Should I be looking over my shoulder???

rokrok
Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
quick anecdote that really made me feel very creepy earlier today.



a freind of my wife's was telling her a story of how, over the past year, he's become a real shutterbug since he bought a digital camera. he's a professor at a very nice, small private college. he is also of mexican descent and complexion, which will make more sense in a paragraph or two. he has taken lots of photos in and around his smallish town, and is always on the lookout for a cool snapshot.



well, this past winter, he was taking some photos of frozen lakes, rivers, trees, etc., and came across a local power plant. he liked the steam coming off the stacks, so started snapping a few pictures... when behind him on the road, a car pulls up, and a woman rolls down her window and stares at him for a few seconds. then rolls up her window and drives off...



later that night, he returns home to find out from hsi daughter that the police were there earlier looking for him. turns out, the woman saw "a man with brown skin taking pictures of the local power plant," and had reported his actions as potential "terrorist activities."



later that night, the police came back, believed that he was of no threat, btu still asked him a battery of predefined questions, and then had to record his name on a list of those in the local area who have been questioned on suspicion of terrorist activities.



needless to say, he was (and still is) pretty pissed. and i can't say i blame him. then again, i understand some people feel they should report such activities, and there has been a barrage of media urging common folks to do just that. but why keep his name on file, if they deemed him innocent?!? [edit: i mean, i would hate for that to somehow sneak into a future job interview or other legal proceeding... "i see here you were questioned on suspicion of terrorist activities." that's all people would need to hear sometimes.]



like i said, i just found the story really, REALLY creepy, and makes me wonder when i am going to accidentally do something i don't even think twice about, but have someone turn me in for checking out the wrong books, or renting the wrong movies or posting on the wrong online bulletin board. creepy, i tell ya.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    The price of eternal freedom ?
  • Reply 2 of 60
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member




    Note the "they often look different or 'brown'" part...
  • Reply 3 of 60
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,447member
    Hello, find me the person that doesn't do some stereotyping and I will show you someone who isn't human.



    It is built into your brains folks. They look for shortcuts.



    Nick
  • Reply 4 of 60
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    Hello, find me the person that doesn't do some stereotyping and I will show you someone who isn't human.



    It is built into your brains folks. They look for shortcuts.



    Nick




    I never knew racial stereotyping was a humanly, heart-felt trait we all have. How nice.



  • Reply 5 of 60
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ShawnPatrickJoyce

    I never knew racial stereotyping was a humanly, heart-felt trait we all have. How nice.







    ^^^ Mr. Perfect!
  • Reply 6 of 60
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    "but why keep his name on file, if they deemed him innocent?!?"



    Possible answer--if they don't write down that they spoke with him, and he continues to take pictures of power plants, and people keep calling the hotline they'll have to keep questioning him.



    (I know it's much more fashionable to have a conspiracy-minded answer, but in reality this is the most likely reason.)
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    ^^^ Mr. Perfect!



    Mr. Even Better!
  • Reply 8 of 60
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ShawnPatrickJoyce

    I never knew racial stereotyping was a humanly, heart-felt trait we all have. How nice.







    It is, whether you actually think about it or not. Some choose to act on their instincts and some don't. But almost everyone reacts differently when they see a person of a different race, even if the only difference in your reaction is a little thought saying "that person has different colored skin from me."



    Don't bend trumpetman's words, either. He never said anything about racial stereotyping, he only said stereotyping. He's right: it's just part of being a human. Racial stereotyping is only one small part of it. People stereotype other people based on just about any part of their appearance... they see fat people as craving junk food (I'm overweight and I like natural foods and I hate junk food). Someone might see a young black woman with a couple kids and assume she's on welfare, when in fact she may be a successful entrepreneur. I'm not going to say that stereotyping is right, but I know that it happens to everyone, and as long as you just try not to listen to them too much, I don't think they're a problem. After all, stereotypes are based at least a tiny bit in reality. The real problem occurs when someone sees a person with brown skin or a turban and decides to act violently. This was especially bad shortly after September 11th.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman



    It is built into your brains folks.




    So is survival of the fittest, but we have laws to combat that for a reason.
  • Reply 10 of 60
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bunge

    So is survival of the fittest, but we have laws to combat that for a reason.



    Obviously. You're not allowed to beat someone up because he is black, or homosexual, or for just about any reason for that matter. But stereotyping (and racial stereotyping along with it) certainly is part of human nature. It all has to do with how well you can control your instincts and act for yourself.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    This is a shining example of the government going too far, and too many people being too freaked out. This could screw the guy over in the future, and the government may go after him in the future if something does go down.



    For all the people that think these anti-terrorism laws don't affect them because they aren't doing anything wrong... pay attention. Ask your parents about the 70's....
  • Reply 12 of 60
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca Rescigno



    You're not allowed to beat someone up...




    But we can 'blacklist' them?
  • Reply 13 of 60
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    I'm into stereotyping..two fingers on each hand
  • Reply 14 of 60
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,447member
    Again you perfect, condescending, know it all types (bunge and SPJ) can swear up and down that if you saw someone possibly Arabic taking photographs of an electric plant, you would never have a doubt about their intents, but the brain wants to create shortcuts in thinking.



    She didn't confront , attack, question, harass, annoy, or do anything else hateful toward him. She just reported the incident to the local authorities and let them investigate it.



    I don't see what alternative she could have taken that would have been more perfect. Should she have confronted him in the winter weather a woman alone against a man she knows nothing about?



    For you critical types, what should she have done oh wise ones?



    Nick
  • Reply 15 of 60
    haraldharald Posts: 2,152member
    This sort of paranoid shit, people dobbing in anyone at the drop of a hat in an atmosphere of fear, is the type of nauseating crap I associate with repressive regimes. It's the nasty side of countries like Cuba (which is much maligned).



    Justify it all you want; there is TONS of precedent for places where this happens and none of it is good.



    And no, where I come from, being brown and photographing a power plant does not get you a visit from the law.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    Again you perfect, condescending, know it all types (bunge and SPJ) can swear up and down that if you saw someone possibly Arabic taking photographs of an electric plant, you would never have a doubt about their intents, but the brain wants to create shortcuts in thinking.



    She didn't confront , attack, question, harass, annoy, or do anything else hateful toward him. She just reported the incident to the local authorities and let them investigate it.



    I don't see what alternative she could have taken that would have been more perfect. Should she have confronted him in the winter weather a woman alone against a man she knows nothing about?



    For you critical types, what should she have done oh wise ones?



    Nick




  • Reply 16 of 60
    agent302agent302 Posts: 974member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman



    For you critical types, what should she have done oh wise ones?



    Nick




    She should have done nothing. Stop being an apologist for her. The guy has every right to be pissed.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    in the 50's you got senator Joe McCarthy. any difference?: hell no, america has become a paranoid society since the civil war when they where shooting on each other. it's its cultural heritage, they keep doing it.



    the reason why, is probally because american law allows you to carry a gun iow everybody can carry a gun iow everybody can kill you if he wants to. so you have to carry a gun for selfdefence because there is a possibilty someone shoots you... because everybody can carry a gun... so you never know... you never know... would drive me nuts
  • Reply 18 of 60
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,447member
    I'm sorry you but some of you are just hysterical. He wasn't blacklisted, he didn't lose his job. Nothing happened to him besides someone investigating why he had an interest in the power plant.



    While the woman may have thought he was middle eastern and called it in, likewise there is no proof that the police investigated him only because of his skin color. A true test would be to see if someone called in someone white taking photographs and see if that was investigated as well.



    Again there is nothing wrong with being preventative. My family received a visit from child protective services when I was growing up. They came out because my sister and brother had both managed to break their arm in the same month. I'm sure even though they found no neglect our names remain on some list in case a pattern appeared.



    I suppose we were McCarthyized by the standard here.



    Doing nothing is not an answer, the anecdote also didn't mention the relationship of the woman to the powerplant. Perhaps some of you here are being Mr. McCarthy yourselves. Did she work there? Did her husband work there and perhaps she was bring him lunch or dropping something off? You do not know her stake in this matter.



    You are making just as many stereotypes yourselves about the woman and her intents.



    Nick
  • Reply 19 of 60
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    land of the free
  • Reply 20 of 60
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    Again you perfect, condescending, know it all types (bunge and SPJ) can swear up and down that if you saw someone possibly Arabic taking photographs of an electric plant, you would never have a doubt about their intents, but the brain wants to create shortcuts in thinking.



    You're a dork. I made no claims about any lady or anyone taking pictures or any police.



    I questioned your reasoning because it's faulty. Whether or not your faulty reasoning is defending a valid point is irrelevant to me.
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