Racial Profiling People Of Middle Eastern Descent

1617 words - 6 pages

The issue of discrimination has been one that has been with our country for years. It became an issue again with the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. It is known that people of Arab decent were behind the attack. Because of that, a huge issue of racial profiling has come up as people look at all people of that decent as evil terrorists. Most of these people have been living in the United States all their lives, and have done nothing to warrant the accusations. The question then becomes, should we let these people go on living innocent until proven guilty, or should we make an exception in this case? Our nation has lived by the code of “innocent until proven guilty” since its creation so many years ago, but not in cases such as this. Only twice in our history have our borders been broken into by foreign enemies who have launched an attack on us. The first was during World War 2, when the Japanese flew over Pearl Harbor and bombed it. The second was recently with the aforementioned World Trade Center attacks. In the first case, the Japanese-Americans living in this country were rounded up and relocated. Chances are most of them had lived here their whole lives. But that did not matter. Should the same thing be done today? Are there “spies” within our borders? And will the actions of Osama bin Laden spark a new racial war in this country? Americans are not going to forget September 11th any time soon, and this is the debate going on today.

Airlines are currently in litigation with Arabs and people on Indian descent over racial profiling. Recently, five passengers who of that descent who had passed through intense security check points and who were still denied the right to fly have filed individual lawsuits against four major airlines: Continental, American, United and Northwest. In a CNN interview, Michael Dasrath, one of the men who was ejected from a flight and is now suing one of the airlines, gave the following statement: "She [A single women on the same flight.] basically said these brown-skinned men are behaving suspiciously. The pilot didn't say anything. He just kind of nodded at her and he walked up to the front, looked at me, looked at the two in front of me -- didn't say nothing. Next thing I know one of the gate agents is calling our names.” (Hirchkorn & Okwu) Dasrath is 32 years old, works as an analyst for Morgan Stanley, and more importantly is a full fledged US citizen. That is clearly racial profiling. Of course, we go back to the burning question right now. Was the airline just being safe? And does the airline have a responsibility to remove an individual from the flight who is making another passenger uncomfortable?

Of course, most of the airlines either declined comment or gave the standard “we do not support discrimination of any kind” answer. Only one airline gave a statement with any meaning, and that was American Airlines. "American supports our captains when those decisions are...

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