Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Republican says law can use "sixth sense" to finger illegals

I continue to stand by my view that the Republican Party is the party of organized hate in America. The Democrats may be in the clutches of the greedy, unions of government employees, who are helping bankrupt America while giving us lousy service, or unnecessary service, but general speaking the bigots are attracted to the GOP. Once the Republican Party embraced the fundamentalist Christians it was bound to head down the bigoted road on numerous issues. I have long noticed that someone who is bigoted against one group tends to be bigoted against several groups.

The odd thing about haters is that people who dislike people for being black are more likely to dislike people who are Jewish, or people who are gay. They are more likely to see women as inferior to men. They tend to be more authoritarian, even if they pretend they support "less government."

Listen to Republican Congressvermin Steve King justify police using racial profiling to target "illegals" by comparing it to a taxi driver giving him a ride. The taxi driver saw King leave a government building, tapped his horn to see if King wanted a ride and King responded positively. That proves we are "profiled" all the time.

What King neglects, and which too many politicians neglect, is that there is a world of difference when government acts in this way. The taxi driver does not have a legal monopoly on the use of violence and force against others. He is not the State. Police agents are government, not private individuals offering services, but individuals who have the power to use force against other people.

I remember standing on the platform of the U-bahn in Berlin when the tracks were being repaired and the trains were being diverted. I saw a couple who looked very confused and were speaking English to one another. They had American accents and I assumed they were confused by the changes that were implemented. So I walked over and explained how the trains had been changed and asked them where they were going. I was getting off at Zoologischer Garten, and they had to go a couple stations further so I suggested they follow me. When I got off the train I explained they had to go two more stops for the station they wanted.

In a vague senses that was profiling. But I have no ability to restrain people. I couldn't violate their rights, only offer them assistance. When the power to violate rights, which is inherent in policing, is linked to entirely non-objective traits, such as King's "sixth sense," you have removed all concepts of the rule of law from the policing system.

Imagine a police officer stopping a man on the street because his "sixth sense" tells him the man is some sort of criminal. The officer demands ID based on his sixth sense. Legally speaking we are supposed to still have the right to walk the streets sans government paper. So assume our man is without ID. He tells the officer his name, as required and even volunteers that he is a citizen. But the officer's "sixth sense" is working, or maybe the suspects the man wears shoes that show he is "illegal" or has the haircut of an "illegal" (this is really Twilight Zone thinking). So, using his new powers under the Arizona law he takes the man into custody.

The man has done nothing! He has not violated any law. He has not assaulted anyone, or transgressed on the rights of any other person. He is peacefully minding his own business and a police officer, using King's justification, merely "senses" that the man is suspicious. No objective standard now exists. Officers are free to harass and grab people on the streets merely because they don't like a haircut, a pair of shoes, or because they just get a "feeling" about the person.

This is big government at it's worst. Big government is bad under all circumstances, in my opinion. But massive government without the restraint of objective definitions of criminal behavior is total tyranny. No armed agent of the government should be able to stop people and restrain them merely because he "senses" something. That is the complete annihilation of the rule of law. It also illustrates why I consider the xenophobic, anti-immigrant hysteria on the Right to be one of the biggest threats to Constitutional freedoms around today. And what is really disgusting is that the morons pretend to be doing in the name of the small government.

Labels: , ,