Racial Profiling: Now as American as Apple Pie

By Victor Corral Jul 03, 2008

“We don’t know what we don’t know. And the object is to cut down on that.” – anonymous FBI Official In case you’re having a hard time mustering up some patriotism this 4th of July, you know, because of the war, or the fact that you can’t afford to buy anything, well, the boys at the Justice Department have just made it even harder. The AP reported today that the Justice Department is “considering” (and by “considering” they mean “we’re totally gonna do this”) allowing the FBI to initiate terrorism investigations of Americans based on their “travel to regions of the world known for terrorist activity, access to weapons or military training” and of course, a person’s race or ethnicity. In addition, the FBI will have the authority to ask “open-ended questions of Muslim- or Arab-Americans, or investigate them if their jobs and backgrounds” match “suspect” trends in an effort to “root out terrorists before they strike.” You may be wondering, “but Victor, I thought the feds were already doing this?” Well, they kind of have been, profiling that is, but in the past they’ve been required to have specific evidence or allegations that a law was violated to investigate. But now, all that’s out the window. As Caroline Fredrickson of the ACLU said, the FBI will assume that “everyone’s a suspect, and then [they’ll] weed out the innocent.” Happy Birthday America! Each year you make us prouder!