Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Conservative’s Viewpoint
When It Comes To Terrorism
We’re All Racial Profilers

Article by Bob Steinburg - Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Racial Profiling: because of its roots, the very words offend many of us. It somehow seems un-American that police or security personnel target a potential suspect because of race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.

One of the most familiar forms of racial profiling in this country has been referred to as “DWB” or “Driving While Black.” Police reportedly stopped some motorists under the premise that they committed a traffic crime-often an excuse to exercise a search based on a false assumption that blacks were more likely to be transporting illegal drugs. It was also an intimidation tactic to instill fear. In 1999, Gov. Jim Hunt signed the nation’s first law to track racial profiling of minorities targeted by law enforcement officers.

The reality is that the United States is becoming more ethnically diverse. This month the U.S. Census bureau reported that 14 North Carolina counties now are “majority-minority,” with non-Hispanic whites outnumbered by African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities. Included are Robeson, Hertford, Bertie, Warren, Edgecomb, Northampton, Halifax, Hoke, Vance, Durham, Washington, Anson, Greene and Scotland counties.

Racial profiling is abhorrent to our psyches. But as a result of global terrorism, there are instances where it is necessary for our survival.

After 9-11, the U.S. – aided by the passage of the Patriot Act-is directing its attention primarily toward a certain profile, giving us increased access to foreign intelligence surveillance, including wiretaps and the interception of electronic communications. This has raised the ire of many, including the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is convinced constitutional rights are being trampled. Whose rights? Certainly not mine, nor I suspect yours.

It’s easy to say you are against racial profiling when you are sitting comfortably at home in your easy chair watching the evening news or reading your newspaper. Put yourself potentially in harms way and see if that view changes.

My wife and I returned from vacation recently and traveled through different airports. What I observed will not shock you and, in fact, should seem normal given the times we live in. Almost everyone preparing to board flights anxiously peered at fellow passengers and if spotting one that appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, remained focused on them throughout the flight. On one flight, when an apparent Middle Eastern gentleman kept getting up to use the rest room, first at the front of the plane and then at the back, you could sense the anxiety spiraling. Even the flight attendants seemed overly- anxious.

While likely no different than you or me except for skin color or facial features, we were still apprehensive. It’s unfortunate. These travelers might have been Americans no less patriotic than the rest of us. But after the deaths of 2,974 in 9/11, it’s human nature.

The good news is that airport security was excellent. On our vacation, everyone was checked thoroughly before being allowed into the boarding area. In opening our bags after arriving at our destination, and then upon our return home, we found greetings from the Transportation Security Administration notifying us our bags were inspected.

President Bush has declared war on terrorism. The goal: track down Osama Bin Laden. Bring al-Qaeda to justice. Eliminate terrorism. We have not had a terrorist attack since 9/11. The folks on the front lines are doing a good job with the tools we have given them to protect us. More may be needed. While we may be inconvenienced, most of our lives have not changed all that much.

To continue to insure we remain safe we must continue scanning our environment for potential threats. If that is racial profiling, than so be it.

The problem that Bob is talking about here is that a large element of America is hostile to America, and to protect ourselves from them we are limiting our own freedoms. Many hostile groups want to change everything that makes us a great nation, like life, liberty and "free enterprise" (though that was not listed as a right). The ACLU and various liberal dominated groups like the Democrat Party believe the issue of those things they believe are "Constitutional Rights" are more important than real rights, like liberty and freedom. They also believe that since they hate America, that any group that hates America should benefit from "rights" under the Constitution too. As an example, the ACLU argued that people on a list of foreign terrorists should benefit from the general prohibition against intercepting phone calls because they were protected by the Constitution.

The people who want to destroy our nation have rights? Only to liberals who are only too happy to align themselves with anyone who hates us.


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