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Racial and Religious Profiling: Beware Of Unintended Consequences

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Although the Bush administration is noted for aggressively endorsing unconstitutional methods as critical tools in its declared war on terror, so far it has apparently stayed away from techniques based on racial, ethnic, and religious profiling.

In the wake of the alleged massive terror plot uncovered in the United Kingdom, Representative Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, thinks selected groups of people should undergo extra security checks at the airports. Newsday reports that King doesn't think "political correctness should hamper airport screens.  King has gone so far as to endorse "people of "Middle Eastern and South Asian" descent to undergo additional security checks because of their ethnicity and religion."

King argued, "if the threat is coming from a particular group, I can understand why it would make sense to single them out for further questioning."

I am not sure what Peter King smokes, but I do see some clouded judgment there.  He's not alone. His juvenile sentiments are recently shared by the conservative Talk Show host Mike Gallagher. In a recent debate in Fox News' Dayside, Gallagher said, "It’s time to have a Muslims check-point line in American airports and have Muslims be scrutinized. You better believe it. It’s time."

If I am not mistaken I have come across equally fascinating views echoed here in Blogcritics. And I won't be wrong in my assessment that a large number of people do find the opinions of Peter King and Mike Gallagher acceptable.  Now, Peter King and Mike Gallagher may not be racists and neither the people who agree or tend to agree with them. It seems to me that this is an issue of why not? After all, isn't it factually correct that most terrorists are Muslims?

Last year, when New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered random searches of subway passengers after the tube bombings in London that killed 53 people, two city councilmen urged police not to waste their time by searching people who are visibly not a threat when the real threat comes from men of Middle Eastern and Asian men.

The Newsday report also mentions that the U.S. Justice Department issued a policy three years ago banning racial profiling, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is quoted as saying, "I think that, you know, taking action against someone solely because of their race and solely because of their religion I think is problematic."   As Senor Gonzales is one of the chief advocates of illegal practices adopted by the Bush Government his stand in this issue calls for some close scrutiny. Gonzales thinks the practice is problematic. He doesn't think that it is flat out and fundamentally wrong. May be he means so but doesn't explicitly say so.

What exactly does he think is problematic about the practice, if may I ask? Is it an ethical and moral problem? Or is it a problem because it's illegal and unconstitutional? For all I know, Senor Gonzales cares about the law and constitution as much as Ahmadinejad cares about the Jews and Israel.

Maybe Gonzales believes it poses a logistical problem. Maybe he's realized that it is an ineffective weapon and will totally alienate the moderate Muslims whose support is sorely needed to win this war on terror, and therefore shouldn't be pursued. If so, it's not bad for someone whose track record on protecting freedom and civil liberties is as glorious as that of Bud Selig protecting Baseball from steroids.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

In Martin Luther King Jr.'s test, the Bush administration and its loyal supporters like Peter King have failed miserably. The least they could do now is save themselves from further delusional thoughts.

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About Q Bit

  • JustOneMan

    From the Free Republic

    Eargeting Middle Eastern male Islamists between the ages 17 and 40 constitutes “ethnic profiling.” Let’s pause a moment and review….

    In 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by: (a) A salesman from Utah (b) An construction worker (c) A college student on Spring Break (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17and 40.

    In 1972, 11 Israeli athletes were killed at the Munich Olympics by: (a) Your grandmother (b) A Midwest auto-parts dealer (c) Amom and her 6-year-old son visiting from Indiana (d) MiddleEastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by: (a) A bluegrass band (b) Dallas Cowboy fans (c) A tour group of 80-year-old women (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between theages of 17 and 40.

    During the 1980’s numerous Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by: (a) A family on their way to Disney World (b) Jesse Ventura (c) A Boy Scout Troop (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males betweenthe ages of 17 and 40.

    In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by: (a)A pizza delivery boy (b) The UPS guy (c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between theages of 17 and 40.

    In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70-year-old disabled American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by: (a) A girls’ choir (b) A hardware store owner (c) A secretary (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of17 and 40.

    In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy diver was murdered by: (a) A Marine officer with two weeks leave(b) A plumber going to visit his mom (c) A Catholic nun (d)Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by: (a) A college-bound freshman (b) A cardiac surgeon on his way to Houston (c) A waitress (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17and 40.

    In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed by: (a) A starving actress (b) A mom with a newborn (c) Twin six-year-old boys (d)Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 1995, a plot to blow up U.S.-bound international flights over the Pacific was attempted by (a) Hawaiian school kids (b) A decorated Vietnam Veteran (c) Twin sisters on their way to Paducah (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17and 40.

    In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:(a) A local TV weatherman (b) A dad and his two sons on a ski trip (c) A widower going to visit his grandchildren (d) MiddleEastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2000, 17 sailors died in an attack on the USS Cole (DDG 67) in Yemen by: (a) A child in a stroller (b) A high school class ontheir way to visit Washington, DC (c) Newlyweds on their way to Miami (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked — two flown into the World Trade Centers, one into the Pentagon and one into the ground in rural Pennsylvania. They were hijacked by: (a) A retired police officer on a mission trip to Haiti (b) A firefighter going to Maryland for training (c) An paramedic on his way to vacation in Hawaii (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2002 the United States liberated Afghanistan from: (a) USAID relief workers (b) Jewish Pilgrims (c) Christian missionaries (d)Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl and other Westerners were kidnapped and beheaded by: (a) The Peace Corp (b) Scottish clansmen (c)Cuban refugees (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the agesof 17 and 40.

    In 2002, more than 330 hostages in Beslan and 130 hostages in Moscow were murdered in sieges by: (a) Russian exchange students (b) The Red Guard (c) Church planters (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2003 the United States liberated Iraq from “The Butcher of Baghdad,” but most American military personnel were killed by:(a) Iraqi school-girls (b) Street vegetable venders (c) Women without burkas (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the agesof 17 and 40.

    In 2004, more than 200 Spanish civilians were murdered on trains by bombs in Madrid, detonated by: (a) Morning commuters (b) Athree-year-old Chinese girl (c) Flamenco dancers (d) MiddleEastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2005 more than 50 UK citizens were killed by bombs on trainsin London, detonated by: (a) Rail workers (b) Those unable to hail taxis (c) Wheelchair-bound grandmothers (d) Middle EasternIslamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2005, there were hundreds of casualties, men, women and children, killed by bombs in Jerusalem, Riyadh and Amman. These innocent civilians were murdered by: (a) Construction workers (b)Farmers (c) Christian missionaries (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2005, the city of Paris, and other European cities experienced an extended period of riots and destruction. The unrest was led by: (a) “Youth” (b) Soccer fans (c) Catholic nuns (d) MiddleEastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2006, hundreds of Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets launched by: (a) the Salvation Army (b) remnants of the’Jackson Five’ (c) the cast of ‘Friends’ (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    In 2006, a plot to blow up 10 U.S.-bound planes from the U.K. was attempted by (a) members of the royal family (b) Japanese tourists (c) groupies of the band ‘Cream’ (d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    Since 2001, the FBI reports that there are major terrorist cells still in U.S. urban centers. Several of these cells have been uncovered and cell members arrested. In every case, th eterrorists cell members were: (a) Southern Baptists Conventioneers (b) Lutheran Youth Groups (c) Presbyterian Elders(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

    President George Bush said this week, “America is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued an immediate objection to the President’s reference to “Islamic fascists”.

    Nihad Awad,executive director of CAIR protested, “We have to isolate these individuals because there is nothing in the Koran or the Islamic faith that encourages people to be cruel or to be vicious or tobe criminal. Muslims world wide know that for sure.”

    In light of this objection, we are left to ponder why every Islamic leader in the U.S., and the world, does not publicly condemn every terror action being undertaken in the name of the god of Islam.

    Their silence is deafening… Between 1970 and present, there were more than 60 other notable examples of terrorism perpetrated by Middle Eastern male Islamists between the ages 17 and 40, but we think you get the point.

    Singling out “Middle Eastern male Islamists between the ages 17 and 40″ is not “ethnic profiling,” it’s “terroristprofiling” — acting on prolific evidence.

    Anyone for Terrorist Profiling?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    so, if someone shaves their beard… wears jeans and a t-shirt, and says they are christian.. they could just walk by.. yes?

    or did you think that terrorists woudl just tell the truth about their age/background/religion at a higher percentage than say….

    folks on a dating website?

    i think both are about equally truthful

    so, once they try and blend in.. send women, men older than 40, kids younger than 17… or what have you… how does this “profiling” work then?

    just Asking

    Excelsior?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Dangit Gonzo, your questions are far too intelligent for people like JustOneMan. Didn’t anyone tell you it’s not fair to start a battle of wits with an unarmed man?

    Plus it totally throws off the bookmakers’ odds calculations.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    argh…sorry Victor(y).. i just can’t help it sometimes…

    i think it has something to do with…ummm…Thinking

    i’m trying to cut down.. is there a 13 step program for it?

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Regardless of what Q Bit asserts, racial profiling is not illegal or unconstitutional. It’s what’s called ‘reasonable grounds’ for a search. Ethnicity, how someone is dressed, the kind of car they are driving, the size of the wad they’re flashing, the amount of ‘bling’ they have on them and elements of behavior – all of these add in to what police officers use to determine which person to look at with suspicion and which one to pay less attention to. That’s just common sense.

    The same common sense applies with terrorism. But it can be applied in a positive way rather than a negative way. It’s just deduction. Rather than profiling for dark skinned men with beards – which won’t catch your shaved Kosovar or Chechen – just eliminate the people who are hugely unlikely to be terrorists. Don’t search the soccer mom and her kids. Don’t search the gray haired granny in a wheelchair. The idea here is not to identify terrorists by visual stereotypes, but to narrow the pool who get searched to make the searches more efficient and more likely to be effective.

    BTW, I fly 4-6 times a year and have not been searched once since 9/11 despite my relatively dark skin for an anglo and the fact that I sported a scary beard for 2 years. And I do fit exactly the profile for a domestic terrorist AND my passport says I was born in Lebanon. They OUGHT to be searching me.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    Profiling is not based on isolating men with beards who look suspicious. After all, if you did that, less than ¼ of the male population in this village would NOT be suspect. Most of the men in Ma’aleh Levona and a lot of the men in Jerusalem look like mullahs. But there are no mullahs in town. Your stereotypes in America are based on photos of Nasrallah and bin Laden.

    Arabs in Israel usually do NOT have beards and have relatively short hair. We DO profiling here, LOTS of it – that is how the vast majority of terror attacks are stopped. If we had the juvenile attitudes towards profiling I see underlying your comments and Victor’s, there would be a lot more dead Jews here. Saving lives comes far ahead of worrying about anybody’s “civil rights.” Remember, a dead man has NO civil rights at all – except the right to rot.

    Arabs walk differently from Jews, and have facial expressions that are different from most Jews, and most importantly, in small ways that are very consistent, dress differently from Jews.

    We watch for those expressions and ask for ID’s (teudát zehút, b’vakashá). And 95% of the time, the person pulls out an ID laden with Arabic writing or has an Israeli ID with an Arabic name.

    By the way Gonzo. My kids are better at profiling than I am. They are the ones who should be doing the patrolling – and soon they will be… [shudder]

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    i get yer Point, Ruvy…

    but do note, i was not speaking against narrowing down scrutiny in a logical fashion… merely pointing out that what some think of as “logical” is far form it in this case…

    what Dave suggests is much saner, ruling out those who are obviously not a Threat

    this can get sticky if the Foe finds out the criteria and shifts to things like infants and grannys

    hence the conundrum

    another point…Ruvy sez…
    *Saving lives comes far ahead of worrying about anybody’s “civil rights.”*

    and here i have a bit of a Problem…

    simplicity itself to stand up for the Principles that define you when it’s easy…

    but the true Test comes by staying standing when it difficult… even torturous or deadly

    that is when Character is Tested, both for an Individual, and for a Culture

    i prefer we, as Americans, pass that Test on our feet… sticking to our Principles, rather than on our knees.. giving in to the Foe

    different here than your situation in Israel, also a very different Culture/set of Principles

    there is NO doubt that Israeli security in these matters is the Standard for the rest of the world, the problem would be reconciling some of the compromises in Principle required

    and i do think this very Conversation IS important to have on not only a National, but a worldwide stage

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior?

  • JustOneMan

    Victor and Nancy…I mean Gonzo…

    Rather than address the facts you must revert to name calling…how pathetic…

    Profiling will close one door..yes another will open but it allows us to address the root cause of planes blowing up….muslims with c40…rather than focus on an 80 year old from demoyne…

    In addition, what are your alternative suggestions? Do nothing….talk about brain dead

  • JustOneMan

    Nancy..I mean Gonzo…

    “i prefer we, as Americans, pass that Test on our feet… sticking to our Principles, rather than on our knees.. giving in to the Foe”

    Do nothing is passing the test…I laugh in your putride face!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    might i suggest looking at #7 more closely, you might actually find that i agree with Dave’s suggestion that we can narrow things down by determining who is low/no risk in a much better fashion than trying to determine high risk people accurately

    but then again, i’m attempting to Reason with someone who can’t tell people apart

    and anytime you want to stop by to laugh at me, feel free… until then you get the same consideration of any other keyboard toughguy

    nuff said…

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    Listen to who’s whining about someone calling names: the one who started the calling. Whassamatter, JOM, can’t take your own medicine?

    BTW, I am not Gonzo. Gonzo is better looking & drinks more.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    At a very base level, Gonzo, a dead man has only the right to rot. If you don’t believe in meeting your Maker (or your mother or father, or some other significant person) after you die, or screwing 72 virgins for eternity or sitting next to Jesus every Wednesday and Thursday for celestial breakfasts, you want very much to stay alive, because rotting is all you get to do if you die. That is why saving a life comes out so far ahead of “civil rights.” In order to enjoy those rights at all, you need to be alive.

    In other words, in order to even stand by your Principles, no matter how tough it is to actually stand, you need to be alive. Otherwise, you’re worm food.

    It is the height of irony that I need to explain this to a heretic who questions all faith and shaves with Ockham’s razor…

  • Nancy

    Actually, Dave, using the photo you have here on BC, if you added an earring or tattoo, you’re a pretty scarey looking dude, y’know? But a biker type, not a muslim crazy. Maybe that’s why they don’t profile you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Ruvy… we seem to be working at odds here

    you see, i have and would still not only stand up to defend the Principles i’m talking about

    but am willing to Sacrifice to uphold and defend said Principles

    otherwise i woudl consider them worthless, and merely empty Posturing, rather than a guiding Force worth Preserving

    and THAT is the prime Variable which you appear to be overlooking

    oh yes, Nancy.. i gave up drinking almost 20 years ago (with rare, celebratory exception).. and i’m fairly certain i’m a funny looking fellow.. but i do Appreciate the Thought

    /grins

    Excelsior?

  • JustOneMan

    Gonzo…I mean Nancy…read the posts the Radical Muslim apologist…cast the first stone…my posts were just the facts…

    Hope that clears it up Nancy…I mean Gonzo…I mean Nancy…whoever

  • Nancy

    JOM, if you insist, you may call me Gonzo; but it’s giving credit to one who does not deserve such accolades as being confused for the great Gonzo hisself.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Sorry, Gonzo,

    No offence intended. I tend to look at things from the point of view of a guardsman with an immediate responsibility to actually guard. Your view is similar, but the requirement to guard is a bit more remote – thus you can argue principle. In truth, we are not that far away in our views – but the immediacy of death and terror gives me just a different slant – a more immediate one; and a greater awareness of the possible need to make the Sacrifice you allude to.

    We’re not working at cross purposes at all. I’m trying to avoid seeing something you may have already seen as a soldier – people dying in terror attacks or in war. That is my job in the Police Auxiliary – to guard against terrorists. And with G-d’s help, not to see people die from terror attacks. That (from the point of view of the Israel Police) is the only reason I have a uniform.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    and which shows, Ruvy.. that you Understand the Principles i’m talking about, since you are Willing to stand up for what you Cherish

    we are both talking about Defending what we care about… both innocent people, and the Principles we hold dear

    as i say many times, the Means are an End unto themselves…

    and so it goes…

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Actually, Dave, using the photo you have here on BC, if you added an earring or tattoo, you’re a pretty scarey looking dude, y’know? But a biker type, not a muslim crazy. Maybe that’s why they don’t profile you.

    Sadly my wife won’t let me buy a motorcycle and my kids object to my wearing an earing. It’s just not fair.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    besides, Dave looks like an upper middle class Anton LaVey

    i’m the “biker type”

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Methinks we need to see a photo of gonzo.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    heh.. just not Happening, Dave

    not only would it completely blow the Illusion…

    but i have no desire to suffer the multitude of lawsuits for destroying so many people’s Monitaurs

    just doing my bit for CRT safety

    Excelsior?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Those of us who read Greek mythology have already used a ball of twine to defeat our Monitaur.

  • JustOneMan

    Gon(nancy)zo…

    Why dont you send us a picture in your military uniform…ya know the one you were wearing where you saved the free world from tha jaws of evil….

    “i have and would still not only stand up to defend ” tee hee hee

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ya know , JoM.. i’ve been wondering just what kind of syphillitic brain damage you have suffered from that makes your puerile frothing at the mouth and feeble attempts at petty insults seem like any semblance of sanity to you…

    but, you just ain’t worth the sweat off my balls

    /ignore

    nuff said…

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Maybe send JoM a photo of the sweat on your balls?

    Dave

  • Dean

    Now, now, children…

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Wouldn’t that be casting pearls before… no, wait, sorry. Wrong liquid.

  • JustOneMan

    I must have hit a sore spot ehhh….sort of like a root canal…hmmmm…you make comments and take sides of issues that could lead to the death of innocent Americans..and you try and use your military record ….ahemmmmm….as some sort of cover for your illogical views…

    “Gonzom Marx reporting for duty”….lol

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Everybody’s views could lead to the deaths of innocent Americans. Attempting to profile people, on the basis of race, religion, and other totally irrelevant characteristics, will never reduce the risk to the innocent. All it does is give the false impression something is being done, without providing any real additional security.

    Those of us who defend the ideals upon which this country was founded are working to make sure we still have something worth dying for.

  • zingzing

    woo, victor, jom got you there! ya fag! woop! woop! oh yeah!

    oh wait, GONZO! y’all a fag too! ya nancy-boy! oh! oh! and nancy! you like men! hahahaha!

    high five, jom! you hit em hawd, doncha!? lol. rofl. rofl. fall down go boom.

    fags! have fun suckin’ ballsweat! sure it tastes gooood. jom, yer da coolest.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Let me guess. They’re chocolate and salty, too. Scrump-dilly-ishus!

  • JustOneMan

    OK Guuyyyss is the Circle Jerk over???

    Vic..”Those of us who defend the ideals upon which this country was founded are working to make sure we still have something worth dying for.”

    You defending “ideals”? Whose Osaam Bin Ladens?

    LOL

  • http://hawkeyeindia.wordpress.com Apollo

    for practical reasons i oppose racial profiling.

    Richard Reid was white and so was that belgian woman who blew herself up in Baghdad.A large number of muslims in the west are from non-arab and non-asian communities like blacks, south-east asians and even whites and latinoes.

    so if it is muslims whom they are trying to target in the name of racial profiling they are in for a nasty surprise. it won’t work.

  • Clavos

    Good point, Apollo.

    So, in the interests of both security AND fairness we should target everyone, no exceptions, since virtually anybody could be a suicide bomber.

    People stubborn enough to still want to travel in airplanes will just have to get to the airport a day in advance of their flight.

    Maybe we could ignore the grannies and five-year-olds…until one of them blows up an airliner.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    EVERYONE!!! Let’s all congratulate Dave Nalle-That was his 8000th comment-I’m being serious look it up!!!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If I’d known that I’d have made it something more substantial.

    Plus my comments show up under 2 IPs, so it’s actually my 11752nd comment.

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    If you click on your name under top commentors it says 8000, who am I to argue?????????

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ah, but you see, my name is listed there twice, is it not? You have to count both.

    Dave

  • http://www.ladydragonfyre.com/index_files/LWS Lady Dragonfyre

    I’m sure the head honchos in these terrorist cells are aware that we profile folks fitting into the traditional terrorist archetype (17-40 year-old Islamic Middle-Eastern men), and they’re probably using that to their advantage. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if there are European/American al-Qaida members or associates working undetected here and abroad. I’ll bet they’re being paid handsomely, too.

    Profiling does make sense. Most of the terrorists we’ve snagged so far DO fit into the traditional demograph. That’s a fact. However, if we look through our microscope already set on what virus we’re looking for, we might miss other bugs floating around with it, albeit smaller and fewer.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Many have heard these words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

    Apparently, JustOneMan believes these words were written by Osama bin Laden.

    Those of us who know otherwise will continue to tell our government to respect the equal rights of everyone, even those people who have committed the terrible “sin” of looking like a stereotypical Middle Eastern Muslim. Nothing less is worthy of the legacy we have inherited as Americans.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Victor sez…
    *Those of us who know otherwise will continue to tell our government to respect the equal rights of everyone, even those people who have committed the terrible “sin” of looking like a stereotypical Middle Eastern Muslim. Nothing less is worthy of the legacy we have inherited as Americans.*

    Quoted for Truth

    nuff said…

    Excelsior?

  • Nick

    Profiling purely on skin color and ethnic looks DOES NOT work.. Do you all think Muslim extremists bent on harm are all bearded, brown skinned and dark haired?

    Think WHITE, blue eyes and blonde or Asian/Chinese looking … NOW how do you suggest you weed guys like this out… They DO exisit in the muslim world and they WILL slip through the cracks based on profiling. Basically you open up a HUGE gaping hole that says “Send in the white looking guys”…

    As a person of South Asian I can tell you that ignorance is rampant here in the US on what constitues followers of a religion, ethnic group, etc. I’ve seen the dirty looks by people in airports, it always is my fellow passengers. Twice while I’ve been stared down I can spot the guys who really should be a threat and they look very white or very West Asian…. See Ruvy’s comment above! Sikh Guys wearning a turban, hindu followers and the such are about as much of a threat as the Grandma from Omaha.

    PS: I’m Christian…. So don’t waste time on flaming me as something else…

  • RedTard

    “Profiling does make sense. Most of the terrorists we’ve snagged so far DO fit into the traditional demograph. That’s a fact. However, if we look through our microscope already set on what virus we’re looking for, we might miss other bugs floating around with it, albeit smaller and fewer.”

    Yes, everyone is right that there could be a white, elderly terrorist. The object of security is to make it more difficult to perpetrate the crime. It is more difficult to find an elderly black woman with a southern accent to be a suicide bomber than a young Arab male. Profiling makes it more difficult for terrorists to operate which seems like a worthwhile endeavor.

    The same (I believe to be weak) arguments against profiling can be used against locking your doors…the criminal may have lockpicks or a crowbar. An alarm system can be defeated by cutting the phone or otherwise disabling the system. Only a fool would suggest that because locks and alarms can be circumvented that we should eliminate them completely.

  • Vern Halen

    On a simplistic level, this seems to have developed into the supporters of the practical versus the supporters of the ideal. I guess it’s what kind of country you want the United States of America to be – “the land of the free and the home of the brave” are mutually exclusive concepts with “the land of the good night’s sleep and the home of the safe.” Depends what you want – it’d be nice if people everywhere could have both; at the same time even.

  • JustOneMan

    Vern…its more like “practical versus the supporters of the delusional”

  • Vern Halen

    In all fairness to the other contributors, I guess it depends how you look at it. There’s plenty of support for either side – as I said, if you could figure out how to get both that would be wonderful. In the meantime, it’s hard choices all around for most people – those who see their own side clearly are either lucky or gifted, and the rest of us will just have to plod along ’til we figger it out for ourselves.