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Book reviews for "Meeks,_Kenneth" sorted by average review score:

Driving While Black : What To Do If You Are A Victim of Racial Profiling
Published in Paperback by Broadway Books (16 May, 2000)
Author: Kenneth Meeks
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What about the dead body they found in the trunk?
Kenneth Meeks wrote a book critical of racial profiling without bothering to answer the million dollar question -- why would police officers suspect blacks of commiting more crimes than other groups in the first place? Maybe because they do commit significantly more crimes than other groups? Meeks doesn't say. He just assumes cops are pulling blacks over for no other reason than their skin color. Even more puzzling is the idea behind his book. If most blacks are getting pulled over unjustly, then why does he need to write a book instructing them to remain calm? If the only thing you've been pulled over for is "driving while black," then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Most people uncontroversially accept that men are far more likely to be involved in a violent crime than women, but does anyone complain about citizens getting pulled over for "driving while male"? Similarly, the elderly are less likely to commit a violent crime than someone in their twenties or thirties, but does anyone write books about it with titles like "Driving While Young"?" Race is but one component law enforcement uses to access the profile of a suspect, along with age, gender, height, article of clothing, visible scars and so on. Law enforcement has a name for this process -- criminology.

Meeks provides some anecdotes of blacks and other minorites getting pulled over by the police for allegedly no other reason than being black or a minority. In some cases, the "victims" were charged with nothing, yet claim they were left humiliated by the incident. An analogy between the firearm a police officer carries can be applied to these situations. Just because a police officer misuses his firearm does not mean that police officers should not be allowed to carry firearms. A firearm, like racial profiling, is just one tool law enforcement uses to combat crime; and just because both get abused on occasion does not mean they should be done away with entirely.

Ultimately, racial profiling is just a statistical generalization. It's common knowledge that blacks and hispanics commit violent crimes with a greater statistical frequency than whites or Asians. In an article in the Atlantic Monthly entitled "The Crisis of Public Order," the author, Adam Walinsky, claimed that 85% of black males in Washington DC will be arrested at least once in their lifetime. Given those numbers, the probability of running into a black who's a potential -- or legitimate -- convicted felon in Washington DC is very high. Put it this way: would you rather your car break down in the middle of the night in Washington DC or in Burlington, Vermont?

If law enforcement was prevented from racially profiling suspects, crime would almost certainly explode, especially in urban areas. Blacks and other minorities would be the first to be affected by it, and they'd be at the throats of the police again, this time for "not protecting us." Blacks like Kenneth Meeks would be wise not to ignore reality. They do so at their own peril.

Life skills material
This book provides some valuable information, not only for Blacks, but other minorities, as well as people in lower economic communities. I am using it as a small part of a life skills curriculum, for at-risk youth. It certainly presented more concepts than I expected.

Very informative
Driving While Black give accounts of racial profiling that blacks go through in shopping malls, taxicabs, and being stopped by the police for no good reason. What I think was helpful was that at the end of every chapter were addresses that's included for victims that experience profiling to write, and complain.

Original Pronouncements
Published in Hardcover by Richard d Irwin (1997)
Authors: Financial Accounting Standards Board, Ron Guerrette, Gerhard Mueller, Helen Gernon, and Gary Kenneth Meek
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