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The Fear of Racial Profiling

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Monday, September 2, 2002

The Fear of Racial Profiling

Do you fly a lot, as I do? If so, you'll notice the improvement at most major airports with security. For the most part, lines are not as long and the new federalized staff is mostly courteous and increasingly efficient. Whether this has any effect on protecting us from terrorists we cannot possibly know. I doubt it.

I doubt it because of a recent personal experience. Twice in two days I was pulled from line to be searched. They say it is random. I don't believe it. One guy forced me to take out my wallet and empty it of money and credit cards while he went over it with one of those wands they use. I had just gone through the metal detector and taken off belt and watch and emptied my pockets of change and other metallic devices.

Another white male who looked about 80 waited his turn to be searched. We were both disgusted, meanwhile, people who looked a little like those Saudi men who hijacked the planes last September 11 were allowed to go through.

What's going on is the fear of racial profiling. They pick the white guys because we don't have groups to which we can complain. The older man said he was thinking of giving up air travel and driving. Do the airlines really want that to happen? If not, they'd better do more to improve the security. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.