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Racial Profiling In Airports Essay

965 words - 4 pages

After the American tragedy of September 11, 2001, airport security became a heated debate that continues today. America must protect itself from terrorist attacks, but some homeland security methods are better than others. In January of 2010, the Obama administration declared that airport passengers from 14 countries, including Pakistan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia, would be subjected to rigorous screening before flights into the United States (Schneier). Basically, airport security employees would have the right to discriminate against passengers of Arab descent because of the country they were born in. Attempts to improve airport security through racial profiling are unjust, unwarranted, ...view middle of the document...

Ya’aqubi was later interviewed about the experience, describing it as “the most offensive and humiliating experience I have ever had” (“Suspected”). Ya’aqubi’s airport experiences are a great example of the frustration felt by Arab citizens attempting to fly every day. Most believe it is because of their race, and rightly so. In fact, it has become common for Arab citizens to arrive three or four hours early to airports, expecting similar treatment. Also, according to complaints collected by the Arab Association for Human Rights, Jewish passengers going through the same airport as Ya’aqubi are rarely subjected to rigorous screening, while finding an Arab passenger who had not experienced discriminatory security checks was a challenge (“Suspected”). Treating Arab passengers differently because of skin color is anything but just, as it forces millions of innocent, ordinary passengers through needless interrogation and searching because of an extreme few. It is impossible to recognize a person’s intentions solely on their skin color and physical appearance; racial profiling is not effective enough of a strategy to be used in any airport around the world.
In the debate of airport security, many believe that racial profiling is more than necessary to ensure the protection of our country. These people believe that since the most prominent terrorist organizations exist in the Middle East, any Arab that wishes to fly must be screened in order to be safe. Those that make this argument forget that numerous recent instances of terrorism were committed by people of non-Arab descent. According to Bruce Schneier, security technologist, “terrorists don’t fit a profile… [t]hey’re European, Asian, African, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern” (Schneier). Both the Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh of the Oklahoma City Bombings were white. The shoe bomber was British with Jamaican descent. Germaine Lindsay of the 7/7 London bombers was Afro-Caribbean. Airport security racial profiling cannot only focus on Arab citizens if it is to be effective. Recent events...

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