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Racial Profiling

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Hypothesis/Outline

Hypothesis: The events of September 11th has caused racial profiling, a practice that was vilified by many just months ago, to become a common and accepted practice used by the government, airline officials, police agencies, and the American public. Profiling has also become a necessary tool used to prevent further terrorist attacks on the United States.

Map of the Territory:

I. Racial profiling is the practice of "selecting someone for investigation or stronger action on the basis of race, national origin or ethnicity." (Weinstien, Finnegan and Wantanabe 1)

A. Racial profiling is a practice that has been debated and for the most part vilified over the last decade.

1. Before September 11th the majority of Americans "felt that racial profiling is a wide spread phenomenon, and that it must be rooted out." (Harris 1)

2. Various laws were passed prior to September 11th, banning racial profiling by police officers. One such law is S.989 the End Racial Profiling act of 2001, which uses data collection as tool to gather information as to who is being targeted and to hold police officers and agencies accountable.

3. The most publicized incidents of racial profiling involved New Jersey police officers targeting black men, puling them over and searching there cars looking for drugs. From this the term "driving while black" was coined.

C. Even before September 11th Arab-Americans experienced forms for racial profiling.

1.In the 1970's the view of Arabs as terrorists became prevalent, and again during the Gulf War. During this time Elected-officials in the United States who were of Arab decent were questioned by the FBI regarding terrorism being planned in the U.S. (Samhan, 2)

2. It is the view of some sociologists that before September 11th the public in the United States had an already negative view toward people of Arab decent but most gave little thought to the subject. (Deaux, 4)

II. Following the attacks of September 11th the racial profiling of Arab Americans has become much more prevalent.

A. In the days following the attack the majority of Americans reacted to anyone of Arab decent with fear and anger.

1. Between September 11th and November 9th the American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee confirmed 520 violent incidents directed toward Arab Americans, and 27 incidents in which Arab Americans have been expelled from a flight. Complaints from Arab Americans to the ADC also include employment discrimination, law enforcement profiling, and tensions in schools. (ADC, 1)

2. These incidents have been compared to the treatment of Japanese Americans during WW2, culminating in their internment.

B. The government has had a contradictory stance on Racial profiling since September 11th.

1. Publicly President Bush has denounced the practice of profiling Arab Americans and has urged all of the American people not to practice it.

2. Laws such as the USA Patriot Act which gives the government sweeping powers to detain, search, watch, anyone based on suspicion. The government has also decided to try non-citizens in military tribunals instead of civilian courts.

3. Another tactic the government is using is calling in 5,000 men of Arab decent holding temporary visas in for interviews with police agencies regarding possible knowledge of the terrorist attacks.

a) Some police agencies have refused to do the interviews on the basis that it violates the men's civil rights. Portland police were the first to refuse with many other agencies following their lead.

IV. While the reaction from the Arab community to the racial profiling has been deeply resentful there is also understanding.

A. The Arab community is trying thorough the media, and through their own community improve

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