Posted: January 6, 2010 in Air Travel, Crime, Current events

With the latest Muslim terrorist attempt in the sky the government has finally put in place sort of a profiling system by country. Tavelers to the U.S. from Yemen and Nigeria, for example, will be given a higher level of screening than travelers from, say, Sweden or Norway. Though the profiling does not specifically target Muslims (as it should) it’s at least a start… And so the controversy over profiling has been renewed.

Profiling makes sense. Just look at the easy logic of it: Imagine three groups. One wears red shirts, one blue, and one green.

It turns out that whenever airliner hijackings or bombings occur or at least are attempted the ones wearing red turn out to be the culprits. Neither a green or blue shirted person ever hijacks a plane, or rather, let’s just say that in 99.9 percent of the cases the latter two shirt wearers do not commit such a crime. Now without profiling red, green, and blue shirt wearers would be given the same level of scrutiny. Once on the plane and in the air, however,  you can be sure  passengers would be keeping their nervous eyes on the red shirted guys. It’s simply psychologically instinctual that they would do that. I would. It’s doubtful anyone would be worried about the guys wearing the green or blue shirts (well, at least 99.9 percent of their worry would be directed at the red).

A child has been kidnapped. Law enforcement knows that in 99.9 percent of such crimes people wearing green shirts are responsible. Again, since profiling by shirt color is verboten the authorities cannot concentrate their resources on individuals wearing green shirts.

Likewise, it statistically turns out (again, 99.9 percent of the time) that blue shirters are seriel killers, but police cannot especially concentrate their efforts on those in the blue. As with the previous cases it would be prejudicial.

Of course, in our examples those wearing red, blue, or green would be, legally speaking, of no more concern than people wearing any color shirt.


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