Wednesday, February 4, 2009


If you are interested in understanding how some of the “world turns” around you do yourself a favor and read the following article. Just click on the title.

from The New Yorker
February 6, 2006

What pit bulls can teach us about profiling.

by Malcolm Gladwell

My comments:

I don’t know how I missed this article when I was doing research on the murderous media bias toward “pit bulls.” I use the word murderous on purpose, because I mean it. Media bias, the greedy drive for sensationalism, is directly and indirectly responsible for the death of MILLIONS of animals. But I digress…

This thoughtful article by Malcom Gladwell, published in The New Yorker in 2006, is a terrific analysis of both the harm that stereotyping or profiling can cause and the reason for it. The reason doesn’t surprise me, but I have not seen it explained this explicitly, and for certain not this well connected to the topic of this blog’s rant. Ultimately, generalizations, profiling, and stereotyping are, just like the ban of “pit bulls,” are nothing but prime examples of pure, simple, and expedient laziness.

The subtitle of the article,“What pit bulls can teach us about profiling” ties in perfectly with the author’s implied conclusion: it’s easier to find a patsy and then “dispose” of it then actually to do the work to find the truth. Those media types and those politicians who point fingers at “pit bulls” as the culprits of murderous rampages use the same trick prestidigitators use: misdirection. Unfortunately, they are just as good at fooling the public as magicians are. The main difference is that I am NOT amused. Neither should you be.