MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – School officials at the University of Minnesota are working with black student and facility organizations after they wrote a letter to the school’s president about the racial descriptions given in crime alerts.
The letter, sent on Dec. 6, 2013, was issued by members of the African American and African Studies, Black Faculty and Staff Association, Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, Black Men’s Forum, Black Student Union and Huntley House for African American Males.
It was directed to University President Eric Kaler and Pamela Wheelock, the vice president of University Services.
Students and staff mailed the letter more than a month after the campus went on lockdown because of an attempted robbery at Anderson Hall on Nov. 11, 2013. University of Minnesota Police wrongfully identified a student as the suspect.
On Tuesday, school officials reported there have been 25 robberies in and around the University, an increase of 27 percent over the last few years.
The organizations wrote that while campus safety is crucial, the profiling can be devastating for black male students.
“[We] unanimously agree that campus safety should be of the UMPD’s utmost importance; however, efforts to reduce crime should never be at the expense of our Black men, or any specific group of people likely to be targeted. In addition to causing Black men to feel unsafe and distrusted, racial profiling is proven to inflict negative psychological effects on its victims.”
At Wednesday’s forum, Ian Taylor Jr., president of the Black Men’s Forum, said members of his organization feel threatened when the use of a racial description is given in the crime alerts.
“The repeated black, black, black suspect,” Taylor said. “And what that does it really discomforts the mental and physical comfort for students on campus because they feel like suspicions begin to increase.”
Welcome to what the absurdity of political correctness hath wrought, and how the “culture of victimhood” – as perpetuated by opportunistic liberals – plays out in real time. We must provide LESS information about a suspected criminal to students and the police because we don’t want to cause anyone “discomfort”! Sure, let’s put lives at risk so we don’t offend anyone. Can you believe this garbage? This level of PC “sensitivity” can and probably has gotten people hurt and/or killed. You give EVERY BIT OF DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION YOU CAN when a suspect is on the loose so he or she can be reported, caught, and hauled in for questioning. Eliminating crucial information about his or her physical description can prove to be a devastating hindrance to law enforcement – and compromise the safety of students, faculty, and others.
Fortunately, the university agrees and has pushed back – for now:
On Jan. 27, 2014, a formal letter was issued by Wheelock.
“I firmly believe that a well-informed community is an asset to public safety…I believe that sharing more information in our Crime Alerts, not less, is most beneficial in terms of public safety, especially when that information is available.
The information we share can include a complete description of suspects, unique identifying characteristics such as an accent or a distinctive piece of clothing, or the description of vehicles involved.
We have reviewed what other Big Ten Universities and local colleges and universities include, and our practice of including the race of a suspect when it is available from a victim’s description is consistent with their practices.”
The Daily Caller provides an interesting side note to all of this:
If the university did put an end to its practice of considering race in crime alerts, it would be an ironic exception to campus policy. UM practices affirmative action, and considers an applicant’s race when deciding whether to admit.
The Daily Caller reached out to the Black Men’s Forum at UM to ask whether the group supports an end to racial considerations in admission as well as in crime alerts. The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Why am I not surprised?