

    JD (c8f5e6)

  12. Amen, BT.

    O/T but The Brickyard was one of the best ever.

    Oh yeah, Seattle Slew is an imbecile.

    JD (c8f5e6)

  13. Did you know DCSCA used the word “=yawn=” in 28 comments over the past 2 months?

    I wonder how many times he’s used the word “rubbish” in his posts, or you could do an eight – month search to find out how many times the phrase “Rush Limbaugh fat drug addicted leader of the GOP” has been employed.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  14. I too can say that I don’t “like” cops. Of course, I also don’t like Latin teachers, dentists, doctors and various other groups.

    In my youth, 16 to 18, I was stopped and questioned by various police officers on an average of once a week. For WWW (walking while white) as we might call it today. I was a part-time worker and had to walk home from work in the Bronx after midnight. Being stopped and questioned was just part of the job.

    Simple enough – don’t get an attitude, answer the questions and, what ever you do, don’t make a big deal about the stop. Realy, it was not as bad as a semi-annual dental check-up.

    After I left the service, in my late twenties and early thirties, I used to walk off excess energy. I would walk, late at night, through the Bronx, uper Manhattan and, sometimes, Yonkers. Once again, I would often be stopped and questioned by the police.

    I was a suspect in a case of theft, have been stopped numerous times while driving and was even given a ticket for jaywalking. In all cases, I remembered this important fact : No one can see either my halo or read my mind.

    By acting like a responsible adult, I never ran into a police officer who was rude and/or arrogant. You get what you expect and what your unconscious “body language” is telling the police officer.

    Mentaly broadcasting “how dare you stop me – don’t you know how important I am – you are my servant – don’t start acting like my master” may comfort your ego but it does not make the, mostly necessary, stops more enjoyable.

    Remember the rule : you answer questions when stopped by the police. If you have any issues with the stop, you can file a complaint later and/or tell it to the judge. The street is not the place to raise Constitutional issues.

    The officer, who stopped you, does not know anything about you – you could be Joseph T., the barber who gave me my first professional haircut, or Sweeny Todd. Don’t give him or her a hard time for trying to do their job.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  15. Two events:

    About 15 years ago, I was pulled over by some LA cops who had my car’s plates on their “hot” list. It had been stolen several months prior, recovered by LAPD, and returned. They were VERY careful with me (not exactly guns drawn but enough so that I’m quite peaceable) until they saw my license and registration and realized their computer was in error. They told me the problem, and advised me to change the plates so that this did not recur.

    Then they cited me for a California stop, which they might or might not have done if the plate hadn’t come up. Who can say?

    Second, was about 2 years ago, when I’m exiting the 405 in the Signal Hill area and there is a stop sign at the end of the uphill onramp at a “T”. Visibility to the left is about a million miles and there is a small hill to the right. I really doubt anyone comes to a full stop there before turning right, but whatever. Now, around that right turn is about a million spotlights and 4 CHP cars, pulling everyone over for a sobriety checkpoint. Of course, they get to do that with probable cause because they have you for the rolling stop. A ticket you get even if you are cold sober, like me. $300 I could have used elsewhere and the traffic school annoyance. Grrr.

    Now, neither of these incidents have to do with “profiling”, but they do have to do with making up reasons for a stop. Seems to me if cops will make up reasons for one kind of stop, they’ll do it for another. Since I know a number of black folk and they all insist that they’ve had that happen to them, I have to believe that it has happened.

    Maybe not now? Fine. (And I don’t think it happened in Cambridge.) But police should consider that they might have a ways to go in convincing folk that times have changed.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  16. BTW, I have no issue with cops, as such, and don’t get pissy about my “rights.” I do dislike BS citations, though.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  17. Confucius say: man who run in front of car get tired, man who run behind car get exhausted.

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  18. Oops, the spam comment I was replying to was deleted, making my above comment meaningless. Oh well.

    Mike LaRoche (d83224)

  19. DCS you sound about as coherent as Stasie. I doubt anyone could teach you about the court system or the penal system based on you’re obvious familiarity with them. What I like to know is, who is your bailbondsman of choice?

    I also wonder if anyone is going to run the lame I was lured out of my Hupmobile where I was exercising my right to beat my wife meme?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  20. Thomas,

    You, Stashiu, and I agree on so many things. Even more so, you and Stashiu are both vets? Do we need to be such assholes to each other?

    nk (5e5670)

  21. Y’all are just racists. Pure unadultered racists. With your power, and your codewords, and your hate hate hate. Rich Puchalsky, Karl Steel, et al told me so, and since they are always just, pure, and correct, it must be so. Racists.

    BTW, if you even consider yourself a Republican or a conservative, the presumption is that you are a racist, a bedsheet wearing KKKlan member, and you have to prove the purity of your heart to those that already presume you to be a racist.

    JD (61265f)

  22. nk,

    I don’t mean to be an asshole to you, so if anything seemed that way, I apologize for being unclear. TJ’s taunts don’t bother me. He’s dismissible. You, on the other hand, should be respected for what you bring here. If you want to email me and discuss it further, please feel free. My screen name AT gmail DOT com.

    If you want to see why TJ is an idiot, start here and read up.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  23. I’m still amazed by comment #3. When you lose the fair minded support of DRJ, what kind of person are you?

    I would only add that I found DRJ’s comment “pitch-perfect.” We’ll have to see how the situation “lands.” Heh.

    Anyway, I think this all boils down to class structure as much as race. People who are born to or achieve the privileged class seem to think that they can spout off to police as part of their “right to free speech” (while a police officer is investigating a possible crime, mind you).

    I was always raised to remember, as Mr. Dunphy puts it, that police officers literally take their lives into their hands daily. It would make anyone jumpy. So why NOT be polite while the police do their thing, even if you don’t much like being asked nosy questions? There is plenty of time later (as in Mark Steyn’s great column today at NRO) to file a complaint. The officer might even have to do some “sensitivity training” as a result, which is something they wouldn’t wish on prisoners at Gitmo.

    The “teachable moment” business is a good point, but not the way Professor Gates means it. If he did ride-alongs with police officers, and saw what they dealt with daily, it might have made him a little less hysterical.

    But then, I think he was looking for the opportunity to throw a fit. Although no one can be sure, I believe that Professor Gates knows his little fit didn’t look very good, and thus is anxious to “move on.” In every case I know where someone gets cuffed and run in for mouthing off to police officers, it was after at least two warnings. The “yo momma” business does not reflect well on Professor Gates, either.

    He would do better to do some ride-alongs. Haven’t we heard over and over again that white people cannot understand the minority experience? This is similar, I would argue: you can’t understand what it is like for police officers until you are “Blue Like Me.”

    Maybe I am wrong, but it sure seems to me that the only people I know personally who are all “speak truth to the cops and stand on your rights” are well to do. Everyone I know personally who was raised lower to middle class (as I was) think that mouthing off to police officers is a short path to Chris Rock’s video about getting your fundament kicked.

    No insult intended to any posters with the above.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  24. I have nothing but respect for you Stashiu. I just want to stop fighting with Thomas. Or for Thomas to stop fighting with us.

    nk (06f5d0)

  25. I’m far from perfect, Eric Blair. I just couldn’t help noticing how often the posts and comments make DCSCA =yawn=.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  26. Yes, but the goal of IMP is to get people irritated. You just chuckled at one of his many mantras.

    But how often do you chide any poster here? That says a great deal about IMP.

    That being said, how does =yawn= differ from >yawn< or even *yawn*?

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  27. If something bored me so, to the point where I felt compelled to discuss it in public, I would consider quitting doing whatever it was that bored me so in the first place.

    JD (57d75b)

  28. […] Dunphy over at Patterico has […]

    Gazzer’s Gabfest » Gates keeps digging (b98ad6)

  29. That all depends, JD, on the reason that you post.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  30. DCSCA is a dingleberry.

    nk (b26631)

  31. If something bored me so, to the point where I felt compelled to discuss it in public, I would consider quitting doing whatever it was that bored me so in the first place.

    Perhaps, as boring as this place is to him, maybe it’s more than he has anywhere else. Gosh, that’s a sad thought…

    Dana (57e332)

  32. Dana, I think you have solved that odd paradox.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  33. Along that line, Juan Williams on Fox this morning commented on the statistic that ONLY 72% of blacks approved of Obama’s comments last week. This is a group that has 88% approval on everything else. Comment by Mike K

    Only?! Well, I guess when one poll awhile back revealed that something like 95% of black people in America disapproved of George Bush, 75%, by contrast, can be labeled as “only.” As for that 88%, I bet in reality it’s a bit higher.

    The lack of ideological diversity in the African-American community is grotesque, pathetic and self-paralyzing.

    I’ve often mused what much of the black populace of the US would be like today if it were instantly transformed from predominantly “lefty” (opposition to same-sex marriage notwithstanding) to predominantly conservative, or even centrist. The common sense that would suddenly start washing over that part of American life would be like an epiphany, and I bet various social and economic weaknesses that have long plagued a high percentage of black America would start to melt away.

    Mark (411533)

  34. The more important question, Mark, is how the MSM would deal with that change in policial allegiance that you describe!

    My guess is that out-in-front racism would become fashionable on the Left.

    Eric Blair (57b266)

  35. DeadGuy (#5): You failed the reading comprehension test as you didn’t note the conditional clause in the sentence you quoted. And for that matter, you failed to grasp the meaning of the entire post, so I’ll explain it in terms perhaps even you can understand.

    If a police officer stops you in the reasonable – even if mistaken – belief that you have committed a crime, the officer is authorized, under statute and abundant case law (see Graham v. Connor, for example), to use reasonable force, including deadly force if necessary, in order to effect an arrest, overcome resistance, or prevent escape. Protest if you must, but be prepared for the consequences.

    The “no-knock” warrant scenario you portray involves an entirely different set of circumstances, and I happen to agree with you that they are unwise and unsafe. In fact, here in California no such warrants are authorized. The death of Kathryn Johnston was indeed a travesty, and you won’t hear me defend the cops responsible for it.

    Jack Dunphy (38fbdf)

  36. […] an earlier post, our host graciously linked to two columns I wrote back in my salad days at NRO. I recalled […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Resurrecting an Old Column: Trouble in the Ivy League (e4ab32)

  37. I haven’t seen anyone mention this, so I will. Gates said he asked the driverto help him force his door. If I see one person trying to force a front door, the thought might occur that they live there and their door is stuck.

    But if I see two people trying to force a door, unless I know them both I immediately pick up the phone to call the cops.

    For a supposedly smart guy, Gates seems to lack common sense.

    JEA (9f9fc9)

  38. #24


    I am not fighting with anyone but the trolls who like to fling feeces like Stassie. I can understand hi obvious lack of self esteem and his need to boast his ego by resorting to drive by insults. His continuation only demonstrates his infantilism. When he ceases his odious behavior I am very content to ignore him as most others here do.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  39. […] Jack actually said — which will make the distortion of his words plain to see. In a passage I quoted with approval the other day, Jack said: So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Radley Balko, Brian Doherty, and an L.A. Times Editor Distort Posting by Jack Dunphy (e4ab32)

  40. Actually, the police may shoot you whether you assert your rights or not. Look what happened to this guy:

    It is an unfortunate fact that through bad judgment or bad luck, police occasionally execute people. This is way beyond “stupid”, but inappropriate use of force, should never dissuade one from asserting one’s rights. If that were the case, we would still be living in a monarchy.

    Patrick C (8714e4)

  41. Okay…let me get this straight. If, for ANY reason, the police decide to pull me aside and question me, whether their rationale is valid or whether it’s simply harassment, I’m just supposed to bend over and take it?

    “Papers please. We are Der Staat. Acquiesce to the wishes of the Schutzstaffel, or face the consequences.”

    Whatever happened to the Constitution? Those of you defending the arrest of individuals for the non-crime of “failing to obey a lawful order” are simply parroting right-wing political correctness. Our founders would have NEVER stood still for such treatment!

    And, no I’m not a Lefty bed-wetter, I’m a libertarian wondering how in the world “conservative” Americans can support police state policies.

    Vulture (534282)

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