I’m not sure what inspired me to write this, but here it is anyways:
I have always thought that airport security is a bit of an idiotic thing. It seems like people sneak onto planes all the time with dangerous things and the whole thing is set up to just convince people they’re safer. That being said, I generally support less security than is currently in place.
Some people (typically conservatives) tend to agree with this to the extent that we should profile certain people for extra security searches. A three year old kid or an old granny probably won’t be a threat, so let’s not give them as much of a security pat-down as that odd-looking maybe-Muslim Middle Eastern guy. Opponents rightly criticize this as racist. Institutionalizing certain groups as more threatening because of their religion, age, or ethnicity is a terrible thing to do.
In addition to this, I think it logistically will not do anything to deter more dangerous people from getting on planes. If those dangerous groups know security is going to look harder at the middle-aged Middle Eastern guy, they;re just going to enlist people that don’t fit this mold to do their tomfoolery.
So profiling based on these things is wrong, right? Well the opponents of profiling typically also scoff at security doing anything to the 90 year-old who takes 15 minutes to take their shoes off, or the non-threatening small child who gets a body cavity search. These things are ridiculous, but if we didn’t apply the same scrutiny to these people that we did to the able-bodied flight passengers out there, wouldn’t we be profiling them? Discriminating against people that are seemingly non-threatening so as to give them less of a look at security is still discrimination nonetheless. Along those lines, if we didn’t search infants and centenarians wouldn’t Dangerous People just hide their nonsense in those people?