A debate-provoking cartoon from Cox & Forkum:
Profiling remains a high controversial and emotional issue. Those who are unjustly fall into the net cast by those using profiles are upset because they feel they’re being stereotyped, singled out and persecuted beause they’ve done nothing wrong.
On the other hand, if it turns out that the threat is coming from X number of people who fit a Y profile, then given what is at stake erring on the side PC at the expense of caution could be costly, indeed.
And it’s highly likely that any administration, whether it’s Republican or Democratic, will move strongly towards the heavy use of profiling — if there is another future deadly attack and it turns out that the attackers fit a profile but the profile wasn’t used due to fears of a PC outcry.
One alarming way of looking at this, is that we’re in the early 21st century in the “beta phase” of responding to terrorism. Terrorism policies could be drastically fine-tuned if there are new events forcing the fine-tuning. And, chances are, there will be more events during this already bloody century.
UPDATE: Should our airlines and officials profile in the style of Israel’s El Al airlines?