Profiling 'Them' Will Not Make 'Us' Safer

Profiling 'Them' Will Not Make 'Us' Safer

PROFILING 'THEM' FOR TERRORISM WILL NOT MAKE 'US' SAFER
Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune, 11/28/05

http://www.chicagotribune.com/services/newspaper/premium/printedition/Monday/metro/chi-0511280225nov28,1,4116707.column

To a guy like U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), profiling--attempting to sort out criminals and non-criminals based on racial, ethnic or age considerations--seems to be a perfectly reasonable and efficient tool in "the war on terror."

I suppose Kirk sees it this way: Why should we inconvenience most Americans, or infringe on their rights, when we already know that the next "terrorist" in America will be a young Arab male?

Earlier this month, Kirk was speaking at a technology conference at Northwestern University when he said he was OK with discriminating against young Arab males from terrorist-producing countries as long as it means keeping America safe.

Kirk has continued to stand by his comments despite Arab-American groups pressing him to apologize.

The scary truth is that many Americans feel this same way.

Advocating racial profiling isn't just an incendiary issue; it simply doesn't make sense. If you say it's OK to discriminate against some Muslims trying to enter the country, then how long before American Muslims would see their rights whittled away?

And who would determine how far the discrimination would go? Would it be OK to hold a person in a prison camp without charges for a few years?

Racial profiling goes beyond nonsensical. It's downright dangerous. And not just for Muslim men, but for us all.

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