An Arab human rights activist was prevented from boarding a plane at Kennedy Airport while wearing a T-shirt that read, “We will not be silent,” in English and Arabic.
Raed Jarrar was at the gate to board a JetBlue Airways flight to Oakland, Calif., on Aug. 12 when four officials from the airline or a government agency stopped him and told him he could not board with the shirt on, he said Wednesday.
One official told him, “Going to an airport with a T-shirt in Arabic script is like going to a bank and wearing a T-shirt that says, ‘I’m a robber,”’ he said. […] In the end, officials gave Jarrar another shirt to wear over his, and he put it on rather than miss his flight.
Jarrar said he was forced to give up his seat near the front of the plane and was issued a new boarding pass for a seat in the rear. (emphasis mine)
You have got to be kidding me. Please, tell me we aren’t so deeply racist a society that we assume an arab wearing a shirt w/ arabic on it is going to blow up our plane. Tell me this is a joke. Please…someone? Anyone? Damn…
Not only is this atrociously bigoted, it’s illogical: When’s the last time a terrorist has boarded a plane wearing a shirt that said “I am a terrorist” (which his shirt did not say)? Hell, I’d say if someone had a shirt with that on it they’d be the LEAST likely to do something, it’d probably be some punk that thinks being dryly ironic on purpose makes them a rebel.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there already were T-shirts that said “I am a terrorist”. If not, then maybe I should make that shirt. Not to be funny, but to make a point about how nonsensical our assumptions about people are, and as a protest of how over the past few years this society has grown scared of its own shadow.