Yesterday, the New York Times published an editorial on subway safety. They reluctantly endorsed searches of passengers, but with a few caveats. The main one is that the police must, at all costs, make certain no single group is singled out for special attention. The selection process for searches must be perfectly random, such as every 5th or 12th person, carefully balanced to be applied evenly to all races and sexes.
That is a good theory, but it has a weakness: the terrorists have, so far, not been evenly distributed among the races and sexes. So far two have been men of Jamaican ancestry (Richard Reid, the would-be “shoe bomber” and one of the London bombers), one accused terrorist has been Hispanic (Jose Padilla), and nearly all the rest have been Arabic men. So a random search really won’t work too well.
So, how do we resolve this problem? More importantly, how do we resolve it in a way that both improves public safety and will meet with the New York Times’ approval?
It’s simplicity itself. We need to sue the terrorists.
The United States has very stringent anti-discrimination laws, especially in the area of employment. Any group whose membership is that racially skewed is almost certainly practicing racial and sexual discrimination. We need to haul the terrorists into court and place them under a consent decree to increase their diversity and open themselves to all would-be terrorists, regardless of age, sex, race, creed, or color.
We are America, dammit! Our very strength draws from our diversity! We deserve to live in a society free of bias, where people from all walks of life are embraced and welcomed. All groups need to be free of bias and prejudice, and we as Americans deserve terrorists that, as Bill Clinton so eloquently put it, “looks like America.”
Then, once we’ve forced the terrorists to open their ranks to diversity, the random searches that the New York Times endorsed will truly have a chance to succeed in keeping us all safe.