Thursday, July 22, 2004

I thought it was only fair to link to the article that pissed me off so thoroughly yesterday: Terror in the Skies, Again? Looks like flying 'Arab' and 'with friends' and 'using the bathroom' is officially a no-no.

Also, here's a nice little quote as I want to spare you the pain of reading this hysterical, high-strung woman's article: shouldn't a group of 14 Middle Eastern men be screened before boarding a flight? And while we're at, why don't we screen every group of more than 4 people, hmmm? And then there's this kicker: The 14 Syrians had been hired as musicians to play at a casino in the desert. Adams said they were "scrubbed." None had arrest records (in America, I presume), none showed up on the FBI's "no fly" list or the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List.

(in America, I presume). If that doesn't give you pause, I don't know what should. The presumption, the assumption, that people of Middle Eastern descent or who look like Arabs are automatically terrorists is amazing and just scary, scary scary. You get the feeling that Ms. Jacobson, if she had her way, would just about outlaw flying as anything or anyone other than blue-eyed, blond-haired Protestant/Catholic. Because, y'know, no non-Muslim or non-Arab could possibly be dangerous.

And my favorite part? The author uses Ann "we must convert the Middle East to Christianity" Coulter! Ann Coulter, another hate-ridden, bile-spewing, off-her-rocker and irratonal columnist as a source of information. Gah. That's all we need -- give the crazy woman some validation and an 'amen' corner for her intolerance.

While I'll never deny the need for intensive screenings and increased security checks, I question the wisdom of automatically deciding one must be a terrorist based on appearance. Who's to decide what a 'terrorist' looks like? Yeah, the odds favor one ethnicity more than another, but this is a Melting Pot country -- we have a lot of people of lot of different backgrounds. I think it's ridiculous to assume that people are terrorists because they might have Arab descent. Especially when they pass muster on various other security checks that airlines and the government has in place.

If you're interested, the story continues here. Where, despite having passed security, having been checked out, she still assumes they are terrorists.

I have to say, if this is an example of an 'aware' American, I want no part of it. I'd like to suggest an alternative descriptive phrase: 'bigoted' American.

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