• Security guard: "There's been a theft. I need you to create a Wanted poster." Worker at computer: "Okay. Can you describe the suspects?"
    • Security: "Let's see... They were described as 'male chipmunks acting suspiciously'." Worker: "Is that it?"
    • Security: "Well, one had a backpack." Worker: "That's not much to go on." Security, louder: "Just make the poster!" Worker: "Alright, alright!"
    • A wanted poster with two pictures of chipmunk silhouettes with large question marks instead of faces.

    Acting Suspiciously
    October 15, 2008 (published) / May 21, 2012 (posted here)

    The security guard returns, this time putting racial profiling to work.

    This was based on actual on-campus security alerts regarding some thefts of laptops from dorm rooms. The emails we received warned us to look out for (and I'm paraphrasing, since I don't have the original emails handy) "male black adolescents wearing backpacks and acting suspiciously". Young people wearing backpacks... a rare sight indeed on a college campus.

    This work originally appeared in the Cardinal Courier, the award-winning student-run newspaper at St. John Fisher College, between 2007 and 2011.