What is being called a domestic dispute, in Milwaukee, WI, has resulted in four injured and four dead, one of the dead being the shooter, a Radcliffe Franklin Haughton. Details are still being investigated by the police as far as motive is concerned.
The gist of the story is that Haughton walked into the spa where his wife works, set the place aflame, and opened fire.
When I first read about it here, Haughton was still on the loose and being hunted down by the police, who eventually found him dead. But in the article, which has since been completely changed now that the shooter was found and more details have emerged, the author wrote that the Brookfield police released to the public a description of Haughton: wearing blue jeans, gray sweatshirt, black and white backpack, is 6’2″ and 200 pounds.
I was not and am still not aware if this was the entirety of the description given by the police or if this was an abridged description given by the author of the article, but I noticed immediately that the most immediately noticeable attribute of a person’s physical appearance was nowhere to be found: the ethnicity.
When I first heard the basic parts of the story, the appearance I ascribed in my mind to the shooter was that he was a white man, blue eyes, possibly with sparse hair on top, wild hair on the sides, and a bushy mustache. But once I read the description of him and noted the absence of his race, I suspected right away that he was a black man.
Because, as the article mentioned, Haughton had an arrest on his record, I knew that Googling his name would turn up his mugshot and I could revel in the revelation that my suspicions were accurate. So I Googled his name, found his picture, and reveled; the man was indeed black.
What is the purpose of releasing to the public a description of any suspect? To have the public keeping their eyes open, of course. But when the only description we have of someone is his clothing (which of course would be different the next day, if not within the next twenty minutes), a backpack that has probably been discarded in an alleyway dumpster by the time a description is released, his height, and his weight, it makes negligible the process of elimination. Are we supposed to go up to every person wearing jeans and a gray sweatshirt and ask him how much he weighs and how tall he is?
If the public were made aware that the man were black, it would have spared a lot of time wasted looking at the clothing worn by white people, effectively eliminating 86 percent of the population. What good is it to give a description to the public if the description doesn’t help the public in any way?
We can be grateful that the man was found dead six hours later, but how dangerous it is to keep such an important detail as the man’s color from the public, all but certainly in the name of sensitivity towards blacks! How dangerous political correctness can be!