The Instigator
JrostNHS
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
ewrightnhs
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Racial Profiling should be used in airports and other transportation terminals

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JrostNHS
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/15/2013 Category: People
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,688 times Debate No: 38961
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

JrostNHS

Pro

Racial profiling has become a topic of heated debate in the last decade. Although racial profiling in police work has always sparked controversy, in recent years the focus of racial profiling has been on the role it plays in airport security and its ability to prevent terrorist attacks and loss of life. According to Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed--and How to Stop It, "With the growing threats by al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups to our airlines, rail and bus systems and their passengers, now is the time to discard political correctness and do the right thing: adopt the best existing profiling methods before another disaster occurs" (1). Stereotyping is faster and is not necessarily racism, discrimination, or harassment. Racial profiling in airports means making practical assessments of threats, and race, religion, and ethnicity can all play a role in criminality (2). The fact of the matter is that profiling is sound police work, and the TSA should not waste its limited resources screening 30 year old Muslim men and 70 year old white women equally. There is no question that Islamic terrorist groups have a vendetta against the United States and wish to perpetrate attacks against America, which usually manifest in plots against public transportation services. All that can be done must be done to prevent any of these attacks, and racial profiling is a useful, effective tool that ensures the safety of the country.

(1)http://sks.sirs.com...
(2)http://sks.sirs.com...
ewrightnhs

Con

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, airport security changed drastically. The Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were established shortly after 9/11. The TSA amplified general airport security and employed specific anti-terrorist strategies. Behavioral assessment, the evaluation of a traveler"s threat level based upon suspicious behavior, quickly evolved into racial profiling, the disproportionate targeting of an ethnic group based on their skin color and appearance. While many Americans passionately believe in the proven effectiveness of racial profiling, in fact, a recent investigation by the General Accounting Office suggests that the program was adopted despite having no scientific basis (1). Legally, racial profiling violates the constitutional right of remaining "innocent until proven guilty" (2). In a broader sense, this system of terror-prevention is counterproductive. Racial profiling alienates entire ethnic communities whose cooperation is essential to gathering intelligence on the select few who could actually be terrorists (2). Squandering scarce public safety resources on unproven security measures that infringe upon the rights of innocent people and divert attention from true security threats does not keep travelers safe, and it certainly does not keep America free.

(1) https://www.aclu.org...
(2) Nomani, Asra Q., and Hassan Abbas. "Is Racial or Religious Profiling Ever Justified?." New York Times Upfront. 18 Apr 2011: 22. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
Debate Round No. 1
JrostNHS

Pro

Opponents to racial profiling in airport security argue that it infringes upon constitutional rights and alienates ethnic groups. However, none of these claims are reason enough to stop racial profiling in airports. Cliffman S. Fishman, a professor of law at the Catholic University of America, argues that to target an entire ethnic group is in most cases illegal and violates fundamental American values, however it is justified for the time being for several reasons. The perpetrators responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks launched against America by foreigners since 1993 were from the Middle East, Algeria, or Pakistan (Fishman). Supporters of racial profiling in airports do not necessarily believe that it is an ethical practice, and certainly do not think it should be a permanent solution. Just as the Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, Muslim Americans must too temporarily sacrifice some of their rights for the security of the nation as a whole. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and until airport security is perfected TSA officials must resort to the most pragmatic, effective approach: profiling. Furthermore, profiling in airports does not need to alienate the ethnic groups targeted. Jean AbiNader, managing director for the Arab American Institute, claims that, "in poll after poll taken after September 11, Arab Americans indicated their overwhelming desire to cooperate with the authorities to improve airline security" (AbiNader). To deny that there is a greater risk among Middle Eastern males would just be ignorant, and more time and resources should logically be devoted to screening passengers that pose a higher risk. As long as the profiling is conducted in a courteous manner, and TSA officials are not rude and abusive, ethnic groups who are targeted will not foster resentment or become alienated. However, it must be made clear that profiling is only a temporary measure being used until airport security increases. For the good of the entire nation, sometimes individual groups of people may lose some of their rights. However, to best protect the lives of innocent Americans, racial profiling should be employed. The use of profiling is certainly preferable to a repeat of an attack on the scale of 9/11.

Fishman, Clifford S. "Civil Liberties in Wartime." CQ Researcher by CQ Press. CQ Press, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.
AbiNader, Jean. "Civil Liberties in Wartime." CQ Researcher by CQ Press. CQ Press, n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2013.
ewrightnhs

Con

While supporters of racial profiling ardently believe in the advantages of stereotyping airline passengers, many fail to recognize that not all terrorists are Muslim men. In recent years, many acts of terrorism have been carried out by Americans, Europeans, and others ethnically and/or religiously unaffiliated with Islam. According to Professor of Law Timothy Ravich "terrorists come from every background, and age, sex, ethnicity, education, and economic status are becoming irrelevant considerations for profiling purposes" (Ravich). With fair skin, American citizenship, and no Middle-Eastern roots, the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers, evaded investigation while the FBI wasted time interrogating a hospitalized Muslim victim. Security that bases its special checks solely on the race and appearance of its passengers can easily ignore threat indicators which more objective, equitable investigation would notice. After 9/11, Arab-American communities were not only subjected to racial profiling but a swell of violent hate crimes and lasting societal estrangement. It is culturally insensitive to believe that those subjected to racial profiling should just overlook the system"s hateful roots and unethical nature. In 2008, a national survey found that white Americans are the most likely to believe racial profiling is justified and the least likely to believe it is widespread (Higgins 1537). White American airline passengers are personally unaffected by racial profiling and have unrealistic ideas about its social implications on racially profiled Americans. Racial profiling should not stand even as a temporary security solution because of its reliance on subjective, increasingly irrelevant stereotypes and its continuing alienation of Muslim Americans.

Ravich, Timothy. "Is Airline Passenger Profiling Necessary?" University of Miami Law Review.1. Vol. 62. (October 2007). Print.

Higgins, George. "Examining the Generality of Citizens' Views on Racial Profiling inDiverse Situational Contexts." Criminal Justice and Behavior. Vol. 35. (10November 2008): 1527-1540. Print.
Debate Round No. 2
JrostNHS

Pro

It is indeed true that not all terrorists are Muslim men. That said, the marathon bombers were Muslim extremists who although Caucasian, would certainly have been screened additionally in airport security due to their names, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Opponents of racial profiling like to equate pragmatic police work with hate crimes. However, the fact of the matter is that moderate amount of profiling, coupled with other factors, can create a much more effective and efficient security system to protect American lives. Israel is widely considered to have the best airport security in the world. Terrorists have not made it through security at Ben Gurion International Airport since 1972 (Palmer). However, the average passenger has a much easier time making it through airport security in America than in Israel. In Israel, there are no full body scanners that everyone must pass through. Rather, profiling is used, and effectively (Palmer). All passengers engage in a brief Q&A session with Polyglot agents, who assess passenger threat level. Only 2-5% of people require additional screening, and this group is determined by their responses to the questions, background, and to some extent ethnicity. Profiling, when used correctly, is effective. And although not yet perfected, that is exactly what airport officials in in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Detroit and Miami are trying to do. Alvy Dodson, public safety director at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport stated, "I don't want (officers) just sitting there waiting for a call to come in. I want them observing people, observing their behavior and engaging them in conversation. They're looking for people whose activities don't look right" (Frank). This type of active police work is not only cheap, it provides another level of effective security. However, the ACLU believes that behavior screening leads to unconstitutional profiling and has launched campaigns and lawsuits to hinder its implementation (Frank). Clearly some sort of balance between civil liberties and racial profiling must be reached, however the best resolution is not to do away with profiling techniques altogether and leave America in danger of attack. Educated, well trained, responsible security agents must be able to use race as one of several means of identifying suspicious persons. At the time being, this is the cheapest, most effective solution to airport security. Although it is key that these officials do not begin detaining citizens solely based on the color of their skin, profiling to a certain extent is necessary.

Palmer, Brain. "What's so Great about Israeli Security?" Slate Magazine. N.p., 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.

Frank, Thomas. "Airport Security Uses Talk As Tactic." USA TODAY. Dec. 27 2005: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 20 Oct 2013.
ewrightnhs

Con

ewrightnhs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
JrostNHS

Pro

JrostNHS forfeited this round.
ewrightnhs

Con

ewrightnhs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
JrostNHS

Pro

JrostNHS forfeited this round.
ewrightnhs

Con

ewrightnhs forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
As always: happy to clarify anything in this RFD.

And sorry for the typos.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
How very unfortunate that the last 3 posts were forfeits! I found myself very interested in this debate.

As to points:

S&G and Sourcing seemed sufficiently equal. Conduct to Pro for Con's instigation of the forfeiting.

For arguments: I think Con was doing quite well. However, the forfeits hurt his case (in addition to the conduct) because Pro's final round put forth a very comprehensive case for including racial profiling among other factors that can be used. While some arguments were problematic (Pro's mentioning of Muslims, the religious affiliation, in a discussion of *racial* profiling, and his assertions regarding the Tsarnaev brothers seemed unjustified, and, though Con never rebutted the Japanese Internment point, I personally found it to be an utter failure based on the history--a rebuttal that, it should be noted, Con did not provide, which forces me to see it as unfortunately a standing argument). Pro also spent too much time on behavior profiling for a debate on *racial* profiling), Pro put forth a case which Con's points prior simply did not sufficiently rebut, and Con missed his opportunity to do so, letting Pro have the "last word" of argument. Pro's case hinged on the assertion "Educated, well trained, responsible security agents must be able to use race as one of several means of identifying suspicious persons.", and Con's objections were insufficient to justify prohibition--his counter-examples fail to make his case unless he can make a strong case for them being *general* or *consistent* problems inherent to profiling and inescapable from a practical standpoint--and he did not do so.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
JrostNHSewrightnhsTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.