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Essay by 24  •  December 30, 2010  •  361 Words (2 Pages)  •  472 Views

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In the months preceding September 11, 2001, a national consensus had emerged on the need to combat racial profiling. In the fearful aftermath of the terrorist attacks, some reassessed their views. It is now time to dispel those doubts, reawaken the national consensus, and put a stop to racial profiling in America. Today I will be defining racial profiling, showing how it does not reduce terrorism, and how it puts an unfair burden upon minorities.

Racial profiling occurs when law enforcement agents impermissibly consider race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin in deciding whom to investigate. The practice was widespread before September 11 and has persistently grown since then, both in the street-level context in which it originally arose and in the new context of terrorism.

Racial Profiling does not reduce terrorism. The Fact is many cases of profiling in the past have shown that it only hinders the judgment of law enforcement. "Indeed a helpful indicator of intent to harm is not how people look but how they behave; focusing on looks distracts authorities from identifying suspicious behavior (Harris 1)." A helpful reminder of this is that terrorists are not just one race or ethnicity, they are a multitude of people not deriving from just a couple of races and ethnicities, but from each and every country and race.

Evidence of how terrorists work lies within this statement by David Harris:

"In the aftermath of September 11, we began to harden cockpit doors, check carry on bags and profile Middle Eastern men. Al Qaeda's reaction was Richard Reid--a non-Arab, non-Middle Easterner from England, a British citizen with a valid U.K. passport and a bomb in his shoe. They knew what we were looking for and did not repeat what they had done in the past. A continued focus on racial profiling, whether in airports or by federal agents, threatens to blinker our vision and make it

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