Christopher Halleron offers this candid and entertaining article on why he thinks racial profiling should be abandoned in favor of random acts of kindness towards Muslims.
Halleron admits that before 9/11, he used to look for women on the train that he would consider becoming intimate with; a shallow exercise that simply passed the time. After 9/11, he notes, this game was replaced with "Who is going to blow me up?" in which he would attempt to identify those individuals who may be dangerous: "You look at the color of their skin, the length of their beard, the bulge in their backpack and you begin to evaluate whether or not they're going to blow you up today."
Realizing the unreliability of a profile, Halleron argues, "Instead of scowling and sneering at people who I think might be considering blowing me up, I should try to be nice to them. I'll throw them a smile, offer up my seat, talk to them about the weather, treat them like human beings."
Why? "if a random act of kindness and humanity could possibly dissuade some bitter fanatic from blowing me up... then I say, give it a shot. What's the worst that could happen?"
He continues, "perhaps if we become a kinder, gentler New York Metro area... we can avoid what everyone considers to be the inevitable."
Sure, the article was part of a humor column. But, perhaps there is something to be said for demonstrating kindness and compassion rather than perpetuating the alienation and stigmatization of anyone who looks like they may blow you up.
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