History's pages are filled with instances of minorities being targeted and persecuted. One can go back and look at what happened to the Blacks, the Jews, the Japanese, and many others. That the targeted group is different isn't the key here. What's different now is that technology has progressed to the point where the invasiveness and secrecy of what goes on is unmatched.
The civil rights movement happened because blacks organized, the japanese were really passive about the whole interment camp thing. I knew families that had lost everything -- houses, farmland -- because it was basically stolen from them while they were interred. When they were released they preferred to avoid talking about it, as if it were a great shame on them rather than a shame on the rest of the country for doing it to them. So practically no legal action occurred their property was never recovered, depriving their children of opportunities that were rightly theirs.
You have to do whatever it takes to live without completely losing your marbles over the situation, so I'm not judging - just saying that it is important to talk about it as much as you can stomach with as many people as will listen so they can start to understand what your experiences are.
If anything, we are learning that we are all under constant surveillance.
(See the last 5 paragraphs of: <http://varnull.adityamukerjee.net/post/59021412512/dont-fly-...)
We've created so many "constitution free zone" bubbles that they are rapidly merging into one solid wall-to-wall exception for nearly every part of our lives: the ways we travel, communicate, are entertained, do business, etc. Soon enough the parts of our lives where the constitution is actually fully in force will be so small that it might as well not exist.
"Whatever the shortcomings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act oversight system, at least there is, theoretically, a check on the agency’s activities. But in New York City, for Muslim citizens and activists of many stripes, there is no such outside system meant to safeguard their privacy. The NYPD conducts its oversight in-house. City Hall doesn’t review intelligence programs the way Congress does. Courts can step in to settle questions about constitutionality, but only if somebody finds out about programs that are designed to remain secret forever.
In 2010, the Demographics Unit was renamed the Zone Assessment Unit over fears about how the title would be perceived if it leaked out. But rakers still troll Muslim neighborhoods, filing an average of four new reports every day, searching for hot spots. The Muslim community is marbled with fear, afraid to speak openly because an informant could be lurking near.
Kelly is unapologetic. Like the department’s use of the tactic known as stop-and-frisk, raking is a tactic Kelly maintains is legal. He said the program is operating just as it always has. “Nothing” has changed, Kelly boasted to The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
In many ways, Ray Kelly has been a remarkably successful commissioner—but when it mattered most, the Demographics Unit was a failure as a matter of police work. And now, the lawyers in the Handschu case [which resulted in the original prohibition of the NYPD spying on people not suspected of crimes] have returned to court, arguing that Kelly and Cohen, in their effort to keep the city safe, have crossed constitutional lines. Regardless of the outcome, the NYPD’s programs are likely to join waterboarding, secret prisons, and NSA wiretapping as emblems of post-9/11 America, when security justified many practices that would not have been tolerated before."
The same way the NSA, CIA and FBI repeatedly rename their continuing activities.
In newspeak the contracted name for the unit would have been DemoUn, pronounced /ˈdiː.mən/.
UnDem would have been a good second choice.
The term you're probably looking for is "euphemism treadmill:"
"That’s when Berdecia realized that, in the hunt for terrorists, his detectives gravitated toward the best food."
"the Demographics Unit never built a single case"
It sounds more like a waste of money than an abuse of power.
On the other hand, what it does do is show how easily law enforcement officers can use nebulous suspicions to justify what they want to do. In this case, they label people as suspicious in order to justify getting a nice meal. Others do so in order to go on a power trip.
Funny how that logic does not apply to the rest of us when the police make an arrest...