Please full-size to see the words in the left thumbprint.
This is a layout I am doing for an article on airport profiling. Basically the idea is that profiling may not be an efficient method of stopping crime as the point is to try and detect criminal intentions from physical attributes of a person. The text in the fingerprint dicusses that.
The thumbprint is mine. So are the words. I composed this with a black Crayola marker, my thumb, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Quark Xpress.
The text, so you don't strain your eyes:
Who we are is not determined by the physical. We do not identify ourselves by our physical bodies, but by our minds, some meta-physical essence inside. Ever since Renť Descartes 17th Century philosophy, humankind has separated the mind from the body. The Christians called it a soul. The Hindu called it an essence. It is our mind, our soul, our essence that truly defines us. It is then logical that we should be judged from inside out, by inner beauty or lack thereof instead of the color of our skin. The catch: minds and bodies are not split. It is a primal dissociation, but a physical impossibility. The question America now faces is not whether profiling is ethical, but if it is even effective. Profiling assumes that certain physical characteristics can directly correlate with internal motives. Is it really realistic to assume that physical traits can expose signs of a criminal mind within? And if America does begin to assume such a thing, doesnít associating the physical with the internal qualify as a justified type of racism? If profiling can be justified as a necessary security measure in airports, can it also be justified in the work place? Can an employer justify scrutinizing employees of a certain skin color more than other employees by saying that the security of their business is at stake? If profiling is acceptable in the airport, where else do the same ethics apply? Associating the internal with the external itself can fall into bias. A mindset which sees profiling not only as acceptable, but necessary, may also be susceptible to falling back into racism, sexism, classism, and countless other ismís America spent the past century trying to claw itís way out of. In the new millennium, is America willing to leap back into the biases it spent over a hundred years trying to escape from? The way the country handles security in its airports may serve as a prescendent for how it handles security for the next few centuries to come. Perhaps, after the wound that the World Trade Center attacks inflicted on Americaís sense of safety, it is comforting to believe that we will be able to see another attack before it hits. Perhaps there is some comfort in thinking that a criminal is visible by outward signs. We think of criminals in terms of physical manifestations in television shows and movies. We think of shifty eyes and evil grimaces. We think in terms of sunglasses, trenchcoats, and dark clothes. Perhaps America needs to believe that criminality is a visible characteristic that can be recognized before the crime in inflicted. Perhaps America needs to believe that profiling is effective.