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Ethnic Profiling And Civil Rights Essay

2887 words - 12 pages

As said by Saito Maho, "Welcome to the United States, smile for the camera, add your fingerprints to our database. Don't forget to check in regularly, that is of course if your nationality or religion are on John Ashcroft's list."(Saito 1) The use of racial and ethnic profiling dates back to World War II and the attack of Pearl Harbor. The profiling existing today is just a modernized form of the internment camps set aside for Japanese-Americans in the late 1940's. The only difference is towards whom the profiling is directed. Profiling is not only political but also a moral issue that defies the civil liberties set out for everyone in the Constitution set by our forefathers. In any case, the use of profiling to fight terrorism cannot be justified by any means.Ethnic profiling is not only a political issue, but also a moral issue. It is not right for one person to be subjugated to laws and regulations that another is not. We can look back in time to World War II when most Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps for the duration of the war. For many of these people they were loyal American citizens. Now people are being stopped at airport security and before they travel into tunnels or over bridges. It is not to the same degree, but it must feel like they are less of a person or not even a person, but some to type of degenerate or hostile. As Chris Rock said, "It scared me so bad, I thought I had stolen my car!"(Reilly 160) Even though Rock is a black man, it can be related to the current issue of ethnic profiling to stop terrorism. Just because a person is from another background does not necessarily mean that they are going to high jack a plane or plant a bomb in car. Not only do people not trust their own culture, but they even have doubts about themselves.The 9/11 attacks have affected the usage of racial and ethnic profiling by law enforcement officials and subsequently airports. Airports were told to fire all immigrant baggage screeners immediately as well as deploy armed U.S. Army guards in baggage screening areas. The irony of this tactic is that those soldiers supervising the screening of bags are able to be non-U.S. citizens (National 3). Profiling at its worst is at the hands of civilians. After 9/11, airplane passengers complained by profiling those seemingly of Middle Eastern descent and having them removed from the plane. On June 4th, 2002, ADC and Relman Associates filed five lawsuits against American, Continental, Northwest and United Airlines "of blatant discrimination against five men who were ejected from flights based on the prejudices of airline employees and passengers and for reasons wholly unrelated to security."(ACLU 2) Two out of five passengers accusing the airlines were of Arab origin. Four were U.S. citizens and one was a permanent resident (ACLU 2). Since 9/11, Sikhcoalition.org has recorded over 280 cases of racial and ethnic profiling. In one such case, Dr. Navin Sethi, a distinguished spine surgeon from...

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