Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Profiling

I am against racism of any kind. I find it preposterous and disgusting. I do not see profiling for terrorists as racism. Here are a couple of things to consider: 1. Who are the major terrorists in the world today? Who do we think of when we think of terrorists? We think of Islamic extremists, specifically Arab, male, young. 2. How many names of terrorists can you remember? I'm betting not many, as there have been many Arab terrorists all over the world, performing suicide bombings. 3. If we start profiling using the terrorist profile we know, suspicion against Arabs and/or Muslims may lessen. Here is why: if I know when I get on a plane that not only did they search randomly, but they also searched anyone who met the criteria of a terrorist, my suspicion of a dark-skinned Muslim - or any Muslim or Arab looking person - is unfounded. However, if there is a good chance that a person meeting the criteria of a possible terrorist may be skipped in the searching process, to prevent against the fear of "profiling racially," then I have very good reasons to be nervous. 4. Randomly searching people is ridiculous. We use criteria all the time to determine if someone is a good hire, a good teach, trustworthy salesperson, etc. If a woman with 3 children is the next one on the random searching to be searched, I DON'T FEEL SAFER. Sorry - but I'm not thinking this woman is going to kill all her children in an attempt to overthrow the US. Nope. I'm taking a brave stand on this one. 5. Yes, we have homegrown terrorists. Think of the events - the Columbine killings, Timothy McVeigh, the abortion doctor killer, etc. We know their names and mark the events because there have not been very many. I'm not saying stop doing random searches - but for goodness sake, use some common sense. Very few married couples are known terrorists. Very few high school field trips are known terrorist groups. Islamic extremists have us by the balls because we refuse to use common sense; we are too afraid to offend. Let me tell you something people: that is how they got us in the first place. We didn't want to suggest to a US citizen that your right to travel might be limited or that you were not safe. We dare not have armed military walking through the streets. We refuse to acknowledge that that which makes us feel safe is what makes us vulnerable. Deal with it: to be safer we either need to give up some of our comfort, or risk more attacks. I'm not saying turn this into a government state or allow the government access to all of our personal information. But if you want to be safer, not just feel that way, you are going to have to accept some limits on your time and reminders of danger. We are going to have start searching some people and not others. If used appropriately, it could save us in the long run. Islamic extremists are one of the few (if only) groups that use suicide bombing as a weapon. If we take away their disguise, they will have to find a new tactic. And I don't think they have very many ideas left.