More Details on Possible Racial Profiling at Downtown Disney

27 Jun

The Orlando Sentinel has more on the story this morning:

Walt Disney World ejected four of Florida State University’s top football prospects from Downtown Disney last weekend under its anti-gang, no-loitering policy.

The four, including the son of a Disney manager and the son of a Philadelphia civil-rights lawyer, were banned for life from Disney World property late Friday.

A Disney spokeswoman said the youths were expelled because they had been loitering for an extended period and refused to leave when Disney security told them to.

Parents of the youths wonder whether there’s another reason: They’re black.

(I’d wondered why my blog was suddenly getting so much traffic today from a web forum for football recruiters . . . I guess I have my answer now.)

Wondering whether there’s really anything wrong with racial profiling? Amnesty International has an excellent report on the topic.

When law enforcement officials focus on what people look like, what religion they follow, or what they wear, it puts us all at risk.

6 Responses to “More Details on Possible Racial Profiling at Downtown Disney”

  1. Thomas June 27, 2007 at 10:03 am #

    There’s a simple reason here: They were loitering and they were asked to move it along (i.e. leave). While it is open to the public, DTD isn’t public property. They have the right to keep it safe for their guests.

    The real issue here is they were disrespectful to authority. They were asked to leave and they didn’t. Even if they were ‘profiled’, deal with it later, get the information and politely leave.

    Yes, profiling is wrong. Discrimination is wrong. But the proper response is to say, “Okay, what am I doing wrong? Okay, can I have your name before I go? And your manager’s name? Thanks!” And then leave. You can make a stink later.

  2. Kitty-chan June 27, 2007 at 10:22 am #

    The events described in the Sentinel article don’t justify the trespass warnings, or the ejections. A security supervisor even states that the athletes weren’t aggressive or rude.
    Plenty of people hang out in Downtown Disney, just enjoying the scene, and aren’t asked to justify their presence. What exactly constitutes loitering at Downtown Disney? I seriously doubt that I’d be asked to leave if I’d been sitting around DTD that very same evening with a few of my white, middle-aged friends.

  3. Eric June 27, 2007 at 3:40 pm #

    A FSU athlete was in trouble with the law? Now THAT is shocking!

    Okay, not so much.

    I did hear one person was carrying drugs and a gun. That did startle me. I’ve never seen any type of activity that worried me at DTD. I guess I’m spending too much time on the Marketplace side, which I would imagine attracts a completely different crowd than PI. Perhaps Disney needs to rethink the whole free admission thing, and go back to checking IDs and scanning tickets?

    I agree that racial profiling is bad. Too often it is simply excused prejudice and racism. I would hope that Disney would be above such practices, but another Disney message board I read is actually applauding the racial profiling.

    I guess there’s only so much magic to go around. Sad.

  4. Kitty-chan June 27, 2007 at 3:49 pm #

    Eric, just to be clear . . . the teenager found carrying drugs and a gun was not one of the athletes in the case described in the Sentinel article above. That was a separate incident, on a different day.

    Also, my understanding is that the athletes were in the West Side section, not PI, and I’m not sure that changing PI policies has much impact on that area.

    It’s scary and sad to hear that people are applauding the racial profiling. There should be plenty of magic for everybody. When you wish upon a star, it shouldn’t matter who you are.

  5. Eric June 27, 2007 at 4:57 pm #

    I know, the FSU comment was a joke on that programs’ lengthy and troublesome problems with the law. Apparently Citizenship 101 is not offered on the Seminoles’ campus. or at least to many of the student athletes.

    To me, the West Side and PI tend to blend together. I don’t frequent either very often, but I need to get to the Adventurers Club. I hear it’s a hoot.

  6. Kitty-chan June 28, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    More details keep emerging . . . here’s the latest, from The Tampa Tribune.

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