Profiling won’t unite America

(U-WIRE) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — President Bush recently teamed up with our Justice Department and asked our nation’s neighborhood watch, the National Crime Prevention Council, to be their “eyes and ears in the war on terror.”

Although many people take this task seriously, I fear that such a request could lead to suspicion and eventually accusations against, yes, even our neighbors.

It seems that America is always looking for a reason to police one demographic or another, never stopping to wonder what would happen if they just let it go.

Since the early ’80s, America has been engaged in a number of wars. Contrary to the mainstream definition of war, these wars have mainly been against the ideas and beliefs deemed “un-American” and those, which counter our government’s spread of ideals.

The Cold War, the drug war, and most recently the war on terrorism, are all examples of the fight to censure the actions of the public and timelessly maintain the status quo.

However, it seems in recent years that the price of upkeep has begun to rival the McCarthy era.

Just as the term “junkie” was used to describe an entire population of uninspired, cocaine-riddled youth in the ’80s, the latest echo — ‘terrorist’ — has been used to describe anyone who might look even remotely Middle Eastern. Just like any other negatively contorted adjective, terrorist has become a label.

Americans, as time has shown, love to label what they can’t quite get a handle on. Labels put things in nice little packages, even when those packages are actually big and ugly.

I know that, at this point, letting anyone and everyone cross our borders or enter our airspace can’t possibly be an option, but it doesn’t mean our government has to resort to extreme racial profiling simply because a handful of harmful foreigners somehow got into our country and caused a tragic event.

What should ultimately be the direction we Americans take is to first prioritize. If our president can’t form his own opinions without his cabinet holding his hand, I know it might be hard for you to assemble your own faculties, but try.

Second, we need to be logical, which means the only way to sort out the barrage of Middle Eastern information flying at you is to ignore most of it. There is so much, that to absorb it all risks desensitization, a disease many Americans already have.

Keeping watch for outrageous actions is one thing. It’s another to become so wrapped up in it that you feel you need to spy on your neighbors.