Objective Security

Imagine yourself at an airport, ready for vacation. You give the guard your ticket and he gives you a skeptical look. Next, you go through security and right as you’re about to put your carry-on suitcase in the bin to be scanned, another guard comes up to you and beckons you to “step aside”. There the guard pats you down, as he is patting you down, you glance over at a family who is just breezing through security. The guard finally declares you clear, and you set off, wondering “what did I do?” You are a Muslim, dressed in traditional clothing. Being “patted down” is supposed to keep people safe, but what is it really doing? By basic procedures such as this, airport security is treating an entire ethnicity as a flight risk. I agree that terrorism is a problem in the United States, and that it needs to be stopped. The problem is that we can’t assume all Muslims are terrorists, because there are inland terrorist and people from other ethnicities. If the United States is so desperate for a solution to terrorism why can’t they increase security? Most people may argue that security is already tight enough, but what about the attempted bombing of an airplane on its way in Detroit last Christmas? The man was said to have been linked to Al- Qaeda, but he was Nigerian and somehow got passed security. The opposition may also say that when people go through security they feel as if they don’t need all of the regulations, because “ they didn’t do anything wrong” but imagine you on the other side. If you were being targeted wouldn’t you think that you are being unnecessarily searched because of the way you dress, your beliefs? You may also find it annoying and humiliating if you are the only person out of a group in need of search, because let’s face it people will stare at you like you did something wrong. If the United States wants to keep its people safer, than they need to tighten up security for everyone not just a certain ethnic group. This isn’t the only type of significant racial profiling facing America today. This summer the Arizona legislature passed a law that police could arrest someone of being an illegal immigrant on the basis of suspicion. But what really is “suspicion?” There is no neon sign that says “Hi I’m an illegal immigrant from Mexico, please deport me now”, so how can the police really tell if someone is an illegal immigrant? There are people who are Mexican who either immigrated legally, or were born here. An illegal immigrant looks no different, or speaks any different than a legal one, so on what basis can they judge? Unless the evidence is supported by cold, hard facts no one should be prosecuted on the vague basis of suspicion. Also, if you get arrested you are supposed to show the police your papers of certification. Does this mean anyone who may look Hispanic should carry around their birth certificate or United States citizenship papers? I find it unfair that a certain group has to constantly keep their papers with them, while the rest of the people in this country don’t have to worry about being arrested because the police are simply suspicious. So the million dollar question; is there a way to keep the country secure and safe while being fair,and objective? To me, this middle ground is slim, and honestly we have two options; either tighten up security for everyone and deal with the people’s inconveniences or continue with the trend of targeting ethnic groups, and contribute to this countries already rising prejudice. Sydni White is a Junior from Southfield, MI.