The Instigator
ReaganConservative
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
Acureforthemondays
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Profiling should be deemed acceptable under the circumstances of current and past events.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,269 times Debate No: 1799
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (9)
Votes (15)

 

ReaganConservative

Pro

Muslim extremists committed the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacres; the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover; the 1980's kidnappings in Lebanon; the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing; the 1985 cruise ship Achille Lauro hijacking where terrorists murdered a crippled 69 year old American passenger by throwing him overboard; the 1985 TWA flight 847 hijacking in Athens resulting in the murder of a U.S. Navy officer; the 1998 Pan Am flight 103 bombings; the February 1993 WTC bombing; the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; the 9/11 hijacking of four airliners which were intentionally flown into buildings resulting in the murder of more than 3,000 Americans; the 2002 kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl; the Beslan School hostage crisis which left 344 dead; the 2004 Madrid train bombings which left 192 dead; the 2005 London Underground bombings which left 50 dead; and the 2006 Bombay train bombings which left 200 dead.

The common denominator in all these terrorist acts has been Muslim extremists between the ages of 18 and 40. Since we have limited resources at airports, it only makes sense to screen passengers who resemble the physical description of those who have committed almost 100% of airline terrorism acts during the last 20 years.

It's absurd to suggest that law enforcement officials disregard physical appearance when attempting to screen airport passengers given the fact that 20 of the 20 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks fit the same physical description.

Even the left-leaning New York Times has publicly endorsed racial profiling as a vital tool in the war on terror. In a lead editorial, the NY Times suggested the 9/11 attacks may have been prevented if airports had used "threat profiling" to screen out Muslim terrorists after receiving a CIA warning in August 2001 that al Qaeda was preparing to hijack U.S. airplanes.

If terrorist profiling is racist, then evidently large majorities of Americans, including African Americans, are racist. A 2001 Gallup poll concluded that African-Americans are more likely than any racial or ethnic groups to support profiling and tight airport security checks for Arabs and Arab-Americans. The poll results, reported in the Boston Globe September 30, 2001, showed 71% of blacks vs. 57% of whites, believe Arabs and Arab-Americans should "undergo special, more intensive security checks before boarding airplanes."

Since all of the 9/11 terrorists were Middle Eastern males, it's only logical to assume that paying more attention to Middle Eastern males opposed to 70 year-old Asian grandmothers is in the best national security interests of our country and overall safety for airline travels in general.

Of course, when profiling for potential terrorists, if anyone else displays suspicious behavior such as being fidgety, nervous, or has indirect eye contact, then security should take extra precautions to screen those passengers, even if they don't resemble Middle Eastern males. The job of airport security should be to determine who are the most suspicious and likely potential terrorist threats. Common sense must transcend political correctness when it comes to screening airline passengers in an effort to ensure the safety and security of Americans.

If the FBI received credible intelligence that 8 Middle Eastern males were planning to hijack 4 planes in the U.S. on a certain date, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume security would "profile" by checking all Middle Eastern males?

Consider the alternative. If after receiving the same warning, security failed to "profile," but instead continued to just randomly search little old ladies, the likelihood of preventing the planned hijackings would be dramatically reduced since security checks would be "random" instead of specifically focused on Muslim males.

"Thus, searches should not be 'random' but deliberate," wrote James Q. Wilson, Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, and Heather Higgins, VP of the Independent Women's Forum, in a Wall Street Journal article. "The profile should not be based exclusively on race, but on hints, that is useful stereotypes based on judgments made by rational people...The more we study terrorists the more we will learn about them and the better our screening profiles, our stereotypes, will become. If we apply that knowledge, fewer innocent people will face any burden and more real terrorists will be caught. We will overcome slogans about 'racial profiling' and instead become a bit safer."

If the government can sanction legalized discrimination (i.e. race based preferences) in the name of "diversity," then they can surely sanction consideration of race as one component of terrorist profiling in the name of national security.
Acureforthemondays

Con

Just one quick question before I start. After reading your debate, it would seem that the subject is racial profiling at airports as opposed to racial profiling in general. One could argue that your opening facts are a tad misleading because they, unlike the rest of your argument, do not only include airport related incidents. While I will try my best to tackle all the problems with airport racial profiling, I will also look upon the matter in a broader sense.

I'm confused by your use of logic in your third paragraph. You say that because all the 9/11 hijackers were Muslim, security should always use their descriptions against them. What about millions of people who look just like them that have to deal with unreasonable scrutiny? What about all the other possible terrorists that don't fit your description?

Your points surrounding the New York Times article are also misleading. The article said that 9/11 might have been prevented after a message had been sent out to the CIA, giving them a physical description of the alleged terrorists. This is not a case of racial profiling. Racial profiling is when someone makes a decision solely based on physical description, without any other preceding evidence. If the CIA had a message sent out to them containing a physical description, that's not racial profiling.

Before talking about the Gallup poll you cited, you said that many Americans are racist, using this as a way of justifying racism. Just because you say that many people are racists, that doesn't make it acceptable. Was racism any more fair back in the 1700's when slavery flourished in America? The answer is no.

Something you have to understand about the Gallup poll, was that it was published only 19 days after 9/11. Of course people are going to be more lenient with racial profiling, when one of the worst attacks on American soil happened less than a month ago. Heightened fear and anxiety were motives for such a high percentage of people in favor of racial profiling. To prove my point, Fox News, one of the most conservative news stations out there, said that before 9/11, 33% of Americans approved of random bag searches. In the October following 9/11, that percent rose to 71%. The same poll, published on 2005, also concludes that 49% of Americans disapprove of racial profiling, while 42% agrees.

Now I want to turn my attention to racial profiling outside of airport circumstances. In a poll conducted by Weitzer and Tuch in 2006, 73% of whites and 91% of African Americans disapproved of domestic racial profiling. I'm not saying this automatically makes it correct, I'm just stating some facts. Racial profiling in the name of national security is absurd. If one our country isn't safe enough, fine, increase security, but don't only increase security for those who fit the description of a common criminal.

I also want to bring to your attention, the fourth amendment in the bill of rights. It grants every citizen safety from unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. Skin tone is not probable cause, nor should it be. The acceptance of racial profiling would be a direct infringement of our country's constitution. Racial profiling would also go against the 14th amendment, which states that all citizens will be treated fairly under the law. It's impossible to accept racial profiling as fair, because people don't get to choose what color of skin they have. Those who fit the common criminal stereotype have to deal with it for their whole lives.

Finally, you're line about the 70 year-old Asian grandmother is a perfect example of racial profiling. You labeled the fictional grandmother Asian to help support your claim, because Asians are one of the most uncommonly arrested races in America. You're limiting your ability to think about people freely when using such racial stereotypes.

While you say racial profiling will benefit national security, it also unfairly singles-outs racial groups and leaves them with the short end of the stick. Is that the kind of American you want?
Debate Round No. 1
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by ReaganConservative 9 years ago
ReaganConservative
Oops, I thought he was referring to the 69 year old man who was killed in a terrorist act. My apologies.
Posted by Acureforthemondays 9 years ago
Acureforthemondays
hey Reaganconservative, just wanted to thank you for the debate. It was my first one, and I had a lot of fun.
Posted by mattresses 9 years ago
mattresses
"...it's only logical to assume that paying more attention to Middle Eastern males opposed to 70 year-old Asian grandmothers..."

ReaganConservative... I'm sorry, but if you don't even know what the hell you're saying, you shouldn't be saying it. And if you want to keep debating, make the debate longer... don't respond like an idiot in the comment section.
Posted by ReaganConservative 9 years ago
ReaganConservative
"Before talking about the Gallup poll you cited, you said that many Americans are racist, using this as a way of justifying racism."

--I didn't say many Americans are racist. I said if terrorist profiling were racist, then many Americans would be guilty of racism, however, profiling is not racist.

"Racial profiling is when someone makes a decision solely based on physical description, without any other preceding evidence."

--So I guess what I'm talking about isn't racial profiling, since the 3,000 Americans slaughtered on 9/11 as well as in the past are enough evidence. When there is a 100% chance of it being an Islamic extremist, as the evidence proves, it's not a profile, it's a description of the suspect.

"You labeled the fictional grandmother Asian to help support your claim"
--I said "American" not "Asian." And where did I say grandmother? I said "him."

"To prove my point, Fox News, one of the most conservative news stations out there, said that before 9/11, 33% of Americans approved of random bag searches"
--We hadn't suffered an attack in which 3,000 innocent Americans were slaughtered by Islamic extremists yet.

"If one our country isn't safe enough, fine, increase security"
--Well profiling is a large step forward and will save lives.

"but don't only increase security for those who fit the description of a common criminal."
--When someone fits the description of the common criminal that is responsible for 100% of airline attacks against the U.S. in the last 15 years...I'll leave it at that.

"Is that the kind of American you want?"
--I think you mean "America" not "American", but to answer the question: You're damn right.
Posted by Kreuzian 9 years ago
Kreuzian
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy". - James Madison, founding father and US president.
Posted by CP 9 years ago
CP
Acure:
Staying within the confines of the Airport Security debate, it seems unreasonable to use the 4th Amendment as a counter-argument unless you believe that there should be absolutely no checks at airports. Whether based on randomization or racial profiling, by your own admission, a person's 4th Amendment right is being violated. This would include checks down to the most basic level of baggage x-ray. While I recognize that giving up freedoms can become a slippery slope (Franklin's words as echoed by Kreuzian), would you not agree that these "checks" confined only to airports serve a greater good for protection of all passengers?

Also, while I agree that rationale and logic are trumped by fear and anxiety after traumatic events, do you really believe that the increase in the poll regarding random bag searches is merely an irrational response to 9/11? I would contend that the poll shows rational individuals recognized a threat that was previously foreign to them. As such, they rationalized the perceived advantages/disadvantages of random bag searches against this newly recognized threat and made their decision. Furthermore, the idea that less Americans approve of racial profiling in Airports in 2005 should not surprise anyone. In the years following 9/11 (to current) it has been forced down people's throats that racial profiling is "bad" or "unjust" by most major media outlets. Based on the below Gallup Poll, the number of Americans who continue to believe in profiling has decreased since 2001, but still remains as the majority opinion.

http://www.gallup.com...
A. Requiring Arabs, including those who are U.S. citizens, to undergo special, more intensive security checks before boarding airplanes in the U.S.

Favor Oppose No opinion
2006 Aug 18-20 53% 45 2
2005 Jul 22-24 53% 46 1
2001 Sep 14-15 58% 41
Posted by Kreuzian 9 years ago
Kreuzian
I wish there was an option for "no one". But I have to give acure the vote as he argued far better, than just giving some statistics of alleged bombings and imploring on an emotional, not logical, basis that it is justification for increased security.

While ReaganCon argues against Reagan's freedom ideas: that anyone willing to give up freedom to fight the soviets "deserves a master", or Reagan's proclamation that we should not meddle in mideast politics;

Acure on the other hand, has gone a little on the deep end by pretending there are no differences between the races that deserve a looking at.

I'm marrying outside my race, I must say, the differences are what makes life interesting.

In summation: ReaganCon, it is your government, not arabs, that you need to fear. They REFUSE to close down the border as ANY honest government would in the event of a terrorist threat. They are lying to you and manipulating you as Reagan predicted they would. Anyone willing to give up freedom for security, deserves neither.

Methods to have security without giving up freedom include: 1. Protecting the borders - hardly being done.
2. Checking port containers - hardly being done.
3. Making more friends around the world - opposite being done, hatred of USA at all-time high.
4. Not supporting Muslim dictatorships such as Bush's friend Musharraf of Pakistan.

Whereas all methods of tyrannical "security" protection are being done:
1. All intelligence services merged, under one director responsible only to the president.

2. Creation of "Homeland Security", the verbatim translation of Heimat Sicherheitdienst, the agency Hitler created after the Reichstag fire blamed on "terrorists".

3. As after both the Reichstag Fire, and WTC Fire, passage of an Act allowing new security measures, the "Enabling Act" and "PATRIOT Act" were approved. The bill had 10 minutes for reading by the parliaments in both countries though it was hundreds of pages.

4. War
Posted by U.S_Patriot 9 years ago
U.S_Patriot
Reaganconservative is very awesome.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"Profiling" be it racial or otherwise is critical to effective law enforcement. The media likes to make it an issue of prejudice based on race, and in some cases it might be, but on the whole it certainly isn't.

There are some places you don't expect to find a white guy driving a brand new BMW and wearing a rolex and 3-pc. suit. Pulling into an alley in the ghetto, for example. If a law enforcement officer observes such, it's logical and reasonable believe he probably isn't there visiting his sister or some other legitimate reason.

To ignore profiling is to accept that every odd behavior has a rationale and legal basis and would make crime prevention far more difficult.
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