- Published: September 30, 2022
- Updated: September 30, 2022
- Level: Masters
- Language: English
- Downloads: 34
RACIAL PROFILING The effect of September 11 on American Security and evolution of new concept of Racial Profiling September 11 has influenced the way people think about Arabs and racial profiling has become an integral part of American security. So far, not a single person has been arrested or charged with the offense with the help of racial profiling, however, for some reason the government is not planning to reject racial profiling in airports. This leads to the idea racial profiling being just another form of discrimination with which the American nation is trying to fight. In this paper I will discuss whether their a need for racial profiling and provide testimonies of those who became victims of racial profling.
The effect of September 11 on American Security and
evolution of new concept of Racial Profiling
It is hardly possible to meet the person who is unaware about the events of September 11. Thousands of people became victims of the biggest terrorist attack in the history of United States. The single day has changed the life of Americans, their perception of security and human dignity. The attack was well planned and confidently carried out, it was impossible to foresee this tragedy. Or was it? Four years have passed since that time but the world is still talking about it. One of the major outcomes of September 11 has become the closer examination of visitors to United States. The concept of racial profiling has become an inevitable part of national security. Nevertheless, is it reasonable to label the whole Arabian world as potentially dangerous because of the action of several individuals?
When the American nation has managed to overcome the terror, the cardinal actions had to take place. Among the first initiatives was to use racial profiling in screening out the potentially dangerous immigrants and visitors to the country. Of course, the Arabs have become number one suspects and were closely examined. Was this targeted screening justified or was only the way to hide discriminatory attitude towards Arabian nation? Most likely, American government was not ready for attack of such level and racial profiling was the only effective way to prevent further attack.
However, some of the actions are hard to explain and understand. For example, prior to September 11 Americans have rejected racial profiling, but since that day the public opinion has reversed. More than 1000 Arabs and Arab Americans (those who were born and lived all their lives in United States) were detained even though not a single of them has been charged with any formal offense (Davis, N., 2001). Students were kindly invited to visit their Arabian families in native countries with the hope that they will never return to United States. For many Arabs American has become their home but they had to prove their patriotism over and over again.
This is what an Indian student Ali says about the September 11: “ My father came to the United States in the 1960s, escaping political unrest. He and his family came to United States for safety because they believed that nowhere else they could feel as secure as here” (Davis, M., 2001) However, in the days after the WTC attacks, neither Ali nor her family felt secure in their own neighborhood where they had lived for 20 years. For several weeks after the attack the Arabs and those similar to Arabs were openly harassed and humiliated, even though it was not their guilt that they were of the same ethnic origin as the attackers.
When some time has passed, the American press became over flooded with the complaints of Arabs regarding the treatment at airport. Here is one of the testimonies given by Arabian journalist working in U. S. “ The extra security is upsetting. Everyone is walking on to the plane when you have to remove your shoes and raise your hands as the metal detector checks every part of your body. There is a voice inside you that would love to shout: ” I am not a criminal; dont treat me as if I am!» There is also the more practical downside. By the time the inspectors have finished with you, the other passengers are already seated. There is therefore the embarrassment and hassle of trying to find an empty seat and finding a free luggage compartment to store your hold–all. It might seem petty; but when it happens all the time, it can get tiresome” (Mansoor, 2002).
Racial profiling has failed: it did not make the nation more secured and protected from further attacks. Racial profiling is the humiliating process for people whose guilt is pre-determined only based on the fact that they are of the same ethnic origin as the attackers. There is no logic behind such actions. The issue has been closely examined by many researchers and one of the proposition has got my attention. Harrison (2002) proposes to shift racial profiling to religious profiling. This is how it can be done: before boarding, each passenger is offered to go through a short questionnaire, which would help to determine whether they are potentially dangerous. This will eliminate the necessity for thousands of people to go through humiliating process of racial profiling which is edging with discrimination.
Davis, N. (2001, December 13). The Slippery Slope of Racial Profiling. ColorLines, p. 1.
Davis, M. (2001, October 10). Racial Profiling in the Aftermath of September 11. New York University Graduate Voice, p. 3-5.
Harrison, G. (2002, Summer). From Racial to Religious Profiling. Free Inquiry, 22 (3), 21+.
Mansoor, S. (2002). Im a Muslim but I Can Still Fly: Arabs and Asians Complain of Racial Profiling. New Statesman, 131 (4614), 32+.
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