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Profiling Is Un-American: The Headlines Project

December 4, 2015Will Leffert
The Headlines Project

You've heard the recent news. More about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It consumes all forms of media. More hate. More violence. More death.

How are we supposed to react?

I was asked if I was scared about this headline. I'm not. I believe firmly that truth should be spread, especially at times like these, to combat the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that fuels the reactions of humanity.

I very well could be, or have been profiled thanks to this project. Not in any official capacity, of course, but by the people I see out and about.

I'll get straight to the point: Profiling is Un-American for a very big reason. First, let me define profiling in the context I refer to.

Profiling is the act of generalizing a person based on belief, appearance, religion, and other common things that can associate one person with a whole group, in order to determine their likelihood to commit crimes (typically violent terrorist attacks, in this case).

Profiling is, in essence, presuming a person guilty until they are proved innocent. Someone who fits a profile (the popular one being Muslim) gets flagged by TSA, denied services, arrested on the streets, interrogated, and more.

Do you think we're keeping America safe by profiling?

Well, then let's step it up. If we're going to profile people based on a very specious link to the Islamic faith (see my previous headline: Muslim Doesn't Mean Terrorist), then we should also profile Conservative white Americans who are pro-life.

Are you a white Conservative American who's pro-life? Congratulations! You now get to deal with delays and invasive searches by the TSA, your neighbors reporting you for suspicious behavior, and interrogation with little consideration, even though you have done nothing wrong.

I hope my point is clear: Profiling doesn't fit into the model America many people hold in their minds. America is the land of the free, supposedly, but it will never truly be free as long as we allow profiling to exist.

If you would like to join me in my performance of politics, feel free to grab a PDF of the Profiling Is Un-American headline and print your own temporary tattoos (my logo is optional)!

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The Headlines Project is a social experiment where I print (using temporary tattoos) short "headlines" on my bald head with a web address on the back of my skull linking back to these posts. View the other Headlines.