I always feel as if I should begin each entry with a disclaimer. "I am not a professional writer. This is not a political statement. I am only expressing my feelings today." I hesitated posting my first entry, because I often just want to throw out a few ideas, not back them up with articles, quotes, dates and statistics. So please just take this for what it is...my opinion from my heart and what's left of my mind.
We all know what racial profiling is. In fact, even I've done it. However, if someone called me a racist or a bigot, I would protest vehemently, but I know I've crossed the street a few times to avoid someone I suspected might be a threat because of the way he looked. Maybe it wasn't just the color of his skin. It could have been all the tattoos or the body jewelry, or maybe he just didn't look “right” to me. Is it wrong to protect yourself from what you perceive to be potential harm? Of course not.
So what is the difference between self-preservation and hateful discrimination? When average citizens start to panic just seeing someone who “looks like an Arab” and wonders if he's going to throw a bomb in his seat and ruin the family trip to Disney World, the atmosphere is nothing less than unjustifiable paranoia. (By the way, people from Iran are not Arabs)
If I were planning to bomb an airline, I would probably not board wearing a turban, speaking in a Middle Eastern language or acting suspiciously. I would try to look as American as apple pie. Maybe I'd sport a colorful Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts or a baseball cap so when Airline Security is detaining the dark-skinned lady wearing a Sari, I can slip by with a nod & a smile.
Last week in Cuba several leaders who are anti-American met in unity. Pretty scary stuff! Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Republic of Belarus, Venezuela...Now wait a minute! Venezuela? Do they wear shumaggs? OMG! How are we going to find all the Venezuelans in our neighborhoods?