What a Fool Believes

rogue cops

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer explains why we shouldn’t worry that her state’s new law (allowing the police to demand identity papers from anyone who looks like they might be an “illegal” immigrant) won’t lead to racial profiling or other abuses (as if “the thing itself” were not abuse enough …):

We have to trust our law enforcement. Police officers are going to be respectful. They know what their jobs are; they’ve taken an oath. And racial profiling is illegal.

Oh well, nothing to worry about then.

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9 Responses to What a Fool Believes

  1. Danny April 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Is this a Kenny Loggins Nightwatch “What a Fool Believes” or a Doobie Brothers Minute by Minute “What a Fool Believes”?

    • Roderick April 24, 2010 at 10:55 am #

      Maybe it’s a reference to Proverbs 26:11.

  2. Joel April 24, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    ya paypahs peez.

  3. Matthieu April 25, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Hi. This system is already in place in France, with cops checking the ID of black people seven times more often than whites. Checking ID is a very common procedure over there, and you cannot refuse to provide the required document without finding yourself surrounded by 4 or 5 cops. I tried to say no once, and leave, but I was fetched and pulled back. That makes me think of Bastiat’s point about human beings treated like raw material.

    French cops also have a kind of oath to respect: the ‘code de deontologie’- some kind of paper protection against police abuse.

    But more than this, the system of migration control is by itself racial profiling. So denouncing the hypocrisy of the theoretical legal protection against the reality of police practice does not go far enough, imo. The fact that “borders” are believed to need “securing” is a statement that foreigners cannot be trusted.

  4. Anon73 April 26, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    “… is a statement that foreigners cannot be trusted.”

    I believe the same issue cropped up during criticisms of Hoppe and his support for “securing borders”. The idea is, if immigration is not merely peaceful travelers moving from one place to another but rather a part of an invasion plan (to win by force of numbers) then keeping the “peaceful” travelers out would seem to be justified on libertarian grounds. (The founding of Israel consisting of many waves of Zionist immigration comes to mind.) A more subtle question: Is it still consistent with liberty to use force to stop immigration if there is no explicit goal of invasion, but nevertheless a violent takeover would be likely to happen in the future (say, because the immigrants are all macho Klingons).

    • Gary Chartier April 26, 2010 at 8:42 am #

      Matthieu: agreed. State immigration controls are in principle discriminatory and unjustifiable.

      Anon73: I wonder if the questions are pitched at too high a level of generality. No doubt people—individuals or groups—can reasonably bar other people from their property. (No doubt they can do so unreasonably, too, but there’s certainly justification for a legal system’s treating them as warranted in doing so an not ordinarily interfering.) But surely they can’t reasonably bar them from other people’s property, whatever my judgments about their intentions.

      • Anon73 April 26, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

        The two scenarios I described seemed rather concrete to me: Zionist immigration over many years consisting of people’s whose ideology demanded forming a state, and more generally immigration of peoples who, while not explicitly believing in statism, still represent a potential threat in the future.

        “But surely they can’t reasonably bar them from other people’s property, whatever my judgments about their intentions.”

        But it does depend on their intentions. If your house is land-locked on all sides by adjoining property and each of those property owners freely invite members of a Marxist Revolutionary party whose stated goal is the destruction of the “capitalist oppression” going on in your house, then would that not feel like a threat to you?

  5. Anon73 April 26, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    That’s some mighty fine analysis you have there Jeff… sounds somewhat familiar however. 🙂

  6. Mala Lex May 3, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    This is quite a relief. Come to think, Congress also took an oath to defend the Constitution. And here I’d been worried about nothing.

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