Focus Point - Arab-Americans and Racial Profiling

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Racial profiling seems somehow different after September 11th.

The use of racial profiling in recent years has been controversial with ethnic and civil rights groups...especially African Americans, who felt profiling singled them out for suspicion. Nonetheless, some recent polls in the Wall Street Journal show that Blacks and even Arab-Americans are now more willing to support racial profiling than the general U.S. population.

71 percent of Blacks in a recent Gallup poll and 54 percent of Blacks in a Zogby poll said Arab-Americans should be singled out for extra security at airports. In addition, the Detroit News conducted a survey showing that Arab-Americans want their kinsmen checked out more carefully. 61 percent of the respondents in that poll said "extra questioning or inspections" of Arab Americans is justified.

Our communal sense of security seems to have changed our view. The consensus seems to be if there is a clear and present danger, racial profiling can be permissible.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, does Osama bin Laden have a case in his hatred of America?