A recent trip to the US to attend my cousins's wedding allowed me to re-visit the issue of racial profiling in airports following 9/11.
Racial Profiling has been debated in our society since time immemorial. Its a very sensitive issue to say the least. With some arguing that its an effective crime-fighting tool for law enforcement, while others argue that it solves nothing, is an infringement of civil-rights and promotes unnecessary inter-racial tensions.
I disagree with the later. While "promotes unnecessary inter-racial tensions" is debatable, there's no denying that racial profiling has helped law enforcement on several cases.
But quite frankly from my travel experiences (and I do travel often, 2-3 times a year), I've come to realize that no racial profiling in airports following 9/11, leads to increased racial tension between me and the rest of the travelers.
Let's get things in perspective here, there's currently a war going on between Western Nations and Muslim terrorists. More likely than not, those fighting on the other side have the same physical characteristics as me. Young, Male and from a Arab/Muslim background.
So its perfectly understandable that when I travel, people look at me at first with suspesion. Its not racism, or the fact that they hate people of my background, its simply they're concerns for they're own security.
Which brings me to my recent trip to Chicago to attend a cousin's wedding. What happned in the airport?....Nothing. To the surprise of my fellow travelers, it took me minutes after I checked in at the ticket counter at Trudeau airport to get through US Customs, through "security" to my gate. Another young Middle-Eastern travler who was on on the same flight recieved the same speedy treatment. However, an 80 year old wommen in a wheelchair traveling with her grandaughter was patted down, questioned and had all her carry ons searched.
Someone exlplain to me the logic of this! 2 young travelers of middle-eastern descent with the vague reason of travel ("Visiting some family members") get zoomed twowrds their planes with little or no hassle, while a white 80 year old grandmother in a wheelchair on her way to receieve hip surgery gets the "hands-on" experience.
Who's more likely to carry out a terrorist attack on the plane? Me and the other Arab guy? Or the Grandmother?
The other passengers on the plane were rightly shocked. And we were looked at with fear and suspession. (It was roughly 24 hours after the London Bombings). Many passengers on that plane felt insecure. There was stairing. There was pointing. Lots of whispering "do they look "ok" to you?"
And quite frankly I was also uneasy. Because I knew the other young Middle-Eastern passenger got through quite easily as well. How do I know if he's up to no good? How do I know he's no threat? The security check for him was litterly a quick walk in the park, did they overlook something in his luggage?
Finally when the plane landed, evreything was ok. The stairing turned to smiles and the pointing turned to friendly nods.
But I asked myself, What would have happned had racial profiling took place? What would have happned had I been thoroughly searched and questioned vigorously and not the old lady? Well first of all it would have saved the poor wommen alot of pain and humiliation. And it would have made the other passengers feel more secure. And thereofore the flight would have been enjoyable and relaxing rather than tense and awkward.
And I would have a little peace of mind as well. I would have the knowledge that the other Middle-Eastern guy on the flight is no threat.
Cause quite frankly, I'm a passenger as well. As Arab-American journalist Joseph Farah explains this issue in this old column:
Why would I want to see a security system that would cause me more hassle? Because I want to see my flights land at airports – not in buildings. A few moments of irritation are well worth it. When I fly El Al, it gives me peace of mind to have my bags searched, to go through extra security checks, to be interrogated longer than non-Arabs.
There you have it. Racial profiling young Middle-Eastern men in airports not only makes you safer, but it makes us safer as well.
Now does this constitute as racism? Well...let's put the concept of profiling in another context.
When I worked at a convenience store in my University days, I was told to keep an eye out for young teenage customers. Why? Because they're more likely to steal the alcohol. They're more likely to stuff products in their school bags and walk out. They're more likely to show me fake-Id's to buy cigarettes. (And its true!) Does this constitute as age-ism? Or common sense?
Or how about the case of a buddy of mine who works in Mall Security. Who's told to watch out for Ladies with big purses. Why? Because police records and their own records show that they're more likely to be doing the shoplifting. Does this constitute as sexism? Or are the businesses just looking out for their own interests?
So I ask you (No...BEG you!), to tell your government to ignore the PC crowd and call upon the appropriate officials to institute racial profiling in the airports.
Ask that me and my fellow young Middle Easterners have our bags searched, to go through extra security checks, to be interrogated longer than the others. And for the love of god...stop hassling the old ladies.
In life, there is no greater "Civil Right" than the right to live.
Do this for the sake of your own personal security-and mine.
Disclaimer to "Progressive" Moonbats: This opinion is that of my own and does not reflect the collective thinking of the Blogging Tories , the Conservative Party of Canada or any of the linked media.
This story was crossposted to Colbert's Comment's Friday Open Trackback Party