Of Mexicans, Dominicans and the “F” Word

By: Daniel Nardini

A Transportation Security Agency (TSA) report about the TSA security personnel at Newark International Airport specifically targeting Mexicans and Dominicans is especially damning. The TSA security personnel targeted Mexicans and Dominican visitors to the United States so that they looked like they were doing something. The report does not mention why the TSA started to look into this, nor why this had been going on for a year (2008-2009) before the TSA put a stop to it and had the personnel “retrained” or “disciplined.”

What is just as disgraceful is that a well-known children’s author, Robert Sayegh, was kicked off a flight for using foul language to himself. If one puts all of this together along with so many other incidents, they paint a nasty picture of airline personnel being so paranoid and overworked that they mistake foul language for some terrorist threat. It also paints a picture of a TSA getting fairly out of control. It is bad enough that they are virtually strip-searching us, but to target us because of the fact we maybe of Mexican and Dominican descent? Who is to say that this is still not happening somewhere else?

One thing I do know, and that is people I know personally are now going by car, bus or train. They want to avoid the hassles of TSA security, nasty airline personnel, and delays and being charged for just about everything. I myself have done my best to avoid getting on a plane or even going to an airport. Before these new invasive procedures were put into place I found airport security ridiculous as it was. The other problem seems to be that the politicians and too many Americans are conceding too many of our civil liberties in trying to feel “safe.” If this means being able to search people for their ancestry or ethnic and racial origins then we are in major trouble. If it means being able to be able to call police to throw people off airplanes and or jail them for inappropriate (but non-threatening) language then we are living in an extra-legal world.

If I were Robert Sayegh I would sue the airlines that had him thrown off only to protect myself in the near future. If I was the TSA I would fire the whole lot of people who targeted Mexicans and Dominicans and have them even jailed for violating the rights of those wronged. But because we are living in an extra-legal mode of thinking we can justify almost anything. What happened to Robert Sayegh is a major problem because the airlines have been given “sole control” over the air. In this surreal world of air-tight security and sole control over what may or may not be acceptable in the air, I ask myself (but not too loudly), “what ever happened to the U.S. Constitution and all of the protections we are supposed to have?”

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