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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Diversity > The Latest Charge Against the Bush Administration is Political Profiling – It’s as Destructive as Racial Profiling

The Latest Charge Against the Bush Administration is Political Profiling – It’s as Destructive as Racial Profiling

LatinaLista — As the plot thickens in Washington over the firings of the eight Democratic federal prosecutors: Who will testify? Who will be the scapegoat? Who will be proven to be the real mastermind?


The White House

There comes an interesting study that was mentioned on the Senate floor this week by Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Titled The Political Profiling of Elected Democratic Officials: When Rhetorical Vision Participation Runs Amok, the study is written by Donald Shields and John Cragan, both professors of communications at the University of Missouri at St. Louis and Illinois State University, respectively.

The study shows that under both Ashcroft and Gonzales, from 2001-2006, “a vastly disproportionate number of Democratic officials were scrutinized when total investigations were viewed based on political party affiliation.”

The authors surmise that during this time a type of political profiling was taking place.

According to the authors, The current Bush Republican Administration appears to be the first to have engaged in political profiling. Our paper calls for new federal laws that would create a national registry of federal investigations of elected officials by party affiliation.

This new, political profiling registry could well be a hybrid of the current requirement for state and local reports of racial profiling in traffic stops and the Commerce Department’s Office of Labor Management Standards’ annual report on Union corruption.

An interesting part of the report is how the authors compare political profiling to racial profiling.

For those who don’t believe racial profiling happens to African Americans and Latinos, the report, by comparing the two types of profiling, helps us all gain a better perspective and realize that it does exist, and its implications have been so institutionalized that popular culture/opinion on stereotypes needs to be revisited.

In each of the following points, substitute racial profiling for political profiling to see why profiling, of any kind, is harmful and detrimental to every group of people.


The Harms of Political Profiling of Elected Democratic Officials

1. Political profiling makes Democratic officials look like they are more corrupt than Republicans, just as racial minorities are made to look more corrupt than whites by the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement agencies. However, the data on state-wide, U.S. Congress, and U.S. Senate elected officials do not support this claim.

2. Political profiling of local Democratic elected officials attacks the party at the very grassroots essence of its personality. Each local case of reported or insinuated corruption by the federal authorities eats at and saps the local Democrat’s energy to be the grassroots leader of the party and drains his or her resources in defense against the comparative unlimited resources of the federal government.

3. Political profiling discredits each candidate’s persona as a viable leader of and spokesperson for the local Democratic party.

4. Political profiling weakens the candidate’s ability to raise monies for themselves when seeking re-election and negates their ability to raise money for other democratic candidates.

5. By keeping political profiling at the local level — in this way the story is most likely not to be viewed nationally — it makes it harder for reporters to connect the dots between corruption investigations in say Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, or Philadelphia let alone towns like Carson, Colton, East Point, or Escambia, or counties like Cherokee, Harrison, Hudson, or Lake. Each local report of a corruption investigation appears as only an isolated incident rather than as a central example of a broader pattern created by the Bush Justice Department’s unethical practice of political profiling.

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