Racial profiling redux

A few years ago New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman fired Carl Williams, the state police superintendent, within hours of the publication of an interview in which he said:

“If you’re looking at the methamphetamine market, that seems to be controlled by the motorcycle gangs, which are basically predominately white. If you’re looking at heroin and stuff like that, your involvement there is more or less Jamaican … Today … the drug problem is cocaine and marijuana. It is most likely a minority group that’s involved with that. They aren’t going to ask some Irishman to be part of their (gang) because they don’t trust them.”

I wonder if she’s read the new UN report that one in 10 of all passengers on flights from Jamaica is smuggling drugs. Seems doubtful—on racial matters the final standard is “sensitivity,” and sensitivity means no attention can be paid to the actual issues. So Whitman could throw an honorable long-time public servant to the jackals for speaking out honestly and very moderately, and never be criticized for it at all.

5 thoughts on “Racial profiling redux”

  1. If readers are wondering why
    If readers are wondering why the UN and the news media would publicize a story that makes Jamaicans look like less than desirable fellow citizens, the answer is that the main emphasis of the story is not on the crime of drug smuggling, but on the health danger to the smugglers because of the, ahem, peculiar way they carry out the smuggling. Here is the headline and subhead, followed by the key paragraphs from the story:

    “One in 10 Jamaican fliers is a drug mule”

    “UN report warns of risk to smugglers”

    “… Each mule, most of whom are women, is paid as much as £1,500 a trip and swallows up to half a kilogram of cocaine in tiny packages.

    “In some British women’s jails, up to half the prisoners are drug mules. Dozens of British women are also held in Jamaican prisons after being caught smuggling drugs for ‘Yardie’ gangs.

    “The process is fraught with risk for the mules, who can die if the bags burst during the flight.

    “The report from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) uses the dangers to try to dispel the myth that drug trafficking can lead to growth and prosperity in developing countries.”

  2. NAADAC: drugs don’t cause
    NAADAC: drugs don’t cause addiction

    There have been some advances in the field of addiction. Genetics is part of it. The first url has a number of articles I’ve written on the subject.

    You might be interested in what the nation’s largest group of addiction councilors has to say about addiction: it is not caused by drugs. Here is an article I wrote on the subject.


    The Politics of Pain

    There is no such thing as addiction. What we call addiction is just self medication for undiagnosed pain. PTSD etc. I have written extensively on this subject. You can find a lot of it here:


    The above goes into the science of my statements on the nature of addiction. What I would like to discuss are some of the policy implications.

    I have been corresponding with John Avery, the Director of Government Relations for NAADAC, National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counsellors, the nation’s largest organization of drug abuse and alcohol addiction counselors in America. In addition this organization is recommended by the UK government for those in need of addiction counseling as shown here:


    This organization is looking at addiction in a whole new way. It sees the problem the same way I do. Addiction is a response to pain. Mr. Avery decries the fact that the general population and the government have yet to understand the change in understanding that is sweeping the addiction counseling industry.

    What does this mean for politics? I think it means that the first political party to champion this new understanding is going to reap vast amounts of political credit because the American people are a compassionate people and will not tolerate the persecution of the sick and pain wracked. We know this from the fact that 80% of all Americans support medical marijuana despite the fact that the government is dead set against it. The fact that medical marijuana is promoted for pain relief and not cures underscores my position.

    So I would say to all you political activists out there who understand and wish to champion this new idea: take it to your party and push it hard before your opposition clobbers you with it.

    (c) M. Simon – All rights reserved.

    Permission granted for one time use in a single periodical.
    Concurrent publication on the periodical’s www site is also granted.

  3. “What we call addiction is
    “What we call addiction is just self medication for undiagnosed pain.”

    Does nobody ever use drugs for pleasure then?

  4. Matt,

    Of course people

    Of course people use drugs for pleasure. The main pleasure of course is relief from stress.

    Chronic users of drugs are in chronic pain.

    What is most interesting about all this is that the body itself can be used to manufacture heroin like substances. Food will do it. Sugars and grease are especially effective. It is one of the reasons a Big Mac has a full load of fat. It makes you feel good. Just like a load of heroin. Chocolate with it’s sugar and fat is really good.

    You can read about food and drugs here:


  5. Well, actually I am already
    Well, actually I am already quite familiar with various kinds of addiction, bipolar disorder, autism, and the like (though not as a professional practitioner of any sort, just through philanthropy and other direct personal experience).

    My question was targeted specifically at the following assertion:

    “What we call addiction is just self medication for undiagnosed pain.”

    “Just” implies that what follows is a complete explanation. Clearly it is false to say that addiction is completely explained as “self medication for undiagnosed pain”; although I can understand why drug libertarians would want to propogate that myth.

    Among other things the assertion appears to be reductionistic, and to deny a moral component to addiction. After all, if someone is engaged in addictive or other destructive behaviors simply as “self medication for undiagnosed pain” then all that can be said about his situation is that he needs to be diagnosed and medicated properly. There is no moral component whatsoever.

    While I am experienced enough in dealing with autism, mental illness, the effects of SSRIs, etc to avoid a naive categorical moralist anti-materialism, it is clearly just as much an error to assert in categorically materialist fashion that an addict is simply an innocent doing the best he can to medicate away pain with ultimately physical roots. In fact one of the best tools an addict has against addiction is an acknowledgement that:

    1) he is an imperfect, fallen human being; and
    2) his addiction is both self destructive and destructive toward others; and
    3) he is responsible for making the right choices (which may indeed include rehab, chemical help, etc).

    So the reductionist approach is not only objectively false, it also has clinical effectiveness problems.

    But again, I can see why drug libertarians would want to propogate the myth; and I can’t imagine why someone would take the current thread in this direction unless he had a drug libertarian axe to grind.


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