If you ask the African American community about racial profiling, you’ll hear plenty of stories about being pulled over by police just because of the color of their skin. In some cities, like New York City, this profiling was taken to a new level with patdowns of certain people who have certain characteristics. When it comes to stories about the airport, the Muslim and Arab communities have similar stories to tell.
The problem with racial profiling is that at best estimates, the chances of a bomber coming from an Islamic community is 1 in 80 million.
Airport Racial Profiling
You’re actually four times more likely to die in a plane crash on the average flight than you are to have a terrorist who is Arab or Muslim on your flight. The harsh reality is this: since 2011, there have been two Muslim terrorists. One hid a bomb in their shoe and the other hid it in their underwear. This means virtually everyone who is stopped at the airport is completely innocent.
- Think about who can be a Muslim: anyone can convert to this religion. This means that anyone of any race from any country could be a potential terrorist, not just someone who follows strict dress codes or has an Arabic appearance.
- People aren’t stupid. When they see airport racial profiling going on, they will adapt so that they can avoid these security measures. The Chechens recruited female bombers specifically because Russian security wasn’t as thorough with them as they were with men.
- The costs are enormous for every false alarm. Justified under the guise of trying to provide security, the reality is that over 600 million people fly every year and this costs millions every time there is a mistake.
- When an extensive security presence is needed, there will always be stories of abuse. This has been seen with the TSA with small children, individuals with disabilities, and even a child with cerebral palsy.
The problem is that terrorism wants to look like nothing that is being looked at with current security measures. If you have a radicalized Islamist group who is fighting for their cause, who would they try to recruit to support their cause? A white, middle class American who has a family background in Christianity. Who would suspect someone like that of plotting to do something? This is why racial profiling at airports just doesn’t work. Terrorism adapts, evolves, and eventually grows because the security is based on people’s fears instead of real world facts.
How Widespread Is Racial Profiling?
- More than half of all Americans believe that racial profiling is a widespread problem that is pervasive and unjust.
- Despite 53% of Americans seeing racial profiling as widespread and problematic, only 42% believe this is a problem when it occurs at an airport.
- Hispanics are the racial group who sees racial profiling at an airport as most problematic, with 54% saying that the practice is out of hand. Only 4 in 10 Caucasian Americans hold the same thought.
- When trying to stop a theft, 72% of Americans state that the use of racial profiling is not justified. In comparison, only 53% of Americans at an airport security checkpoint say that racial profiling is never justified.
- Caucasian Americans are the most likely to accept racial profiling at security checkpoints in an airport as nearly half believe it is justified to stop people because of their race.
- The African American population is the least likely to say that the practice of racial profiling is ever justified.
It only goes to show that the people who have the biggest issues with racial profiling are the ones who are affected directly with it. It also only goes to show that the people who support the practice the most are the most likely to benefit from it. Caucasian folks are the most likely to be scared because of differences and then translate that fear into a potential terror attack. By having racial profiling engaged at an airport, they can easily make it through security and feel safe because other racial groups can’t make it through security as easily.
What Do The Racial Profiling Statistics Show?
- Using the stop and frisk policies that were implemented in New York City, over 600,000 people were stopped because of their appearance.
- Out of the 600k people who were stopped, 84% of them where either Hispanic or African American.
- Blacks were 127% more likely to be stopped than whites during this campaign.
- Only 2% of those who were stopped on the streets of NYC, where no metal detectors or other security checkpoints were in place, had a weapon.
- Racial minorities were found to be less likely than the Caucasian majority to be carrying a weapon, have drugs on them, or some other form of contraband.
What these facts from NYC show is that the real problem isn’t the racial minority. It’s the racial majority! People are recruited to create terror because they will blend in. The Caucasian majority already knows that they are less likely to be stopped, so they take liberties with this knowledge just as any terrorist group would. That doesn’t mean your average middle class white family in the United States is going to be a terrorist. It means that you’re more likely to find something in stopping that family at a security checkpoint than you are by using racial profiling as the primary method of screening people. That’s why it is so important for racial profiling to become a thing of the past. Instead of looking at what people appear to be, it is more important to see people for who they really are. That’s the best way to create a safer environment on an airplane and the world at large.