Government ought not use racial profiling

January 26, 2010 — by Karthik Annaamalai

The terrorist attack on Christmas day has raised many concerns about the safety of flying and has had many people wanting the government to devote more time in creating new security measures. The NY Times reported on Jan. 3 that citizens of 15 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Nigeria, who are flying to the Unites States are liable to more frequent and intense searches.

The Obama administration and Homeland Security are trying to justify their position by claiming this new regulation is not racial profiling. Upon closer look at the list, however, the majority of 14 out of the 15 countries’ populations are Muslim. Clearly, the government is taking a large step toward racial and ethnic profiling.

This will in turn result in an increase in racism. By encouraging the racial profiling of Muslims, the government will lead the general public to believe that the Muslim population is at fault for any terrorist attack that occurs, leaving innocent people in danger of random attacks.

Homeland Security will devote all their time and resources to checking citizens from the 15 nations on the list that they will fail to properly check citizens from other countries. For example, Israel focused on extensively searching young male Middle Easterners who entered Israel, which they thought would solve their problems. What the country did not realize is that terrorist groups started to send female terrorists through the borders who easily got past the security checks. The same results may occur with the new regulations.

Instead, Homeland Security should find other ways to prevent terrorists from all nations, rather than just the 15 on the list. Many of the recent terrorist attempts have been involving liquids to create chemical reactions that would detonate the bomb. The easiest way for airport security to prevent this method is to find a way to locate the chemical liquids through the X-rays. This method would be far more efficient than racial profiling and would most likely catch more potential terrorists. Since there are less harmful ways to solving the problem at hand, racial profiling should not be used by the government.

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