This little news item has been hitting the motorcycle web sites and magazines for a while now. The issue is that the Federal Bureau of Investigations, also known as the FBI (and also known under a few not so flattering names) likes to profile people. Profiles help them focus on who to go after. For example, if you have an Arabic sounding name, flown to Yemen for the last 3 times, then to Afghanistan and attended some training activities in those countries, you are “profiled” as a terrorist. Even if you are just a business person trying to make an honest buck. But maybe you are a terrorist.
But how far should these profiles go. According to the US government, it can’t go far enough. For example, if you buy a motorcycle, or even just get your motorcycle endorsement, the FBI automatically flags you as a gang member. You know .. like the Hells Angels, Bandidos, etc.
According to Wikipedia, a gang is defined as “A gang is a group of recurrently associating individuals or close friends or family with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent or illegal behavior.”
So it doesn’t matter if you are an 80-year old who only rides to church on Sundays on her Harley. The fact that you have a motorcycle license, and you happen to have a bike, you are defacto profiled as a gang member.
So when you get pulled over by some state trooper, after a quick radio verification, they get a warning that you are a gang member. Crazy is a word that doesn’t even describe it.
Now let’s think about this differently. Law Enforcement also use motorcycles. They have cops who have a motorcycle license and ride a bike. Does this mean they are also classified as a gang member? Granted, we all do belong to an enormous gang, the gang of motorcycle riders. But it’s not a gang as such, it’s a brotherhood. Nothing wrong with that. The motorcycle cops are indeed part of a gang, especially if you read the definition of a gang above.
Let’s hope someone in the government has enough intelligence to stop senseless profiling. It has its uses, but limited only. Common sense should be the thought of the day, not a profile.
Do you feel you are part of a gang? Would you be offended by that, or do you think it’s normal?
Source: Washington Post