Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm white, am I legal?

The recent legislation passed in Arizona concerning immigration brings up an interesting point; if it's illegal to be in this country already, why do we need a special law to enforce an already existing law? Shouldn't local law enforcement have been helping all along?

Rarely are issues as inflammatory as immigration as clear as black and white but each side promotes their view as the only acceptable answer. There are always shades of gray throughout. Those who oppose this legislation promote the notion it will be based solely on racial profiling. To a large extent that may be true but all of society and civilization is based on some type of profiling to a great degree. It is by itself a human trait. If someone doesn't look like 'you' it is common practice to place them in a 'class' whether you think you do or not. American's need to realize profiling, racial and otherwise lives a healthy life around the world.

Suppose you are African-American and live in an area where half of your neighbors are just like you. You wake up to see a Nazi symbol painted on someones door. Two blocks away a bald white teenager is stopped and questioned about it. Do you think that is profiling? If you don't you are wrong. You have just engaged in racial profiling. Perhaps the teen is bald because he is undergoing cancer treatments and has lost his hair. Perhaps not. Would you want the police to ignore this person based on looks alone? I'm not a black citizen, but I wouldn't whether that is politically correct or not.

The same situation happens all along the border. If someone with an eastern European accent is stopped for questioning for reasonable suspicion of a crime he should be asked about citizenship. In this instance he is 'out of place' to the norm. Is it right that male travelers from the middle east are scrutinized at a higher rate than eighty year old caucasian women on international flights? Yes it is. Eighty year old women are rarely terrorists hell-bent on blowing up a flight.

Profiling is a means to an end which is a safer society; it is a tool. I hope I am never required to live in a state where not carrying some form of ID will subject me to arrest. That is a slippery slope and a possible outcome of this type of law. But if being an illegal is illegal, that means it is against the law and the politicians should either enforce current laws or change them altogether. You can't have it both ways. That is simply fence-sitting as a means to garner votes for the next election.

Political correctness is nothing more than feeling guilty about possibly hurting someones feelings and soothing your own conscience.

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