On Thanksgiving 2001, I resided in Portland OR. Then Attorney General Ashcroft was requiring local jurisdictions employ ethnic profiling in the frantic hunt for terrorists. The City of Portland, however, had a law that prohibited use of discriminatory methods in its policing activities.
I remember very clearly how angry others at that Thanksgiving dinner were about the failure of Portland police to comply with John Ashcroft's orders. After all national security was at stake! Folks at the meal argued vehemently, if you have nothing to hide, such profiling shouldn't bother you.
Although I was a guest at this dinner, I felt compelled to speak up. I simply said that I would not be so quick to surrender my civil liberties. Naturally my concerns were shot down as inconsequential.
Not much since that Thanksgiving has altered my view that we as a nation are headed in a terrible direction.
Thank you for publishing this insightful piece.
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