Friday, August 25, 2006

Letter to Editor: Racial Profiling

In response to a post on racial profiling, we got the following e-mail:
I’ve never quite gotten the point of racial or ethnic profiling. There are many instances of white people hijacking planes or trying to hijack planes. Most of the people caught trying sneak weapons onto planes are acutally white, and there are white or non-Arabic terrorists (Timothy McVeigh, Richard Reid who is half Britsh / half Jamaican).

What seems to make much more sense to me is gender profiling. While there have been women suicide bombers in Israel, the terror directed at America and Europe seems to be carried out exclusively by men, typically younger adults or middle aged men.

The examples of passenger screening that people seem outraged by are when a young girl or an elderly woman are taken aside. I seriously doubt people will shed any tears over a 21 year old frat boy or a 45 year old white businessman being screened (well, except for frat boys and businessmen). It also helps to focus the resources of screening personnel on the actual people who have a track record of terrorism and hijacking -- young and middle aged males of any ethnicity.
In the first place, isn’t “frat boys” derisive? Every style manual we have seen says it should be “high school boys and girls” and “college men and women.”

In the second place, once we concede the validity of any kind of racial, ethnic or gender profiling, we have to take that to its logical conclusion.

Gender profiling, in plenty of cases, is justified, since men commit many more crimes than women.

But “frat boys” don’t have any history of hijacking aircraft. It simply doesn’t make any sense to hassle them at the airport. If the issue is underage drinking, that’s different.

Likewise middle-aged white businessmen (even if they are Muslim), are unlikely to hijack aircraft. If the IRS wants to pay particular attention to their returns, that’s fine with us. Middle aged businessmen are more likely to cheat on their taxes than “frat boys.”

But the simple fact is that young male Muslims are the people most likely to hijack aircraft, and use them as cruise missiles.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home