Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Legislating While Black

Legislating While Black - Washington Post

My neighbor in Boston, a retired editor who happened to be a woman, had a word for columnist Marcus’ accommodation of Representative McKinney’s “outrageous” racial profiling accusation against a Capital officer, when he prevented her unidentified entry. Balderdash!

Such ‘strong’ New England language is well deserved in this case. Ms. McKinney does an unforgivable disservice to recipients of real racism, who merit serious attention when they put out the ‘call’ for help.

Playing of the race card, excepting if your name is Johnnie Cochran and the law demands it, should be a badge of shame, not one of honor, as McKinney seems to believe. Her ‘watered-down’ use of the charge is flat-out inexcusable, particularly in her public servant role and in the wake of 9/11.

Columnist Marcus’ creative reach into race and gender for an excuse, completely ignores the cognitive science pertaining to Cross Race Effect (CRE), describing the measurable reduced ability of people to recall accurate physical characteristics of those outside of their own racial group.

I assume, for now, that Representative McKinney ‘delivers’ for her district, despite her antics, and for this alone she deserves her seat. But let us not kid ourselves that her ill-conceived ‘hothead’ behavior accomplishes anything, other than a reduction of her contribution and influence to her office, along with desensitizing our responses to alerts of abuse.

James C. Collier


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