Introduction: The Notion of Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Profiling
The notion of ethnic profiling implies the use of such characteristics as religious belonging, ethnicity, nationality, and racial features as the defining parameters for terrorist measuring. In other words, the term stems from law enforcement, which is based on specific discriminative characteristics since it is implied that a majority of terrorist acts are initiated by immigrants. The legality of ethnic profiling represents a controversial issue. Thus, some law representatives claim that the practice contradicts basic human rights.
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Nevertheless, according to the public opinion and practical examples of terrorism profiling, the experience is defined as the most profitable practice of terrorist identification (Choudhry and Roach 4). According to the initial statement of the study, it is deduced that the attitudes to profiling refer to a complex of individual characteristics of the society as well as concerns, which refer to specific terroristic acts in the national history.
Ethnic Profiling and Attack Cases: Public Opinion Implications
The verification of ethnic profiling may be sustained along with the estimation of the most vivid terrorist attacks’ implications in world history. Specifically, the attitudes towards the Pearl Harbor attack constitute a foundation for profiling considerations, which enhanced the level of the Americans’ support of ethnic law enforcement. Thus, after the Pearl Harbor bombing, which was sustained at the time of World War II, approximately 150,000 American Japanese were imprisoned since the government of the USA created an anti-Japanese paranoia among society. As a result, 93% of the native Americans expressed their approval of the authority’s act (Schildkraut 64). A similar majoritarian practice was revealed after the 9/11 attacks.
According to the cross-national assessment, the third part of the US population supported the decision of the government on the detainment of Arab Americans, despite the fact that the imprisoned individuals were not proved guilty (Schildkraut 65).
The tendency of ethnic profiling approval, which evolves in the USA, demonstrates consistent support of the government by the US society. However, public support can be verified along with some other factors, for cross-national assessments did not disclose any personal implications, which were provided by the citizens. Moreover, the mentioned conclusions were made on the basis of heated cases’ reflection, which blurred the objectiveness of public opinion. Therefore, if one estimates the individual attitudes towards ethnic profiling, it may be deduced that many citizens support careful verification of immigrants’ guilt rather than unconditional detainment.
Furthermore, according to the study, many individuals define non-Americans in different ways: some of them claim that legal residents of the USA, who have foreign nationality, can not be exposed to ethnic profiling, for they exercise some legal rights within the territory of the country; the others argue that both illegal immigrants and city residents of foreign ethnicities must be detained in the frames of profiling (Schildkraut 70). Finally, the study showed that personal values and educational backgrounds of the citizens influence the attitudes of the residents towards ethnic profiling.
Conclusion: The Legality of Ethnic Profiling
The practical evaluation of such US attacks as 9/11 and Pearl Harbor reveals that public opinion about the legality of ethnic profiling is a controversial issue. The approval of the practice, therefore, can not be made on the governmental level since both the US residents and governmental structures can not agree on the validation of this discriminatory experience. However, under the conditions of threatening attacks, the authority may embrace the system of careful surveillance of the immigrants’ actions.
Choudhry, Sujit, and Kent Roach. “Racial and Ethnic Profiling: Statutory Discretion, Constitutional Remedies, and Democratic Accountability.” Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 13.2 (2002): 1-37. Print.
Schildkraut, Deborah. “The Dynamics of Public Opinion on Ethnic Profiling after 9/11: Results from a Survey Experiment.” American Behavioral Scientist 53.6 (2009): 61-81. Print.