Friday, February 23, 2007

UWM Student Journalist Coup: University Censors Robber’s Description

It’s not news, unfortunately, to find political correctness at a contemporary university.

But it’s still surprising to find political correctness actually endangering public safety and impeding law enforcement.

Via Sykes writes, how a student journalist exposed the dereliction of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

First, from the police report, a description of a crime:
A UWM student was not injured during an armed robbery that took place on the west side of campus at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

The student was walking between the EMS and Physics buildings when he was approached from behind by a black male, with a dark complexion, 5’4” to 5’-6” tall, thin build, and in his mid-20s. The man displayed a black handgun and demanded the student’s wallet and cell phone. The student complied and the man ran to a parked maroon or red Mercury station wagon, which he then drove south on Cramer Street . The man was further described as wearing jeans and a brown-and-gold jacket with the word *Ecko* or “Epikos” written in yellow or gold graffiti lettering on the back.
But when the university sent an e-mail to all UWM students about the incident, the description was as follows:
A UWM student was not injured during an armed robbery that took place on the west side of campus at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.

According to University Police reports, the student was walking between the EMS and Physics buildings when he was approached from behind by a man in his mid-20s. The man displayed a black handgun and demanded the student’s wallet and cell phone. The student complied and the man ran to a parked maroon or red Mercury station wagon, which he then drove south on Cramer Street. The man was further described as wearing jeans and a brown-and-gold jacket with the word *Ecko* written in a graffiti style on the back.
So the e-mail lists the color of the gun, the color of the station wagon and the color of the jacket. But not the color of the robber.
Tom Luljak, vice chancellor of University Relations, told me in an interview that he made the decision to omit the suspect’s race from the email to the student body.

“It is important that the university does nothing to contribute to racial profiling,” Luljak said. He added that there are thousands of black men in the city of Milwaukee and many of them are on campus.
Apparently, it’s not important to aid in the apprehension of the robber.

Let’s suppose that it would be better if whites didn’t believe that blacks are more likely than whites to commit crimes.

The problem is, blacks are more likely commit crimes, and people know it.

It’s hard to conceal the reality shown in the City of Milwaukee 2005 Public Safety Report, that murders in Milwaukee are concentrated on the north side, and the near south side.

Thus trying to protect black males from being “profiled” by concealing the race of a particular criminal is not only fruitless, it contributes to public cynicism. People will start assuming that the perp in a particular case must be black, since his race is not being reported.

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