Black student groups want U of M officials to remove racial descriptions from crime alerts

Categories: Racism, U of M
UMN-Campus-560.jpg
"There are certain looks you get late at night when you have a hoodie on, or even just a U of M backpack," the leader of a black student group told us.
Members of the Black Student Union, Black Faculty and Staff Association, and a handful of other black student groups are asking U of M officials to remove racial descriptions from crime alerts distributed by the university.

SEE ALSO: Myles Thomas puts Mpls cops on blast after they write him ticket for spitting near U of M campus

During a wave of high-profile crimes that swept through campus last semester, many alerts noted that the suspect was a "black male." (Though there are some exceptions, including the most recent one.) Reached for comment today, Ian Taylor Jr., president of the Black Men's Forum, questioned the value of that sort of description, which he believes negatively impacts how blacks are perceived on campus.

"Let's quantify how much racial identifiers help us identify criminals first," Taylor Jr., a 20-year-old junior, said. "We think crime alerts are important, but using race as a descriptor is our concern."

But in a letter written to the black student groups earlier this week, U of M Vice President Pamela Wheelock argues that "sharing more information in our Crime Alerts, not less, is most beneficial in terms of public safety."

"We have reviewed what other Big 10 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," she added.

Though officials aren't willing to remove racial descriptions from crime alerts, they say preventing any sort of profiling is a high priority.

For instance, in a letter written to the black student groups last month, University President Eric Kaler said, "Let me be clear: racial profiling can not and will not be tolerated."

But Taylor Jr. said that while he appreciates how accommodating administrators have been in meeting some of his group's demands, "If you look at the crime reports you would suspect that blacks are the only ones committing crimes."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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125 comments
daveziffer
daveziffer

A society succumbs to political correctness when merely stating facts becomes unfashionable. It succumbs to fascism when merely stating facts becomes illegal.

Constructive
Constructive

I guess... if I headed up the White Men's Forum and there was an extraordinary number of crimes reported where a descriptor was "white", I might use my position to try and promote "not being a criminal" to members of my particular community.  I'd certainly let them know that my organization would not stand behind them if they were acting illegally.

libtard_apologist
libtard_apologist

"But Taylor Jr. said that while he appreciates how accommodating administrators have been in meeting some of his group's demands, "If you look at the crime reports you would suspect that blacks are the only ones committing crimes.""

... Does Taylor Junior believe that there are lots of violent street crimes being committed by whites that are simply never reported and/or totally ignored by the cops and university administration?

Sorry dude, the facts are that blacks commit the VAST MAJORITY of violent street crimes there... like over 95%. Deal with it.

Just be happy you live in a place full of naive masochistic guilty white liberal "progressives" eager to be punished for their "white privilege" and ready to defend and apologize for violent black criminals in order to assuage their pathetic white guilt.

Naive_White_Libtard
Naive_White_Libtard

You naive minnesota white-guilt libtard "progressives" reap what you sow.

Bekka Porth
Bekka Porth

If it was white men raping girls on campus, they would say it was white men. If it was latino men breaking into cars, they would say it was latino men. If it was somali gang violence, they would say it was somalis. People committing the crimes are stereotyping themselves as criminals, and race is right there on the surface for everyone to see. I haven't read the crime alerts, as dinkytown isn't a place i frequent, but if most of the crimes are being committed by black men, then the alerts are going to describe those black men. This group making this request cannot change the fact that the criminals have been black men. Its not profiling the way everyone wants to think. It is presentation of fact for the purpose of keeping the area's population, all races, safe. They complain that they're being looked at suspiciously around campus after the crime alert. So what? Dont look at people who are giving you a weird look. Dont let their suspicion feed on your fear and loathing. Go about your business, and look like you belong there. Because you do. And your confidence in your presence will ease the suspicion. People will be suspicious of other people. Ive seen black people be suspicious of black people, so they're not immune to it. Think holistically about these issues, people. Like someone else said, this is political correctness run amok. The issue is not the black students being eyed, or the crime alerts pointing out race. The issue is the crime itself, and thats what we should be focusing energy on. If anything, this is a sad diversion from the real problem.

charlesthedesigner
charlesthedesigner

Descriptions should be detailed if sending out crime alerts. However, as a black student attending seeing an email with "black male with mustache" or any other race doesn't help.

Alec Zender
Alec Zender

Wow. Many racists in this post. Such ignorant.

CITYRIDERRT19
CITYRIDERRT19

While other student groups are busy raising money for the Philippines, or their local homeless shelter, basically just trying make the world a better place.  The black student groups have decided it would be better to make the world a more dangerous one, good work kids and adults your goals are definitely in the right place.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Just sayin'; "According to the United States Department of Justice: Blacks accounted for 52.5% of homicides, whites 45.3% and Native Americans and Asians 2.2%, from 1980 to 2008. The offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites, and the victim rate 6 times higher." 

also this gem:  Demaryius Thomas’ Mom, Grandma Have To Root From Prison

The two women have never seen Thomas play in person. He was 11 when police burst through the door of their home in Montrose, Ga., and arrested both in 1999.

Now she’s at a minimum-security prison in Florida, sentenced to 20 years. Her mother, Minnie Pearl Thomas, who had two previous drug convictions, received two life sentences with the possibility for parole after 40 years

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/01/30/demaryius-thomas-mom-grandma-have-to-root-from-prison/

Just sayin' 

jwpurchases
jwpurchases

I feel threatened as a male when the gender is dragged out into the open in articles trying to warn my fellow citizens about any dangers, real or perceived. Soon all males will be viewed as potential criminals.

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy Martin

That's dumb. If a black/white/brown/whatever person is who they are looking for, that's sort of pertinent information you need to know who to look for, isn't it?

Oscar
Oscar

This is laughable. The best description we can get of the perp is all that matters. This is just pure garbage. It's like describing the getaway car in a bank robbery but not giving the color. For fu**s sake.

Peter Edge
Peter Edge

But jokes aside, I don't see why they couldn't think of a positive campaign to combat this rather than suggesting this stupidity. For instance, get everyone to wear colorful "students against profiling" stickers a la the "vote no" campaign, which Im sure could catch on and help remind people not to profile young black males.

Peter Edge
Peter Edge

I know what they mean, I also get certain looks when I wear just a U of M backpack, people are all "you're drunk!" and "put on some clothes!"

Monte Fontaine
Monte Fontaine

Systemic racism in general and racial profiling in particular are huge problems in this country. No doubt about it. But the issue here is about providing the public with as much descriptive information as possible of perpetrators who commit violent crimes in our communities. To withhold such information would not strike me as being responsible public safety policy.

Jason Gabbert
Jason Gabbert

If whites have issues with color, so bet it. It's their opinion and their right, just as it is the rights of people of color to have opinions about whites and other people of color. Maybe it's time to just start respecting everyone's rights to have various opinions and beliefs and stop being so concerned that it someone affects our lives. If a white dude doesn't give a shit what a black guy thinks of him, then a black dude need not give a shit what the white dude thinks of him.

Jay Sea Jay
Jay Sea Jay

If the description was a 6 foot tall white male, there would gd no bitching coming from white folks claiming racism.

Jay Sea Jay
Jay Sea Jay

Cry me a river. Get over it. Good descriptions of criminals aid in justice as well as public safety.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Once again twisting statistics to fit your own warped, racist view. You still haven't admitted you made up those numbers earlier, by the way. Here is the bottom line, if you are going to profile a group that is most likely to rape, kill, murder, be violent, etc. then you must profile people with a European background first, as they are MUCH more likely to have committed the crime. If you want to have a discussion about numbers as pertain to population rates, I'm not interested, you are obviously ignorant and probably quite racist, both traits I steer clear of.

John Alverson
John Alverson

White Minnesota has issues with color. Long time coming...

Rebecca Groves
Rebecca Groves

what a silly thing. Waste of energy. Go volunteer somewhere

Vince Traver
Vince Traver

This is absurd. If there's a rapist running around campus I'm pretty god damn sure people want to know what they look like.

Jeremy Dowd
Jeremy Dowd

Race is a pretty clear identifier that can't be altered, like height, weight, gender. If the goal is to get a possible suspect identified and questioned I think there are few things off-limits. Thankfully the police don't choose to use "overweight, wearing outdated clothes, and kinda dumb looking."

Tira Smith
Tira Smith

Pretty sure the majority of whites have denounced Aldolf Hitler and the Nazi's.

Shoke Mohamed
Shoke Mohamed

Don't agree with them. they should worry more about those who half no regard for their races and committing the crimes, than those trying to stop it. the criminals don't fall from the sky, they have families, they wake up from our homes. its them you need to have a talk with them.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Huh!? What does the manboy student union think about him being identified as a male? This is ridiculous. 

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

No the more complete detailed info the better

Tim T Praxaya
Tim T Praxaya

Not to mention white collar crimes that destroy 10 of thousands of innocent peoples lives.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Just once I would like to see white people stand up and denounce rapists, mass shooters, and serial killers whose behavior continually tarnishes the image of the entire race.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Jason, as a black person, I can tell you, you don't know the first thing about being black, because you aren't black... we decided that at our secret meeting last night. Oh, wait, I wasn't supposed to say anything....

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

I agree... White people do misuse the welfare system at a rate of 2 to 1. White people are the biggest purchasers of hip hop music. White people have stolen more land, people, etc. than any other race on the history of the planet. White people............

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

What is your definition of a racist?   Some one who wants to ignore the facts?  For the sake of not being called a racist?

Here you go labeling some of us posters racist.   What gives you the right to label anyone?   Oh, but you don't like reporting the race of the assailants?

Also, the correct English would be:  I think many of these posts express racist sentiment.  Such ignorance.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

Absolutely. Here is the thing, "Black Male" actually helps those who consider themselves potential victims. Certainly more details about perpetrators is more helpful but: At the U: 48% of the student body is male, and 2% of the student body is black and male. When an alert comes out it is pretty easy to avoid 2% of the student body by walking in the other direction, toward a safer location, or towards a group of people that are not in that 2%. 


I get that I am discounting non-student perpetrators...but if 2% of the population of an area matches your descriptions...you're not going to have an easy time fading into the background.


Is it unfair and stigmatizing? Absolutely, yes. But life is unfair, people categorize other people by appearance, and hiding details of suspects (regardless of race/color/sex/weight/height/accessibility) isn't going to make things better for anyone.

jason.dorweiler
jason.dorweiler topcommenter

Hey, I take offense to that. Could you not use names when describing who should not have kids or vote?

markwillis714
markwillis714

Are you kidding me??!?!? there are more BLACK rapists, mass shooters and serial killers in this country than ANY other race.


thanks for confirming your ignorance; you're just like the rest of them.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You aren't black. You're def "African American"

markwillis714
markwillis714

Name one advancement in technology or invention that the Black man is responsible for. I'm waiting......

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Truth_Teller_1  

As his post wasn't directed toward you specifically, your response is pretty damning.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Truth_Teller_1

No.  You self identified as the target of Alec's comment, despite it not being directed specifically toward you.

You basically called yourself a racist.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

What?  I'm damning because I spoke up for my opions, in a polite way.

If you read through these posts, there are very few, blaming, you people... etc posts.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@udubm:  "you're a fucking racist pig"

My what a scolar you are!  Spoken like a true intellectual.  That's what we need - insults - just to make the other person STFU.

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