Tuesday, August 29, 2006
air travel insecurities
Since the tragedy of 9/11, one of the things that's been repeated over and over by people in the US government is "never again" - supposedly, America got caught with a cheap shot while our pants were down, and now that we're "aware" of the horrors of terrorism, we're supposed to be safer, right? Congress has passed numerous funding bills, new security agencies have been formed, old security agencies have been re-organized, and your average citizen is generally much more pro-active about defending our country from evil... at least that's what we'd like to think, eh?
Unfortunately, it seems the current climate has done nothing but heighten paranoia, and worst of all, blatant racism against people of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent under the guise of "security concerns".
Fellow blogger Xian wrote a satirical piece last week in response to news that two British South Asian men being thrown off their flight because other passengers accused them "behaving suspiciously" (read: they were not white and spoke to each other in a non-European language).
Earlier in the month, an Iraqi-American blogger named Raed Jarrar was forced off a JetBlue flight because he was wearing a t-shirt with Arabic script across that also had the English translation printed beneath it, "We Will Not Be Silent". He was told that he couldn't wear the t-shirt with Arabic on it because "passengers found it offensive" (read: passengers were illiterate and racist). An audio interview and transcript with Jarrar can be read here... Jarrar posted about the incident on his blog right here.
These are far from isolated incidents, too... similar cases such as this one and this one have already happened on airplane flights, which leads one to this general conclusion: are bumbling security systems and personnel are more likely to harass innocent civilians than actually catch terrorists.
After all, all us Asians look alike, right? Especially the darkish, brownish, kind... it's way too much trouble for important white folks to go to the trouble of actually distinguishing people who are Arab, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, or whatever. You never know who's Al Qaeda, PLO, IRA, or even JRA these days!
The latest story of in-security comes from of all places, a video game blog called Kotaku. A poor WoW (World of Warcraft) player made the mistake of accidentally dropping his Nano in the bathroom, causing him to be accused of planting a bomb and being a terrorist... a first ever case of supposed "iPod terrorism", if you can believe it.
Looks like it's gonna be a lot safer just sticking to the roads of America's concrete freeways like my friend davefonic, safeguarding our borders and meeting the real illegal aliens.
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