No privacy or decency in DNA bank

There is an interesting disparity between how we want to believe this town works and how it really works. I am writing in response to the DNA collection being asked of black males in Charlottesville [News, August 21: "278 men: Rapist search angers black males"] (

The question I immediately asked myself is, if the rapist were white, would the police swab me? It saddens me to say so, but I know the answer is no.

Nailed to a brick wall downtown is a plastic plaque that commemorates the trading of blacks in the heart of the historic district of this town. As recently as the early 1980s, black students were marching at the University to effect change in what was still a hostile climate. We don't even have to look that far back to revisit a time when Farmington didn't admit blacks or Jews.

In front of the Albemarle Courthouse currently stands a statue whose base is inscribed with the Confederate flag. Unfortunately, racism and segregation are a part of our history. Perhaps we have not evolved as much as we would like to think.

Genetic testing is a tremendous adjunct to police work, frequently proving (or disproving) innocence or guilt, in the presence of additional evidence. But, it is an adjunct, and it must remain so. It is unethical and impermissible to collect and bank the genetic material of people for unstated purposes without just cause. This is an infringement on privacy and dignity. Period.

N. Scott Ivey
Court Square