Saturday, November 27, 2010

Political Correctness is Immoral; Profiling Based on Facts is Just

Last week I traveled to Atlanta for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society. A friend and I drove to Buffalo and flew from there to Atlanta. At the border, we were asked where we were going, for how long etc. and then waved through. A couple of white, middle-aged, Canadian passport-holding guys were not perceived as much of a threat to national security.

Yet, we knew that the border guards sometimes did random searches of cars for no apparent reason and that if any border guard sensed something suspicious about our answers or anything about us, he could very easily give us the nod to pull over into the section where searches are carried out. That is how it is at the border crossing.

But when we got to the airport, we were forced to endure an electronic strip search after having removed our shoes, belts, watches etc.. We were treated exactly the same way as a middle eastern man between 18 and 35 would be treated. Nuns, grandmothers, children - all are treated as being just as likely to be terrorists as young Muslim men. As Peggy Noonan rightly says in her Washington Post column today, this is not an inconvenience but a humiliation. It also means that we are letting the terrorists win because they sin and our people pay the price.

(Of course, we don't literally all pay the price. There are certain exemptions. I would like to see list of those who can fly today without enduring the electronic strip search or sexual assault. Then we would know exactly who the real members of the aristocracy in America are.)

The problem with political correctness is that it requires us to pretend; it requires that we deny reality. Angela Merkel made this point a few days ago when she said that multiculturalism isn't working in Germany. Of course it isn't; the Muslim populations is never going home and it is not being assimilated. Everyone knows that but no one is allowed to say it. We must pretend. At airports, everyone knows that no elderly nun or white, eight year old boy traveling with his Southern Baptist mother has yet brought down an airliner or even tried. But we must pretend that they are just as much a threat as the people who have done so. If you want to see photos of all the terrorists who have been arrested over the past decade click here. Did you notice anything about those pictures Sherlock Holmes?

The single most shocking thing I read about this whole airport security issue does not relate to the humiliation and ineffectiveness of the "pat downs for all" approach. It was this paragraph from Deroy Murdock :

At a Monday night Intelligence Squared debate on this topic at New York University, one of my interlocutors was Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77, which al-Qaeda smashed into the Pentagon. She cited her conversation with an American Airlines customer-service agent who worked on September 11. He checked in Nawaf and Salem al-Hazmi, two of those who hijacked that Boeing 757. While American's seasoned employee found these two suspicious, Burlingame says he told her he did not flag them for further scrutiny "because I didn't want my colleague to think that I was a racist and a bigot."

He didn't want his colleague to think he was a racist and bigot - and the result was that innocent people died. It is not just that political correctness might result in the inadvertent deaths of innocent people: it already has. The Left now has that on its conscience. The very idea that terrorists are evenly distributed among the entire population, which is a central mantra of the Obama administration, is at least partially responsible for 9/11 and unless it is abandoned more innocent people will die.

(By the way, even if the above story turned out to be untrue, common sense tells us that sooner or later an event like that is bound to happen. The insane political correctness being pushed by the Left practically ensures that.)

How the Left seized the moral high ground on this issue is a textbook example of Machiavellian tactics. But it is time to end the madness. What we have at our North American airports today is a parody of security. It is a bunch of Westerners punishing each other for the sins of non-Westerners. It must be an endless source of mirth for bin Laden as he sits in his cave and watches CNN. And it is not working.

But it must be stressed that we do not grasp the seriousness of the situation until we realize that not only does the detestable "strip and grope for all" approach not work and not only is it intolerable to a free people; it is the product of a mindset that leads those responsible for protecting us to hold back from aggressively seeking out and stopping real terrorists.

Political correctness is immoral precisely because it is a flight from reality into pretend land where children and grandmothers might just as well be terrorists as young, Muslim men. And any set of ideas that refuses to come to grips with reality is highly dangerous.

Is this fair to young Muslim men who are not terrorists? Of course not, no more than it is fair to me when I travel now. Life is inherently unfair. Somebody who is innocent will inevitably be singled out. But the problem is that right now scarce resources are being wasted on treating every passenger as an equal risk.

Who should young Muslim men who are not terrorists blame for their inconvenience? They should blame the terrorists. They should blame the fiery imams who preach jihad against the West. They should maybe even blame their religion and its history of violence, invasion, conquest and imposition of Sharia Law by brute force over the past 14 centuries. If confronting these realities is too uncomfortable, that is not my problem or the problem of the West in general. Maybe profiling will help exert a pressure on them to face up to realities within the Muslim community that they need to confront, oppose and eradicate. If so, then we turn the terrorists tactics back on them and make their strategy blow up in their own faces.

Terrorism is evil and political correctness is evil; both must be opposed and overcome if we are to have peace and justice.


Peter W. Dunn said...

Great post. The first thing that has to happen is a constitutional convention in the US, that would do something about a judiciary that protects the suspects (I don't know what can be done here in Canada). You recall that the flying imams sued the airlines. In other words, the judicial system enforces political correctness. If you want to go back to sanity, the politically correct judges, who rule in favor of killing babies in their mothers' wombs and protecting terrorists from profiling, have to be removed. It goes back to the judicial usurpation of democracy.

Craig Carter said...

There is no doubt that America will not be safe for conservatism until the judiciary is reformed to eliminate the personal biases of judges in rulings.