Monday, December 28, 2009

Terror in the Skies

I found out about the attempted bombing of the Delta/Northwest flight landing at Detroit Metro the day after it happened, glancing at a New York Post over at the bagel place down the street. It turns out that Fellow Traveler had seen it on the news the evening before, when I was asleep, but didn't want to tell me about it because she thought it would make me too anxious flying home.

She needn't have worried; I was frankly more anxious about briefly losing track of my driver's license in my handbag the other day. But I am angry -- specifically over an article in the Detroit Free Press which quoted a member of Detroit's Nigerian Muslim community hoping aloud that the attempted bombing wouldn't lead to profiling members of that community at airports.

Really, now? That's the big concern of the Nigerian Muslim community in Detroit? -- that one of them might be subject to a secondary search at the airport? Hmmm. I would think that -- hello -- getting blown up by a fundamentalist fruitcake might be of slightly more concern to any human being with half a brain and a normal impulse to stay alive.

I am sometmes made fun of for exhibiting political correctness, but this is one area where I'm not going to do so: If someone fits the ethnic and religious profile of an Islamic terrorist, then for heaven's sake the TSA and local law enforcement should profile them...and their innocent coreligionists/countrypeople need to stop whining and cooperate, like people who find terrorism repulsive and unacceptable.

If a cabal of middle-aged Lutheran lesbian grannies gone bad suddenly began creating life-threatening mayhem on board airplanes, I would gladly volunteer to go through an additional airport screening; because I have nothing to hide; because I'm not doing anything wrong. And if my fellow Lutheran lesbian grannies started sniveling about harassment and privacy and prejudice, I'd tell them to woman up and do what needs to be done to identify the bad apples and prevent them from wreaking more havoc.

Many years ago, when a spate of films depicting gay and lesbian villains hit Hollywood at the same time, provoking an angry response in the gay community, I remember some gay activist -- maybe Larry Kramer -- noting that a community has not really reached a state of maturity, self-acceptance and self-confidence as long as it can't acknowledge the fact that some of its members are bad people. Maybe someone should convey that bit of advice to Muslim groups who publicly express more outrage over perceived insults to their community than outrage over the carnage and fear generated by terrorism.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

For the most part I agree with you. But there are cases where "profiling" or something like it is outrageous. Like when a black man got shot because a white woman had been raped and the shooter just went after a black guy because there are so few black guys in that particular town.

But I really can't understand how there could be profiling of Nigerians in Detroit. I mean, wouldn't they just blend in with so many people in the community?

My family is mixed race and my son was quite upset when there was a particular incident involving a nut-case-shooter who was visually similar to him, thinking that people would generalize. But this is quite different from airport screening.

But what would it be like to get on the security sh__list? My friend, 66 years old, Finnish ancestry, was on the list for no reason for a few years and it was hard for him to go on trips. Too bad this latest nut wasn't checked out better since he was already on the list.

LutheranChik said...

Our kids, whose dad is Mexican, are dark-complected, so they routinely get double-checked at airports...usually not full-body-scanned, but stopped before boarding and their paperwork double-checked. They consider this a kind of necessary nuisance in these times. The outrage, to me, is in double-screening people like our sons, but not fully screening, say, women in abayas. If the Muslim community wants to disavow terrorism, then I'd suggest they get with the program instead of going all outraged and obstructionist whenever they're asked to inconvenience themselves in the same manner as everyone else.