Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Nice work if you can get it.

Profiting from profiling: The nice life of a female dealer (via TalkLeft)
The Latino drug dealers on the sidewalk below "Jennifer's" apartment in the Mission keep getting arrested. Not once a year or even every few months, but constantly. (If the city wanted to be efficient, it would just have its mail carriers do the arresting, since they're there anyway.) Off to jail they go, and then others fill their place, and then the first ones get released, and all the while the dealing continues.

Jennifer, who is white, and who dresses tidily and arranges flowers for a popular art gallery, talks about the dealers with clear discomfort. Not because they're troublesome or violent. It's more that she feels guilty. The police never arrest her.

Jennifer enjoys the flower arranging, but mostly it functions as a legitimate income to show the IRS. Really, she's a marijuana dealer.

In many ways, Jennifer's a typical one for the Bay Area: She sells a relatively small amount, she sells almost exclusively to friends and she draws a line between pot and harder drugs. What's atypical is that she's a middle-class she.