An Open Letter To Racial Profilers

Since dimwits like Michelle Malkin are jumping to the conclusion that liberals who are wary about the UAE ports deal somehow validate their own prejudices (as if they ever cared about our opinions anyways), here’s my question : How would a policy of scrutinizing every brown-skinned male with a funny name help us catch people like the infamous American Taliban John Walker Lindh :


…or Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols :


…or Chechen suicide bomber Zulikhan Yelikhadzhiyeva :


…or Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph :


…or Belgian suicide bomber Muriel Degauque :


…or alleged al Qaeda members with normal-sounding (to Western ears) names like Richard Reid and Jose Padilla?

Concentrating on superficial details like skin color and gender doesn’t help when you’re at war with an ideology or a tactic or whatever the hell the “war on terra” is supposed to be. I know the indignity of taking off your shoes at the airport has fueled your dream of replacing metal detectors with a “paper bag test”, but racial profiling doesn’t work. You may get a false sense of security, but trying to justify your own racism by scrutinizing people who fit your stereotype of what sort of person constitutes a threat isn’t just offensive, it’s counter-productive. Not only does racial profiling have the side-effect of making it easier for non-brown dudes to skip through the system, but it also can alienate many of our allies whose support we need if we’re ever going to catch Osama Bin Laden and his million or so second-in-commands.