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Author Topic: American airport security discrimination  (Read 1434 times)

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Offline WajinTopic starter

American airport security discrimination
« on: November 22, 2011, 03:54:58 AM »
So, yeah not sure if this is the right place to post this but I'll take my chance.

I was recently in New York with basically my whole school. So, we land at the airport, and on our way through security 6 out of a total of a little over a 100 people were stopped and asked to step aside and get searched, me included. Those not picked all had one thing in common. They were all white. I, being born in Denmark but to a Iranian mother and Japanese father, stood out from the group. I was really offended and asked them why they only picked the six of us, to which I got the reply "You are more likely to be a security threat". I felt deeply offended and started arguing with the guard whether or not a white person could strap explosives to himself and blow himself up. Or stab the staff of a plane with a knife. And he literally said "white people don't do terrorism" I was dumbfounded.... really? so what about the IRA? etc.

So have anyone else tried being discriminated in airports?

Offline Trieste

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 05:47:20 AM »
It's no secret that TSA is guilty of racial profiling. I have a friend whose parents emigrated from Lebanon, and he jokes that he has to allow extra time for the TSA Peep Show when he flies. It slows him down, every single time. I think people are more focused lately on keeping the TSA officials from giving everyone a choice between getting irradiated or getting their crotch groped... I feel like the racial profiling thing fell to the back burner.

Offline WajinTopic starter

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 07:23:30 AM »
I for sure felt very, very unwelcome, and doubt that I'll come back unless it changes, not that I didn't like being in America, but being delayed that much is not fun

Offline Zakharra

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 11:06:15 AM »
 The TSA used to pick people at random, people like 6-8 year old children, elderly woman and people so not likely at the time, to not be terrorists, all to avoid the stigma of racial profiling.  In regards to Islamic terrorists, non-whites are less likely to be terrorists and people of obvious Middle Eastern decent are. Is it racial profiling? Yes, to a degree. It's a profile of people more likely to be terrorists, but until a large minority of Islamic terrorists are not men of middle Eastern decent, I think it is justified as long as it's not overblown and overused.  Obviously not all Middle Eastern men are terrorists. It's just that most terrorists of the Islamic types fit that profile.

 It's a very touchy area. Do you profile this way or that way. Too much or too little?

Offline Torch

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 11:20:29 AM »
It's no secret that TSA is guilty of racial profiling.

Like Zakharra noted, the TSA can't win either way.

Either they inconvenience those of Middle Eastern origin, or they inconvenience an elderly person with a walker or a child in diapers.

Offline WajinTopic starter

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 11:54:13 AM »
The TSA used to pick people at random, people like 6-8 year old children, elderly woman and people so not likely at the time, to not be terrorists, all to avoid the stigma of racial profiling.  In regards to Islamic terrorists, non-whites are less likely to be terrorists and people of obvious Middle Eastern decent are. Is it racial profiling? Yes, to a degree. It's a profile of people more likely to be terrorists, but until a large minority of Islamic terrorists are not men of middle Eastern decent, I think it is justified as long as it's not overblown and overused.  Obviously not all Middle Eastern men are terrorists. It's just that most terrorists of the Islamic types fit that profile.

 It's a very touchy area. Do you profile this way or that way. Too much or too little?

I totally get what you're saying, but still, we're students, my schoolmates and I were literally the only people on the friggin plane.

Offline Oniya

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 12:43:24 PM »
I would have brought up Timothy McVeigh, personally. 

I was pulled out for 'special screening' once in the early days of the TSA - I was flying on very short notice and if I remember right, someone else paid my flight, and I suspect that combination is why I was tagged (Mr. Oniya's grandmother's funeral).  I fit absolutely no racial profiling for terrorists, and my only minor gripe was that I was traveling with a small child.  I had to explain to her what was going on, and she was fine, but I could see that being an issue with other kids.

Nowadays, with the reports of invasive patdowns (including elderly and children), I can't decide if I'd rather avoid planes entirely, or wait until the TSA agent grabbed the wrong place and then embarrass them with inappropriate comments.  (On the lines of 'Ooh, yeah, baby.  Do that again.') 

Offline Zakharra

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 12:47:00 PM »
  That's sad to hear, but it' something that's going to be tolerated.  As better scanning methods come into being and used, they should be less invasive. hopefully.  It's too bad we can't have scanners like they used in Total Recall.
 http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content08/tunnel-of-truth-total-recall.jpg

 http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=1510

 This is closer to being a reality and would help matters a lot.

Offline Zakharra

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2011, 12:49:29 PM »
I would have brought up Timothy McVeigh, personally. 

I was pulled out for 'special screening' once in the early days of the TSA - I was flying on very short notice and if I remember right, someone else paid my flight, and I suspect that combination is why I was tagged (Mr. Oniya's grandmother's funeral).  I fit absolutely no racial profiling for terrorists, and my only minor gripe was that I was traveling with a small child.  I had to explain to her what was going on, and she was fine, but I could see that being an issue with other kids.

Nowadays, with the reports of invasive patdowns (including elderly and children), I can't decide if I'd rather avoid planes entirely, or wait until the TSA agent grabbed the wrong place and then embarrass them with inappropriate comments.  (On the lines of 'Ooh, yeah, baby.  Do that again.')

 LMAO. That would be so worth seeing for the amusement value if nothing else.

Offline Slywyn

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2011, 12:54:41 PM »
The problem is that you cannot win either way. Someone, somewhere, is going to pitch a fit. Either you go completely random and end up searching children, or you try to match suspects with previously 'tested' stereotypes. Is either way perfect? No, they aren't. And you end up with problems like these.

But until they come up with a better system for finding dangerous substances/items, things like this will sadly happen. I'm sorry that your experience was unpleasant, but these guys(while apparently uneducated) were just doing their job. Half the time the ones that actually search you aren't the ones that picked you out, either. They have trained observers who are supposed to 'randomly' select search targets, within parameters. Unfortunately, you fell within those.

Offline Oniya

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2011, 12:56:34 PM »
LMAO. That would be so worth seeing for the amusement value if nothing else.

Well, I figured that screaming 'sexual harassment' or 'Don't touch me!' would just get me taken away to the little room for special special screening. ;D

There's actually a SafeAuto commercial that plays on this idea.  You hear the male 'TSA agents' saying things like 'Classical or jazz for your pat-down?', 'Now sir, I'm going to ask you to call me Lisa', and 'Now, I'm going to need you to whinny.'

Offline Torch

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2011, 03:29:22 PM »
the TSA agent grabbed the wrong place and then embarrass them with inappropriate comments.  (On the lines of 'Ooh, yeah, baby.  Do that again.')

I keep hoping I'll get selected so I can say "I usually require someone to buy me a drink first before they can touch me there."

But I keep getting passed over, dammit.  :P

Offline Trieste

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2011, 03:37:01 PM »
As with any screening process, the jokes probably get old and they will probably have to swallow the urge to tell you, "Like I haven't heard that nine thousand times before". Just ask the Mentors. >.>

I feel as bad for the TSA agents as I do for the travelers; it's not like your average Joe Schmoe on the ground makes these policies.

Offline Torch

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2011, 05:02:23 PM »
As with any screening process, the jokes probably get old and they will probably have to swallow the urge to tell you, "Like I haven't heard that nine thousand times before". Just ask the Mentors. >.>

Heh, true. Oh well.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2011, 05:05:56 PM »
I had a buddy who (despite his military ID and air crew standing) gets pulled a lot. He typically goes out of his way to find things like smelly socks and such to wear when he knows he's going through a civilian airport as well as eating noxious stuff the night before (pickled eggs is a favorite with his booze). He will wear steel toe boots in airports that don't require you to take them off initially..

Of course most aircrew I know in the Navy are crazy guys anyway.

Offline Missy

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2011, 10:45:56 PM »
I have no experience in this and probably never will being a European-American(I think it sounds better than "white"), but it sounds rather stupid to me if that's the way it works. I mean isn't Dane Japanese? So what do the people we employ exhibit the incapacity to tell the difference between an ethnic Arab and an ethnic Asian? is it really that hard to tell the difference?

I guess it's true to a certain extent that some (and I do mean some) racial profiling is reasonable, but I mean of course it makes perfect since to detain an Asian person. After all an Asian person is most likely to be Budhist which, in case you were unaware, happens to be one of the worlds only three monotheistic religions, all of which were born in the middle east, just in case you didn't know . . .

Offline WajinTopic starter

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2011, 02:01:42 AM »
I have no experience in this and probably never will being a European-American(I think it sounds better than "white"), but it sounds rather stupid to me if that's the way it works. I mean isn't Dane Japanese? So what do the people we employ exhibit the incapacity to tell the difference between an ethnic Arab and an ethnic Asian? is it really that hard to tell the difference?

I guess it's true to a certain extent that some (and I do mean some) racial profiling is reasonable, but I mean of course it makes perfect since to detain an Asian person. After all an Asian person is most likely to be Budhist which, in case you were unaware, happens to be one of the worlds only three monotheistic religions, all of which were born in the middle east, just in case you didn't know . . .

to be fair, I look sort of out of the ordinary, seeing as my mother is Iranian. But I look predominantly east Asian.

Offline Oniya

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2011, 02:11:11 AM »
With my experience, I can only assume complete randomness or a flag due to the nature of my ticket purchase.  Unless, of course, they think that thin, pale and dark hair equates to 'Goth', and therefore I'm out to sack Rome.

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Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2011, 02:29:00 AM »
With my experience, I can only assume complete randomness or a flag due to the nature of my ticket purchase.  Unless, of course, they think that thin, pale and dark hair equates to 'Goth', and therefore I'm out to sack Rome.

~snerk~  Would that be Visigoth or Ostrogoth by chance? >.>

~cough~  On topic ... it certainly would be a frustration, I imagine, being detained.  I'm sorry you had to deal with it, Japanese Dane.  But yes, it if were me, I would have to struggle not to give the most snarky replies.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2011, 06:10:11 AM »
Interesting factoid: Up until very recently - about a year or so, roughly -the TSA required that pilots had to go through the same security screenings and restrictions (no corkscrews or pocket knives, bottled liquids over 3oz., etc.) that general passengers do. Now, does anyone else see the fundamental logical flaw here?

Offline Jude

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2011, 03:09:22 AM »
The underwear bomber was from Nigeria, not the Saudi Arabia or anywhere else.  Sulayman al-Faris, also known as John Walker Lindh (a white American), was in training to be a terrorist before he was captured in Afganistan.  These are just two of many examples you can find of Islamic terrorists (or would-be terrorists) who are not of Arabic descent.  If you branch out from Muslim terrorists, you can name many more.  Timothy McVeigh, the Unibomber, the entirety of the IRA, etc.

Use of racial profiling is akin to narrowing your gaze to peer at fewer people, thus allowing atypical looking terrorists to slip through easier than if we impartially screen passengers with respect to race.

And if we adopt a full-on racial profiling regimen, is anyone really convinced that the terrorists won't figure that out pretty fast, then exploit the gigantic hole we've created?

Can America really even keep any policy a secret anymore with the way our media works?  If the TSA switches to that, the ACLU will be sending out a press release on their high-profile lawsuit within the very day they discover it to every corner of the earth.

The problem isn't with how racial profiling mistreats minorities -- it does, but it's a worthwhile sacrifice to save lives if it did given a screening at the airport isn't a big deal so long as false positives do not occur -- the problem is that it does the opposite of what it's intended to do.  It creates a weakness, it does not shore one up.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 03:11:41 AM by Jude »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2011, 10:20:32 AM »
Sad thing is it doesn't matter or even showing a REAL ID now required, if a terrorist wanted to blow themselves up go to the airport packed up with bombs go to the line getting in and at the checkpoint BOOM! The best security is observant security looking for odd things, citizens being vigilant, airport screening and the airplanes not being easy targets.

Do you think anyone will submit to terrorists again on any airplane after 9/11 and pilot crews with security doors on the cockpits will not submit they will now do everything to land the plane, even under threat to the passengers.

So this policy of random searches is useless or searches based on race.

Offline The Golden Touch

Re: American airport security discrimination
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2011, 12:17:38 PM »
Thankfully, they started having another squadron fly all of the enlisted Navy via their charter jets so we don't have to go through airport security. Mwahahahaha