Who’s profiling who? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

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Who’s profiling who?

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Posted: Saturday, November 20, 2010 12:30 pm

Dear Editor:

Some types of profiling are apparently OK with the Arizona Democratic Party and opponents of Arizona Senate Bill 1070. How can I make such a conclusion? By observing their actions with me.

When the whole uproar started over SB 1070 I received numerous calls to both my home and my work number with prerecorded messages stating how awful the bill was. It is interesting that none of my co-workers with Asian or Caucasian names received calls while those of us with Latino first or last names did. Apparently, the organization "Mi Familia Vota" had no problem profiling me merely because of my first name. If they had ever looked at my voting record or organizations I belonged to they probably would have realized I was a strong supporter of SB 1070. One might just chalk this up to inexperience by one or two organizations.

However, I recently received a vote-by-mail application from the Arizona Democratic Party. Considering that I registered as a Republican at age 18, belonged to several organizations labeled as "right wing" and even ran for a Republican precinct committeeman, this did not make any sense. I called the Arizona Democratic headquarters and asked about how they obtained my name and selected me as one to send this vote-by-mail application out to. After some discussion it came out that while even their database suggested I was "strongly Republican," their computer did make associations by such thing as a person's name and vote-by-mail applications could be sent out solely on that basis.

Now if law enforcement officials were using a database that profiled people just over Latino names, there would be investigations, indignation, resignations and lawsuits. If corporate recruiters were using a database that profiled people solely based on Latino or some other grouping of ethnic names, there would be boycotts, hand wringing and more resignations. However, if the Arizona Democratic Party thinks they can own my vote merely by my name being "Juan," that seems to be OK with them.

If they want me to take them seriously that they only want to stop the supposed "profiling" in SB 1070, they need to stop their own profiling practices.

Juan Xavier Heath

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