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Racial Profiling Right, Wrong or Necessary?

I have recently had the chance to be informed that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has documents officially stating that there will no racial profiling allowed in the searching of passengers going through the security screening process prior to boarding an airplane.


Now, I know about individual rights and freedoms, and I know about the Japanese internment camps during WWII. I also know that I’m not one of the people likely to be pulled out and searched.

I also know that all of the 9-11 hijackers were young males of Middle Eastern ethnic background. I also know that the Palestinians are now freely recruiting females and even adolescents to carry out suicide bombings and recently a young Afghan woman pregnant and with her two children walked up to a checkpoint in Afghanistan and detonated herself, killing the Belgian Peace Keepers who were getting candy our of their pockets.

So where does that leave us?

I know that certain civil rights groups have filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of Mid-Eastern travelers who felt they were wrongly singled out to be searched.

How can you be expected to maintain any security protocol at all if you are not allowed the latitude to exploit the odds in favor of providing that security? Yes, a blonde haired blue-eyed Swede could be an Islamic Jihadist, but the odds are that the next hijacker will still be a male, 18-30 years of age, and of Mid-Eastern descent.

Let me put it this way. If you were forced to bet your entire life savings on which one of the above would be the next hijacker, which one would you choose – Honestly! That is not being prejudiced – it’s just being realistic, according to the facts as they are now presented.

I once worked in a position for several years where the security was so strict that you had to pass through a metal detector, were then frisked and forced to open your briefcase or satchel everyday. On top of that you were given a drug test and lie detector test every six months. Was it an inconvenience? Yes. Did I put up with it? Yes. Was my dignity impugned? No

It is my opinion that until things change, racial profiling is absolutely essential to securing the safety of air travel.

The way I see it is like this. If Catholic Priests were the ones hijacking or bombing planes then you bet I would want every person wearing a clerical collar to be searched or questioned.

It is the responsibility of every TSA screener, the Federal Air Marshals, the flight attendants and the Pilots to provide for the safety of the 200-300 men, women and children on that plane. I fully expect them – No – demand, that they use every means possible to do so. If that includes racial profiling then so be it.

Over half the time I’m traveling, I’m going to or from a training operation. I therefore have firearms, knives, gear and various other weapons with me. Do I get questioned? Do I get searched? You bet your rear-end I do. I expect to be questioned. I expect to be searched. That’s TSA Doing Their Job.

If the pressure from civil liberties groups hamstrings our security processes, then what good are the processes? Let the security apparatus do its job the way it’s supposed to.

Not allowing racial profiling of passengers is like telling the Border Patrol in California that it can’t stop Latinos because it violates someone’s civil rights. For God’s Sake, it’s not Laplanders crossing the border.

What good does it do to pull an 85-year-old lady out of line and let the next passenger who actually fits the hijacking profile, go through? I’ve seen this happen – more than once.

Now, mind you, I’m not saying that only Mid-Easterners are the potential perpetrators. In fact, we know that Al Qaeda are actively recruiting “European” looking Muslims to get around our security processes. We also know that at some point women and children will be used.

In the end what I’m saying is this. If I fit some future profile, then I fully expect to be singled out. I’m not a bomber or a hijacker – I’ll be let on the plane. If you are of Middle Eastern ethnicity and you fit the profile then expect to be singled out. If you’re not a bomber or a hijacker you’ll be let on the plane too.

Quit complaining and deal with it. You’re safety is being protected also. Right now it is the nature of the reality we are dealing with. I wish it were not so, but it is. Security concerns are here and they are here until they are not needed.

I urge you to press the government to take away such foolish restrictions on their agents and act in the best interest of all the passengers, insuring their safety.

I’m not saying Racial Profiling is right. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I am saying that it’s necessary.

Until the time comes when we are not threatened by such enemies as we now face, let me close with this:

“Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

Ernest R. Emerson