May 6th, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Stop profiling on terrorism and in Arizona

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/05/06/navarrette.profiling.others/tzleft.ruben.navarrette.sdut.jpg caption="Navarrette: Many people have no trouble condoning profiling when it's done to other groups" width=300 height=169]

Michael Bloomberg is out a quarter. That's how much New York's mayor, who has an estimated net worth north of $15 billion, wagered that he knew exactly what type of person would try to set off a car bomb in Times Square.

I'm sorry for Bloomberg's financial setback. But he can take comfort from the fact that he taught Americans a valuable and timely lesson about the dangers and limits of profiling.

The lesson: Profiling - especially of the racial and ethnic variety - isn't just wrong. It's also imperfect. It can lead police to focus on the wrong people while the right ones get away.

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Filed under: Opinion • Ruben Navarrette Jr.
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