Taking precautions against men, blacks vs. black men

Many people consider it *acceptable *to take precautions against men - not unreasonable, considering that the vast majority of violent crimes are committed by men.

Many people consider it *unacceptable *to take precautions against black people - i.e., locking doors when a black person approaches, etc. It’s racial profiling.

So, what happens when these two principles collide? If you are in the presence of a black man, is it acceptable to take precautions because he’s male, or unacceptable to take precautions because he’s black?

Bear in mind that if you lock car doors when strangers approach, if it’s a black man, he may reasonably believe you locked the doors because of race.

It’s wrong to do anything based solely upon gender or race. If the person is acting in a threatening manner is more pertinent than their gender or race. The people I feel most threatened by are people who text and drive. Black, white, asian, male, female or transgender it makes no difference when they are threatening me.

Got it in one.

I lock my door when I get in my car as a matter of habit, but I would have a lot of soul-searching to do if I started locking it in response to a person of any description just getting nearby. The vast majority of every demographic is good people.

I don’t like to see things in black and white so I use a sliding scale from “needs factor 20 on an overcast day” through to “lightly tanned” and “swarthy”, all the way through to “as black as midnight” when I decide on how prejudiced I should be against someone.

Are you threatening me? I am Cornholio! I need TP for my bunghole!
…sorry, just a knee-jerk reaction to “threatening me.”
What kind of “precautions” are we talking about? Locking your car doors simply because someone’s approaching could be seen as insulting or provocative; if I did it, I’d at least try not to be obvious about it.

In general, how threatened I feel by an approaching person is going to depend on all sorts of cues: how the person is dressed, the person’s facial expression, the person’s age, whether the person appears to be in their right mind vs. drunk or on drugs or insane, etc. as well as on the context in which I meet them.

All else being equal, I’d feel more threatened by a man than by a woman, because men in general tend to be larger, stronger, and more physically aggressive.

All else being equal I might feel a bit more threatened by a black stranger than by a white stranger because I’d find the black person harder to “read,” and I might, depending on the circumstances, worry that he considered me (as a white guy) to be an outsider or intruder. But it would take some sort of threatening behavior to make me act on any feelings I might have, at which point it has moved beyond the “all else being equal” stage.

Also, I don’t have a history of having been physically assaulted or attacked. If I did, I might be forgiven for having an instinctive fear of people who somehow superficially resembled the people who attacked me.

If a woman does happen to have some race bias it is not fair to call her a racist. A common scene in Los Angeles is young black men standing out in front of stores around mini malls routinely harrassing nearly every white women that walks past them. They represent a small fraction of black men no doubt but they also represent 100% of the men who have insulted that woman recently. You can’t expect that everyone can just ignore this.

The risk assessment of every situation involves integrating all readily available information.

Your safety does not share sentiment for political correctness.

Packs of young men in general are to be avoided, and I don’t care who thinks I am sexist because of that. Packs of young men are unruly and belligerent, and much braver than alone, and don’t hesitate to catcall, insult, or even grab, and I’d rather stay away.

I don’t lock the door just because a [black] man is approaching.

My favorite precaution to take in the presence of a black man is a Trojan Magnum.

If the male is seedy-looking and I felt at all vulnerable I would smoothly lock my doors and not think twice about it whether they are black or white. It’s my prerogative to lock my doors for whatever reason I see fit.

What does this even mean?

It means that you will change your liberal attitude when the coons attack you. Heard this crap all my life and I was actually stabbed by a drunken black girlfriend one night. Hasn’t stopped me from dating another black girl but it really irks some of my associates that I am “making the same mistake” again. :confused:

Well hello there :cool:

It’s the wrong thing to do because fear is the mind killer. You shouldn’t spend your life in fear of every man who comes along.

That sounds exactly what a Bene Gesserit witch would want us to believe :rolleyes:

I don’t think they really collide, because they haven’t really been mutually exclusive. In the US, they combine to fit the stereotypical profile of a threat, and while we can discuss the principles on a forum, in reality it can be a distinction without a difference (for perspective, ask the same question and take a historical look at the experiences of white men and also black women). In fact, the primary reason this really exists as a question in the first place, is because of the historical context.

In answer to your question, I think most people respond to whatever they perceive as the greater threat, long before they care about what is or isn’t acceptable principle. In line with this, I think overall, their reaction is largely situational, so despite their otherwise best intentions, there are a variety of additional factors they consider (yes, some prejudiced). Lastly, their ideas can inadvertently contradict their actions (if even in the moment), and still be valid.

People at the SDMB sure spend a lot of time worrying Race, political correctness, and how hard it is to be a white person.

ETA. Some people. Not most

I ain’t white, son. :slight_smile: (But I catch your drift.)

ETA: : shakes fist : Damn you for your edit!

Well, you had two out of three. In the 14 years that I’ve been here, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone complain about how hard it is to be a white person.

That’s the part I see the most. “In this modern PCI age I can’t even act reasonably without someone accusing me of racism” is a common theme. “Why is okay when “the blacks” or “the women” do X, but if I did it, I’d be called racist or sexist?” Or, think about what motivates this particular thread.