When (If Ever) Is Racial Profiling …

… not racial profiling? Put another way, is “taking race into account” or “being conscious of race” (the favored constructions of the preferentialists) — of course, as only one of many factors — always racial profiling?

I have recently criticized liberals, again, for being hypocritical on this issue, and the very next day warned conservatives that depending on how we discuss the recent Arizona legislation we risk the same charge. A few days after that I presumed to chastise Victor Davis Hanson (what chutzpah!) for responding to that charge by in effect saying to liberal critics, “You’re one, too!” Finally, two days ago, in the post immediately below this one, I noted a controversy that had broken out in National Review Online on this very issue between two justifiably esteemed conservatives, Jonah Goldberg and Roger Clegg.

Now that controversy has escalated, and I think you need to read all of it. It’s a very important issue in the ongoing national “conversation” (shouting match?) about immigration, but it’s especially important to conservatives since opposition to the government distributing burdens or benefits based on race is one of our defining principles. So, go to it, and if you feel it like report back here in comments with what you think:

Jonah, Roger, Peter Kirsanow, Roger, Jonah, Roger, Kirsanow, Andrew McCarthy, Roger, Jonah, Jonah, Roger, Jonah, Jonathan Adler (recommending Nelson Lund, “The Conservative Case Against Racial Profiling in the War on Terror,” 66 Albany Law Review 329 [2002]).

Again, this debate is very important across the board (not to mention the border), but especially so to conservatives, and it is well-argued on both sides. Read it.

Say What?