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A Sunny Place for Shady People

Pithy, contrarian, politically incorrect and curmudgeonly rants on sex, money, power and politics and religion and philosophy. In short: Nothing matters, everything changes and there are no guarantees. The rest is rationalization and bribery. (c) Tom Milner 2002-2003. DIRECTORY of offensive POSTS at Archives: 07/09/03. RECOMMENDED BLOGS: Archives: 07/29/03. email: theoldbuzzard AT sunnyplaceforshadypeople DOT com.

Friday, August 22, 2003
Monday, August 25, 2003

The hottest new trend among the crypto-racist set is linguistic profiling.

This fresh passion for stereotyping apparently started with the swindlers and creeps in the real estate racket.

Seems this kind of profiling isn't aimed at enemies du jour -- the Islamists -- but rather at African-Americans, who call a rental agent seeking an apartment and reveal their race by the voices: grammar, pronunciation, inflection, diction.

(Maybe this should be called auditory profiling?)

Racist imbeciles ought remember that speaking non-standard English is not solely the province of blacks.

(Some markers of the non-standard: irregardless, aint, yall, conversate.)

Studies show a large majority of Americans can infer race based on speech. It's relatively easy.

But if you use this kind of profiling as a basis to deny someone a rental, it's illegal -- or should be.

(The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to rule on linguistic profiling per se.)

Why even bother to discriminate telephonically when you can simply (and much less racially) call a national credit reporting agency and get an applicant's FICO (or equivalent) score -- where you really get the goods on him.

That FICO number is far more damning economically -- and far more telling -- than someone's race.


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