Samples Terrorism Terrorism Essay

Terrorism Essay

1007 words 4 page(s)

While a range of critical issues exists within the subject of terrorism, among the more pressing today is the increase of domestic terrorism. Exacerbating the threat is how there is increasing public concern regarding governmental focuses on only Islamist extremists, leading many to believe that the current administration is consistently refusing to identify white supremacist terrorists as such. On one level, all acknowledge that domestic terrorism is a severe danger. On another, policies and laws in the last two years appear to largely disregard the threat, and law enforcement continues to focus on foreign terrorist potentials. The subject is debated, but there is evidence supporting the foreign emphasis. According to the globally credible Reuters Agency, the Trump administration is seeking: “to revamp a U.S. government program designed to counter all violent ideologies so that it focuses solely on Islamist extremism” (Snopes, 2018). When domestic terrorism occurs, as in the 2018 Parkland School massacre in Florida, policing responds, but the government does not identify the crimes as terrorist, so there is then no appropriate change in policing because the violence is not identified as terrorism.

Regarding racial profiling, any assessments of increases are speculative, given the nature of the conduct as covert and difficult to isolate as specific misconduct. Nonetheless, everything indicates that recent years have seen an increase in minorities as targeted by the police. A Chicago Police Accountability Task Force of 2016, for example, found that: “black and Hispanic drivers were searched approximately four times as often as white drivers, yet…contraband was found on white drivers twice as often as black and Hispanic drivers” (Makarechi, 2016). Increasing numbers of states legally prohibit racial profiling, but it remains difficult to specifically define and prove, and largely because police departments tend to protect officers so accused. Communities as well avoid supporting victims in these situations because it creates tensions with the law enforcement on which they rely, and all of this reinforces the difficulty in knowing even generalized numbers of cases; when victims perceive no likely redress, for example, they will not be motivated to report having been profiled.

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As to options for those profiled, a victim may initiate a civil action in court, and charges usually fall under fall arrest torts. Racial profiling as such is not a civil or criminal offense, but it is a variation of police misconduct. The victim in cases fighting profiling has the advantage of a lower burden of proof and the opportunity to stand as their own witness. The greater disadvantages, however, lie in the police often protected by sovereign immunity, as even officers found guilty of profiling are rarely held accountable by their departments (USCCR, 2013). Racial profiling then remains unresolved and a source of intense social conflict. Vanity Fair, for example, researched eighteen credible databases to uncover the realities of the widespread problem, and expose misconceptions regarding profiling. What emerged was a consistent record of evidence supporting that the police behavior is nationally pervasive (Makarechi, 2016). It is at least arguable that modern tides of racism are exacerbating the practice. Moreover, it is likely that only social efforts, as occurred in the Civil Rights movement, will decrease profiling, and because the police behavior is only an extension of racism in the culture. Given the discretionary powers of the police, changes in the law cannot adequately address a discriminatory practice so open to degrees of injustice; real change must then be created from within the society.

Returning to terrorism and the success or validity of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the same issues complicating racial profiling exist to an extent, in terms of actual fact. The DHS has enhanced protections against terrorist attacks on certain levels; security checkpoints in airports, intelligence gathering, and other efforts have reduced the risk of orchestrated attacks on the scale of 9/11. This has been confirmed by independent investigation (Brill, 2016). At the same time, however, there are serious weaknesses and other dangers. On one level, the identifying of prevented terrorism is largely in the hands of the DHS itself, just as it is virtually impossible to measure numbers of crimes not committed. Even organized terrorist activity disabled by the DHS is not proof that the violence would have been committed otherwise. Then, there is the very real danger of domestic terrorism as both increasing and removed from DHS efforts. More exactly, and as has been seen in recent years, many such terrorists are unconcerned with surviving the acts themselves, and also engaging in relatively minor acts, and both factors render them far less easy to detect beforehand (Brill, 2016). The DHS then may be credited with having effectively reduced threats that are large-scale, organized, and of foreign origin. At the same time, and as noted earlier, there is a disturbing unwillingness to identify American citizens as terrorists.

With no reference to political agendas, it remains irrefutable that government focus is directed to the Middle East, as the several attempts by the administration to pass the Muslim Travel Ban support. As this, the earlier discussion of terrorism, and racial profiling realities combine to indicate, it very much appears that responses to any threats are linked to racist ideologies targeting either Muslims, or blacks and Hispanics. My own belief is that fear within the society, always an element in racism, has been expanded in the country since 9/11, and with the effect of expanding the racism itself. Beyond any other reality, it is disturbing and unjust that law enforcement and the government refuse to identify white supremacists as terrorists, which failure conforms to the racial profiling of minorities.

    References
  • Brill, S. (2016). “15 Years After 9/11, Is America Any Safer?” The Atlantic. Retrieved from
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/09/are-we-any-safer/492761/
  • Makarechi, K. (Sept. 2016). “WHAT THE DATA REALLY SAYS ABOUT POLICE AND
    RACIAL BIAS.” Vanity Fair. Retrieved from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/data-police-racial-bias
  • Snopes. (Feb. 2018). “Did President Trump Remove White Supremacists from the Terror Watch
    Program?” Retrieved from
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-terror-watch-program/
  • U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR). (2013). Remedies and Legal Developments.
    Retrieved from https://www.usccr.gov/pubs/guard/ch5.htm

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