Profiling is Racism
I was headed to Jeddah via DCA when a TSA guy told his friend who was his coworker that my passport indicated that I was of Saudi origin, so I was supposed to be taken to a secondary location and be searched. I could hear their conversation but there was nothing I could do since any action would have worsened the situation. The scenario was really painful and I wondered why they had to treat me the way they did. Being too personal on screening and profiling is not the right procedure because it violates privacy and can be racist.
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Racism is the act of treating people differently based on their race or ethnicity. Individuals who exhibit racism discriminate against people of certain races and offer preferential treatment for people from their race. For example, the act of exposing individuals to different screening at airports because they belong to certain races. This act of exposing people to different screening based on race is profiling. It has the qualities of racism hence it is a racist act. Although officials who conduct screening at airports attempt to defend profiling by explaining that it is a normal security measure, the truth is that profiling is racist (Siggins 1).
Racists believe that particular races are more important and probably superior to others. As a result, individuals from different races are treated based on their race. For example, Arabs may be treated as terrorists even when they are not. Racists believe that people from certain races lack the competence and expertise to perform certain tasks. This belief lacks justification and is purely racist (Abdulmutallab 2). Some white people believe that Africans cannot achieve success. Africans have proved this wrong by succeeding in different areas such as education and leadership.
Profiling is the act of individuals to discriminate against others and treating them as suspects of criminal activities. Those who discriminate base their suspicions on ethnicity, religion, race, or national origin. Profiling is a disastrous act since it exposes certain individuals to victimization when they are innocent. It lowers their self-esteem and makes them feel as if they are lesser human beings. Instead of enhancing security and peace, profiling leads to conflicts among nations and does not increase security.
Profiling is a racist act in that it discriminates against certain people based on their race. As a result, the victims are treated unfairly after they are associated with negative attributes they do not possess. For example, some Arabs are treated as terrorists when they are not. Other individuals are branded drug traffickers when they are innocent.
On the contrary, other individuals do not look at profiling as a racist activity. They argue that identifying individuals by their race does not necessarily depict those who identify them as racists (Lowey 3). Individuals who encourage profiling argue that it is an effective way of ensuring that the activities of terrorists at airports are minimized. With the prevailing terrorism trends all over the world, a country can be attacked by terrorists without its knowledge.
As a result, profiling individuals based on where they come from and their race is important in the fight against terrorist activities. However, despite attempts made by supporters of profiling to justify the act, it remains racist. Other measures to increase security should be considered because profiling alone is not enough.
Profiling is a racist act because it discriminates against people based on their race and ethnicity. It is important to ensure that security is maintained at the airports. However, this should be done in a way that does not humiliate people. I would suggest that strict laws be enacted to prevent people from being profiled based on their race. For example, there should be laws that guarantee people of all races equal treatment at the airports.
Abdulmutallab, Umar. Muslim-American group criticizes TSA plan as profiling. 2010. Web.
Lowey, Nita. Opposing view on TSA: Screeners deserve more rights. 2010. Web.
Siggins, Peter. Racial Profiling in an Age of Terrorism. 2010. Web.