01 Dec 2001 Still Reflecting on September 11 and Security, by R.D. Davis
With the murderous destruction of the World Trade Center, many individual freedoms were also destroyed. And many more will inevitably fall.
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s losing my freedom. I personally think I’m more sensitive to this than others. Now, more than ever, I am suspected and searched – more things I abhor.
I don’t deserve any of the blame for the dastardly events of “9-11,” but, I will pay a heavy price with my freedoms and with the humiliation of being searched like a criminal for something I did not do and am incapable of doing.
Because of 9-11, are we to look at one another with deep skepticism – as if everyone is a potential “extremist” who may kill others and themselves in the process? Even Timothy McVeigh was not “extreme” enough to attach a bomb to himself. What really disturbs me is that all the security to prevent further terrorism is time and money wasted on the wrong people. I don’t feel any safer.
I wonder what measures could have been taken to prevent this unforgettable and devious deed. One thing should be obvious: ensure that Middle Easterners, especially men, have legal, unexpired visas and have no ties to bin Laden. If this had been done, I don’t think I’d be writing this article. Some “Pollyanna” apologist may retort with, “You can’ t just target a race… yadda, yadda, yadda.” Even to prevent 4,000 deaths? This logical conversation would continue:
Mr. Pollyanna: “I don’t care, it’s wrong to stereotype!”
Me: “Well, Mr. P., do you pick up hitchhikers?”
Mr. Pollyanna: “Oh No! That’s too dangerous. You may get robbed or even worse… murdered.”
Me: “So, you are telling me, Mr. P., is that all hitchhikers are robbers and/or killers. Are you in fact stereotyping hitchhikers?”
Mr. Pollyanna: “Umm…”
Me: “Is it not human nature to suspect all hitchhikers for safety purposes because of the devious acts of a few?”
Mr. Pollyanna: coughs
Since 9-11, I’ve heard airplane passengers are uncomfortable with young, male Middle Easterners. A co-worker told me her brother was recently on a plane on which passengers became suspicious of any male who looked Middle Eastern. My co-worker’s brother and other passengers told one another to keep a watchful eye on suspicious characters.
I do hate it when many are suspected because of the heinous acts of a few. But it’s not bigotry. It’s human nature, at least initially, to suspect the whole populations – as with with hitchhikers. This is why heads of families once admonished members from doing anything that would give the family “a bad name.” They understood human nature.
People are not robots. Human nature will never be usurped by mindless “political correctness.” Families of old knew it was important to police their own to prevent a family stereotype. Entire races should also police within their race for the very same reason. If not, expect to be at the mercy of a future totalitarian state seeking to bring about “fairness.”
It is common sense that there will be no peace as long as terrorists from the al-Qaeda terrorist network remain in our country. For freedom’s sake, we must flush out those with terrorist connections. Political correctness be damned. Like I mentioned earlier, time is wasted on suspecting and then scrutinizing the wrong people while the real culprits slip through the cracks to take more lives.
Who should we suspect? Not everyone, that’s for sure. Women? Why should we, since women have never been significant participants in hijacking? Black Americans, despite many believers in Islam within our communities, also should not be suspected for the same reason. Scrutiny should be given to suspicious white men, especially those with Arab characteristics. But young to middle-aged Middle Eastern men should be suspected first. Why? Duh. Males fitting that general description have committed virtually all hijackings in the U.S. and in other countries, for that matter.
My friend, Mr. Pollyanna, would scream that it is unjust to single out some people for more scrutiny than others. But isn’t it also “unjust” – plus a waste of time and money – to subject people such as old men, women of any age and young children to airport security harassment who absolutely pose no hijacking threat? Common sense should take precedence over Marxist-style political correctness. Sadly, the horrific events of September 11, 2001 still haven’t taught us this.
(R.D. Davis is a member of the African-American leadership network Project 21 and a writer and radio talk show host in Huntsville, Alabama. He can be reached at [email protected].)
Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21. A downloadable photo of R.D. Davis is available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/StaffP21RDDavis.jpeg.