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Smart Profiling is More Effective Than Racial Profiling Essay

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America has a long history of perpetrating great injustices against minority groups during wartime. The author of “Freedom vs. Security” and chief Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria traces these acts of racial profiling all the way back to 1790 during the French-American War (Zakaria 308). Such injustices are usually “overreactions to a limited threat” (Zakaria 309). Zakaria identifies the current mistreatment of Middle Eastern-Muslims within the United States as a similar overreaction (Zakaria 309). In the war on terror, an unfair emphasis has been placed on the race and religion of terrorism suspects. This use of racial profiling as a tool in the war on terrorism is questionable at best. Alternatives such as smart profiling may be promising, but requires some modifications before it protects the right of all citizens.
Some believe that racial profiling is a myth. People such as failed conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, the author of “Civil Liberties After 9/11,” feel that racial profiling “does not exist” and believe that “the idea [of racial profiling] rests on false assumption[s]” (Bork 290). Bork believes there is a “stigma attached to [racial] profiling” which could involve random frisking and luggage checks as a means to maintain national security, and he defines this stigma as a mere matter of political correctness (Bork 290-291). Bork’s view would be more credible if he had any clear evidence that the 9/11 attacks could have been prevented by racial profiling, but he gives his reader no such substantiation. Bork uses the analogy of state policemen pulling over African-Americans for speeding to illustrate the logic behind his position (Bork 290). This logic assumes that it is appropriate to target minorities if...


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...or to be considered when seeking to identify potential terrorists. To focus on race is not only ineffective but violates individuals’ civil rights. Smart profiling offers an alternative method in identifying terrorists, yet its continued reliance on human intuition still threatens civil liberties. One possible solution is to move towards a more technical definition of suspicious behavior in an effort to remove human judgment from security decisions. In the meantime, smart profiling is at least a step in the right direction.



Works Cited

Bork, Robert H. "Civil Liberties After 9/11." The Well-Crafted Argument. Eds. Fred D. White and Simone J. Billings. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 288-99.
Zakaria, Fareed. “Freedom vs. Security.” The Well Crafted Argument. Eds. Fred D. White and Simone J. Billings. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005. 307-313.


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