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Columns : Editorial

Death by Political Correctness

Do we have the national will to prevent terrorism, even if it requires us to profile?

September 13, 2010  |  by - Also by this author

A lot has changed since 9/11. But one thing remains the same: There are a lot of bad people out there who want to make us bleed. And as discussed in this issue of Police, the United States is still a very soft and juicy target.

One of the primary reasons that we are still sitting ducks is political correctness. We are afraid to take the steps that would be necessary to prevent future attacks because we are terrified of being labeled Islamophobic or, God forbid, racist.

In contemporary American society, one of the worst things you can call someone is "racist." It's right up there with "child rapist."

No one wanted to be fitted with that scarlet "R." The fear of being labeled racist prevents many Americans from asking why the borders can't be secured, it prevents us from asking why we can't keep a tighter watch on what's going on in the local mosque, and it prevents us from profiling people who may be hostile.

Now I will be the first to say that probably 95 percent of foreign Muslims in our country have no desire to commit acts of violence. But I'd sleep a lot better at night if we had the political will to check up on that other five percent, even if it meant inconveniencing some folks who are totally benign.

I know, I'd feel different if I was one of the innocent folks who was inconvenienced. And that's true. But let me be clear on something here, I'm not talking about rounding up folks and shipping them off to a new Manzanar. I'm talking about a little extra scrutiny.

Here's an example of the kind of thing that bothers me. Last month I was in the main concourse of a major airport hub. There I observed a young (maybe 25 to 30 years old) Pakistani man do something a little weird. He took out a small point-and-shoot digital camera and snapped a shot of a restaurant/bar. There was no one posing for a holiday snap in front of the bar. He just took a shot of the bar, then he pocketed the camera, and moved on.

Now I can think of several innocent reasons why a Pakistani guy might snap a picture of an American airport bar. Maybe he just bought the camera and wanted to try it out. Maybe he worked in the restaurant business and he wanted to steal some of the décor for his joint. Maybe he wanted to show people back home what an American airport bar looks like.

But I can also think of some really sinister reasons he might have snapped that photo. And I can envision it being sent home via e-mail to some guys who might be calculating blast radius and kill zones.

Either way, he moved on before I could bring his presence to the attention of a TSA agent. And even if I had mentioned it to TSA or even the police, what could they have done? Nothing. They would have looked at me like I was racist or paranoid.

But as a college professor told me long ago, "Paranoia may be just a higher state of enlightenment." And this guy's behavior was just odd enough to get my Spidey senses tingling. And is it really racist to note someone's ethnicity when people of that ethnicity are actually trying to kill you?

Honestly, this guy's behavior would have been odd if he was a red-headed Irish dude. So somebody should have asked him what he was doing.

We need to start asking questions in this country. We need to know the answers to things like: Why is that guy taking photos of the airport restaurant? Why is that adult man walking into the local elementary school without showing some kind of ID and demonstrating a reason to be there? Who is screening the backgrounds of the taxi and limo drivers who drive right up to the entrance of the local airport? Did anybody investigate the folks who service the planes at the local airport?

We need to start asking these questions, even at the risk of being thought racist. And political correctness be damned. That's the only way we are really going to make this country safer.

At the recent POLICE-TREXPO East, one of the highlights was a panel discussion about crime on the U.S.-Mexico border that featured sheriffs and other law enforcement officers who deal with the chaos every day. At the end of the session, the panel took questions from the audience. When asked, "Why don't we just build a wall down there?" one of the sheriffs replied, "We don't want to offend anybody."

Trying not to offend anybody is a good life philosophy for an individual. But it can't be the national security policy for a great nation. If it is, it might as well be our epitaph.

Related Article:

POLICE-TREXPO East Takes on Terrorism and Border Unrest

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

JRdonahue @ 9/15/2010 4:42 AM

David: Outstanding. Well said. Clearly considered. A message that every American needs to hear. WE ARE AT WAR. This is NOT a game; there are no "do-overs." As a veteran of The Battle of The Bulge, my Dad said it best: "It comes down to this: Kill or Be Killed." I will fight to my death defending my wife, kids and grandsons. WE ARE AT WAR. Thanks for writing this piece.

Morning Eagle @ 9/15/2010 10:53 AM

Excellent article David. Too bad it isn't required reading for about 300 million U.S. citizens. Maybe a few of them would wake up to the fallacy that is the basis for so-called political correctness. Profiling? In 1968 Robert Kennedy was murdered by a muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40. Since then literally thousands of Americans have been murdered by muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40 and one of the most recent incidents in 2009 was the killing of 13 unarmed American Soldiers and wounding of 31 more on Fort Hood by a muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40, a Major in our own U.S. Army that was well known to have extremist views but no one in his chain of command had the guts to do anything about it, primarily because no one wanted to be accused of being racist or of profiling by bringing attention to his behaviors and clearly expressed views. He would have killed more if a civilian policewoman hadn't had the courage to shoot him before he could. And what did the current head of the Department of Corruption say? "We shouldn't jump to conclusions." The final Army investigation report failed to mention his ethnicity. When our military hierarchy is so fearful of being called racist or politically incorrect our country is in deep trouble.

What keeps the muslims from standing up and pointing out those who do intend us harm? Many of them know who the bad ones among them are but they remain silent. Why? Because Islam is a whole system of life that is imposed through fear and intimidation and if you betray that system you are subject to death. A Jihad, or Holy War, has been declared against the Great Satan and if our leaders and citizens do not wake up to that fact and stop this cowardly acquiescence to their every demand we will LOSE THIS WAR by default. We should have been "profiling" all along, especially since 9-11-2001, but now it is imperative. Are we going to have to be hit hard again before people wake up?

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