Thursday, August 31, 2006

This American Doesn't Back Racial Profiling



At Last Best Place Mike makes an argument in support of racial profiling. I have read much of what Mike has to say, often I agree but this time I don't. I wanted to take this chance to respectfully refute his claims.

Are they (Arabs) or are they not the racial group most responsible for the indiscriminate murder of innocent Americans and others in the past 10+ years?

I think that some of the folks at What's White in Montana would make that same claim about inner city African-American gang members. Additionally, that same statement could come from civilians in Iraq, just reverse the words Arabs and Americans. Where does it stop?

Yes, of course I realize that under certain circumstances that profiling might not work within the confines of the argument presented above. Such instances might involve an American or Western convert to Islam...

The argument has been made many times that the terrorist will adapt in this manner and in that case racial profiling will actually detract from finding the real terrorist. Mike even makes the argument that the American public has finally become ceasingly tired of the indiscriminate searching of old ladies bras and undergarments. If we come to rely on racial profiling, then the next attack will come in an old ladies bra.

What Mike doesn't address is the better alternative to racial profiling, behavior profiling. Many experts suggest that this is a better method of dealing with the threat of terrorism. This omission and the tone of this and previous posts makes me wonder if it is motivated by his concern of airline safety or his feelings towards Arabs.

15 comments:

Mike said...

I might suggest you look up the definition of "refute" in the dictionary because that's not what your post if about. If you want to call me a racist, similar in nature to the trolls over at WRiM, then at least have the balls to come right out and say it...you are a native Montanan, right?

If you've actually read what I've written on the subject previously you might have been aware that I don't subscribe to any particular "feelings towards Arabs." As long as they leave Israel alone, it's live and let live. I might also point out that a real-live Persian has signing privileges on my company's accounts. Would that perhaps qualify in "Shane's World" as indicative of my "feelings towards Arabs?"

Are you actually attempting to "refute" my argument by claiming in a circumferential way that Iraqi civilians might claim that "white Americans" are the racial group most responsible for the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians? Have you watched, listened, or read the news coming from that part of the world in, oh I don't know, the last few months? Iraqis are killing Iraqis at a rate far surpassing that of American military actions.

"If we come to rely on racial profiling, then the next attack will come in an old ladies bra." Given the social dynamics of Arab culture, which no doubt you're intimately familiar with, an "old Arab woman" would not be trusted to carry out a suicide attack...although it wouldn't be beyond imagination to suggest that an Arab man might try to secretly hide explosives in an old womans suitcase without her knowledge.

And for the record, I have also previously addressed behavior profiling, pioneered I might add by El Al.

Seriously, dismissive attitudes on what more than a plurality of Americans agree is a useful tool to help prevent the indiscrimate murder of Americans and other Westerners makes be ashamed to be a member of the same political party as you.

Shane C. Mason said...

Mike,

That was a pretty sad attack. I approached your argument with respect, you did not offer me the same courtesy. So be it.

real-live Persian has signing privileges on my company's accounts

Are you making the 'token' argument here?

Iraqis are killing Iraqis at a rate far surpassing that of American military actions.

You can't have your argument both ways buddy. Then you must admit that Americans are killing Americans at a rate far surpassing any terrorist actions.

Given the social dynamics of Arab culture, which no doubt you're intimately familiar with, an "old Arab woman" would not be trusted to carry out a suicide attack...

Oh, I think that you need to remember back a few months to the palestinian lady that was caught with bomb strapped to her.

f you've actually read what I've written on the subject previously you might have been aware that I don't subscribe to any particular "feelings towards Arabs."

Are you sure about that? I am not going to do you the disservice of looking back through your presious posts, I would just say that maybe you should. Pay attention to how you address Islam. I never set out to call you a racist, my intentions were to say that I disagree with the thoughts and tones of your post.

Seriously, dismissive attitudes on what more than a plurality of Americans agree is a useful tool to help prevent the indiscrimate murder of Americans and other Westerners makes be ashamed to be a member of the same political party as you.

I could say the same about one that would follow an ineffective course of action when more effective actions are being ignored becuase that leads to the very edge of a slippery slope.

Jay Stevens said...

Racial profiling does not work.

Airport security currently does NOT indiscriminately search passengers. They are using background/behavior profiling.

Mike, you yourself noted that El Al prefers behavior profiling over racial/ethnic profiling. Why should American airlines differ from El Al, which has a fantastic record for preventing hijacking?

Since racial profiling isn't a "useful tool to help prevent indiscriminate murder of Americans," -- at least according to the Attorney General and the nation's security agencies -- instituting racial profiling will result only in stirring up animosity between white and Arab Americans. People are already mistakenly equating terror with skin color and religion; why fuel the antagonism?

Jay Stevens said...

Racial profiling does not work.

Airline security does not indiscriminately search passengers.

Mike’s correct in saying that El Al uses behavior profiling and background checks, not racial profiling. Considering El Al’s record, I cannot fathom why Mike wants American airports and airlines to instead profile using race.

The Attorney General and the security agencies reject racial profiling. They recognize that it’s not a “useful tool” in preventing terror, but actually a detriment to preventing terror. Stirring up ethnic and religious tensions at this time would be dumb; it’s one of the reasons we’re losing the Iraq war. The war on terror should rely on police action and diplomacy. We need to win the war of ideas. Racial profiling ensures we lose.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps we should use racial profiling. Perhaps we should require American Muslims to sew yellow crescents to their armsleeves.

Mike said...

"I approached your argument with respect, you did not offer me the same courtesy."

From where I'm sitting, comparing my argument to what exists in places at WRiM is neither respectful or courteous.

"Are you making the token agrument here?"

No Shane, simply highlighting that I may have more empirical life experience's with people from different cultures that you... and no former fundamentalist Christian guilt over previouly held attitudes.

"Oh, I think that you need to remember back a few months to the palestinian lady that was caught with bomb strapped to her."

Of course I remember that indicident but it's not indicative of the dynamics of Arab terrorism against Americans. The Pali's routinely use women and children in their attacks but I know of only one attack in the last 10+ years successfully carried out by a woman. I notice that you didn't address the influence that many Madrassas have in recruiting for terrorist acts, and you're certainly aware women are not even allowed through the door of any Madrass anywhere, right?

" Pay attention to how you address Islam."

One doesn't have to be Arab to be Islamic. The FACT remains that Islam, as a religion, is just not compatible with the West. Time and time again we are preached to, in English, by those who represent that Islam is simply a religion of peace that does not believe in terrorism and believes in mutual respect for all religions, etc. In their native language though the tone is quite different. Do I really need to point this out to you?

Jay:

"Racial profiling does not work."

There is no evidence to suggest that it doesn't.

"Airline security does not indiscriminately search passengers."

Yes, Jay, it does. Luggage is sent through X-Ray machines and other bomb detecting equipment, on international flights often through other searches up to and including search by security personnel, all without your express knowledge or consent.

"Considering El Al’s record, I cannot fathom why Mike wants American airports and airlines to instead profile using race."

I don't think I've ever advocated that behavioral and other methods of profiling be dismissed in favor of ONLY racial profiling, simply that it be added as an additional tool. As it concerns El Al and Israeli airports I saw a report, which must have appeared on CNN (I don't usually have MSNBC or Fox on), that dealt with the issue of racial profiling at Israeli airports. An interview was conducted with a Palestinian man who said simply that that was the price he had to pay if he wanted to leave Israel to conduct business and accepted the method. Anecdotal evidence I'll agree but at least representative of someone with more than a political interest in the issue.

"Stirring up ethnic and religious tensions at this time would be dumb; it’s one of the reasons we’re losing the Iraq war. The war on terror should rely on police action and diplomacy. We need to win the war of ideas. Racial profiling ensures we lose."

The ethnic and religious tensions happening in Iraq were certainly brought on by US action but I'm araid we lost the war in Iraq the moment we dropped the first bomb. Iraq is/was simply a country with 3 distinct cultures and religious identities which was being held together in the only successful way possible...a brutal dictator. When we removed the dictator we removed the only barrier that ever existed for all 3 groups to battle against each other, insuring we would be caught in the middle. Jay, I don't mean to be dismissive of the Kumbayya ideal that winning the war of ideas will win us friends in the Arab world but there is simply no evidence to suggest that it will change any behavior or attitude they have against the West in general or Americans in particular. I am, however, genuinely open to suggestions of where I might look for examples.

"Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps we should use racial profiling. Perhaps we should require American Muslims to sew yellow crescents to their armsleeves."

Disgusting hyperbole for someone who has said his children are Jewish.

Shane C. Mason said...

From where I'm sitting, comparing my argument to what exists in places at WRiM is neither respectful or courteous.

I might have framed that statement better, I was trying to show you the slippery slope argument actually can apply here. However, now that you have said it, it is only different to you becuase you are viewing it from your perspective and seem to be unaware of how it looks to an outside viewer.

I may have more empirical life experience's with people from different cultures that you

Undeterminable. I have lived in many parts of this country and experienced many cultures. I have had close friends of Iranian, Jewish, Asian descent. Additionally, I am quiet well traveled. I will make no asumptions of your experience.

and no former fundamentalist Christian guilt over previouly held attitudes.

You yourself have claimed to have had an experience with islamic terrorism that left you emotionally scarred to the point where you sought therapy. That has biased you beyond doubt more than the fact that I occasionally went to a fundamentalist church when I was young yet can not recall a single remark about Arabs. Most of my beef was about anti-gay rhetoric.

The FACT remains that Islam, as a religion, is just not compatible with the West.

This has slipped way down the slippery slope my friend. Can you really not see this? Think about it. I don't do this lightly, but I will do it now for your statement has warranted it.

Hitler did not think that the Jews were compatible with Germany or Europe. Indeed, he said

Today the Jewish question is no longer a German problem, but a European one.

from Volk

I don't think you are a Hitler. I am just saying that statement makes it obvious to me that you are approaching this in a race/religeon bigoted manner.

Mike said...

"You yourself have claimed to have had an experience with islamic terrorism that left you emotionally scarred to the point where you sought therapy. That has biased you beyond doubt more than the fact that I occasionally went to a fundamentalist church..."

My experience was not with Islamic "terrorism" but rather directly with an Islamic terrorist which led to death of one us. The event, however, is not something that I recall on a daily basis nor dies it enter into the zeitgeist of my feelings towards Arabs/Persians in general.

"I am just saying that statement makes it obvious to me that you are approaching this in a race/religeon bigoted manner."

Well, thanks for not comparing me to Hitler. Way to go! Indeed the very last thing I require are soundbite quotes from Hitler, I can look at the missing branches in my mother's family tree to tell me all I need to know about Hitler's policies and the Shoah.

I'm afraid that you simply don't see this issue the same way I do. I have posted extensively on how Islam, as a religion, is not compatible with the West and I don't believe that is a bigoted statement in the least, much less Hitlerian. Do you not understand that Islam teaches its adherents that those not in agreement with its dogma are somewhat less than human, virtually requiring their murder and enslavement, and that this is taught not as some historical Biblical parable, as happens within Judaism and I suppose Christainity, but as a guiding principle in their daily lives? Have you read the Qur'an? Do you really think detente is possible with people of this mindset? The BEST we can hope for is to eventually wean ourselves off the teet of their petroleum and simply isolate the entire region to the paradigm of suffering caused by THEIR failure to be part of the modern world.

Shane C. Mason said...

I think that it is good to end this conversation with agreement:

The BEST we can hope for is to eventually wean ourselves off the teet of their petroleum and simply isolate the entire region to the paradigm of suffering caused by THEIR failure to be part of the modern world.

I agree 100%. Thank you for your thoughts on this.

Know that my stance on disgreements of these types is that they do not reflect my repect for you or your right to hold such positions. Religeous based discussions leave me feeling ill and despirited, but I am glad that we were able to exchange views on this.

Rock on.

Jay Stevens said...

It's because my children are Jewish that I refuse to accept the idea of profiling based on ethnicity or race or religion. Right now we're talking about Muslims; what's to say in thirty years, it's not Jews who'll get profiled? How would you feel if all Jews were pulled from the lines at airports and searched while the goyim looked on as they filed on to the plane?

I don't want it for my children, or the children of Muslims, either.

Mike said...

Thanks Shane. Nothing I've said in this debate, such as it was, reflects on my opinion of you either.

Mike said...

"what's to say in thirty years, it's not Jews who'll get profiled?"

Didn't you read the latest bulletin to your children, Jay? We control everything thus there'll be a special pass for us in line. Don't tell anyone though ;-)

Seriously though, we aren't the ones teaching our children in Yeshiva to hate others, or that other people are less worthy of life.

Why did the Iranian PM say in a recent speech that “Israel (and by default the rest of the Western world) is the main problem of the Muslim world”?

More than a billion people living in the Muslim world, most of them in horrible conditions. They suffer from hunger, poverty, ignorance, bloodshed that spreads from Kashmir to Kurdistan, from dying Darfur to injured Bangladesh. How come we are the main problem? How exactly are we in their way?

Hatred is indoctrinated into them from Islam, from the Qur'an, and unfortunately it is used, not to teach lessons as it might be in the West, to to be a guide for Jihad and terror against other people.

Why do children in Iran,Syria,Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Paskistan, and elsewhere in the Arab world who could otherwise not even locate Israel on the map (especially because it is so small), burn its flag in the city center and offer to commit suicide for its elimination? Why do Egyptian and Jordanian intellectuals agitate the innocent and helpless against the peace
agreements, even though they know that their failure will push their countries 20 years back? Why are the Syrians willing to stay a pathetic and depressed third world country, for the dubious right to finance terror organizations that will eventually threaten their own country’s existence? It's Islam, and the use of its tenets by their respective religious and civic leaders to keep the masses angry about something other than their own living conditions, standards, and place in the world.

RNinNC said...

Shane, I hate to go OT on a thread, but I haven't been able to find an email address for you. I'm volunteering with a netroots project called www.CrashingTheStates.com, and would like to know if you want to take part. Check out the site when you get the chance, and you can email me at crashingthestates@gmail.com.

Sorry again for the bad etiquette, but hope it'll be worthwhile.

Mark T said...

Shane - you're feeding Mike's paranoia. Want to know who is doing the indiscriminate killing in the mideast? Look to Tel Aviv. Want to know which civilians are dying? Hint - their skin is a tad darker. Want to know who is blowing up buildings, roads, sewage treatment plants, water plants, electrical grids, hotels, neighborhoods, schools and hopsitals? (Hint - Mike says they are peace loving.) Want to know who torutres and disappears people? Hint - they are armed by us.

Mike's a Johnny one-note, oblivious and blinded, hateful of Arabs, Persians, Lebanese. He is disrespectful of Islam in the extreme, yet demanding thatthe religion of his own "peace loving people be afforded full quarter.

You've just had one little go-round with him, and he was somewhat civil. Believe me, he gets worse.

Shane C. Mason said...

Mark T,

I would ask this:

How many American's have been killed by terrorism in the last 10 years? Mulitply that by 10 and you wont even come close to the damage Meth has done. I think we are off on a tangent.

Mark T said...

Non-sequitur!