These last few weeks have been great for closet racists revealing themselves to the public. Okay they may not be racists, or at least they don't think they are. They may be misguided or just friggin morons. You know like those people who us the term "I'm not a racist, but.." before they make a generalization usually directed towards a minority group.
With Mel Gibson's rant against Hebrews, the whole Macaca fiasco, and now Tramm Hudson accusing black people of their supposed lack of aquatic abilities public figures are likely to keep their language in check when it comes to addressing issues such as race and creed.
Then there's Bill O'Reilly. In his latest concerted effort to try and bring a more knowledgeable than thou approach to every complex issue facing our world he voiced his opinion on airport security. While a few things he said made sense he did include this gem:
"Passengers who are Muslims ages 16 to 45 all should be spoken with. And if the ACLU doesn't like it, tough. This isn't racial profiling. This is criminal profiling."
Yeah because all Muslims carry the Koran everywhere they go, just as all Catholics have rosaries swinging from their necks, and all Jews have hooked noses and wear funny hats, and all Scientologists jump on couches and berate people with mental disorders and all...okay I think I went far enough with that.
Profiling is a sensitive topic and I see both sides having valid arguments, which brings me to a funny story.
I was flying to Nashville about a year after 9/11. At that time security was pulling people from the lines at the gate itself. Before I boarded the plane at Seatac I was asked to step aside and have my carry on luggage inspected while I took off my shoes and security waved their metal detecting wand around me. Wasn't a big deal I thought.
I a lay over in Charlotte and before I boarded the plane I was asked yet again to get out of line at the gate and have security rummage through my belongings while they checked to see if I had any metal devices on me.
After the vacation I boarded at Nashville and sure enough found myself being inspected by security. Finally after my lay over in Charlotte the airline representative asked me to step out of line and report to security.
Me: Now I know this is supposed to be random, but this is the fourth time I've been pulled out of line at the gate on this trip. What is it about me that makes me so suspect?
Her: Sir it's all random. Please step over to security.
Me: What are the odds that I would be pulled out of line 4 times in one trip? Is it because I look scruffy?
Her: Sir it's all random. Please step...
Me: Okay okay thank you for your honesty mam.
I step over to the security table next to the gate.
Security: Please take off...(I immediately remove my shoes and belt)...Wow you've done this before.
Me: Yep. Fourth time this trip. Has to be some sort of record. Do I receive a prize?
Security: Not today sir.
Me: My prize is your company.
Security: And that's the best kind. (She was saying this as she deployed her wand around my crotch).
At that time a family of black people were standing next to me at the table going through the same routine with another guard. The father looked at me with a strange look. I stared back at him thinking he might be looking to start something with me. He then looked at his wife all puzzled.
"Man they must be gettin strict," he said in a loud southern accent. "They now pullin over white folk."
Even the security guards had to laugh as did everyone within ear shot. I think the whole experience was worth it just for that.
"I mean, there needs to be a wholesale effort against racial profiling, which is illiterate children." - George W Bush.
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