God(s) help you if you’re flying into or around America nowadays and you have brown skin. You’re especially fucked if your last name sounds even vagely foreign and your lineage doesn’t meet the U.S. Government’s standards. These two horror stories spell it out as clearly as any: America is suffering from a sickness of paranoia and hostility aimed at people who look “foreign.” Even if you’re sick or pregnant–even if you’re an actual U.S. Citizen, for fuck’s sake!–prepare to spend hours in a questioning room if they don’t like something about you or where you’ve been.
- At JFK Airport, Denying Basic Rights Is Just Another Day at the Office – This one’s outrageous: ”I have traveled to many different places, some supposedly repressive, and have never seen people treated with the kind of animosity that Homeland Security showed that night. In Syria, border control officers were stern but polite. At other borders there have been bureaucracies to contend with — excruciating for both Americans and other foreign nationals. I’ve met Russian officials with dead, suspicious looks in their eyes and arms tired from stamping so many visas, but in America, the Homeland Security officials I encountered were very much alive — like vultures waiting to eat.”
- Doctor Flying Southwest Tries To Go To Bathroom, Ends Up In Jail – This poor guy tried to go to the restroom during his flight and was treated like a potential terrorist, and then he was interrogated by the FBI upon landing because the stewardess said he was “creating a disturbance” and of course they believed her: ”During 30 years of my stay in America , I never felt so threatened nor my rights so violated as I did that fateful night. ‘You are not guilty until proven otherwise’, the anthem we are made to believe all the time was turned out to be not true; I was guilty until prove my self innocent. I was treated like a guilty person and was never given a chance even to tell my side of the story. Even after the incidence, I am finding it difficult to prove my innocence. I want Southwest Air Lines to realize their mistake and drop charges against me. I did contact Southwest airlines and was informed that they were standing by their stewardess and the issue had no racial profile or bias.”
This makes my blood boil. And yet, what can we do? Sue the government? Sue the airline? Will it really do any good?