Friday, November 12, 2010

TSA Profiling And Affirmative Action

Our loyal readers know that we're no fans of the excessive TSA security procedures that, among other results, make boarding a plane in the USA a less pleasant than in any country we've visited.

We're hoping that a tipping-point has been reached, and that the public-at-large will revolt against the most recently implemented Hobbson's choice, that of submitting one's self to an X-Ray scanner, the safety of which some scientists question, or submitting to a search similar to what a visitor to a prison might undergo.

Without going all political, you can read a recent irony here
in a press release issued by the Council for American-Islamic Relations:

Special recommendations for Muslim women who wear hijab:

* If you are selected for secondary screening after you go through the metal detector and it does not go off, and "sss" is not written on your boarding pass, ask the TSA officer if the reason you are being selected is because of your head scarf.
* In this situation, you may be asked to submit to a pat-down or to go through a full body scanner. If you are selected for the scanner, you may ask to go through a pat-down instead.
* Before you are patted down, you should remind the TSA officer that they are only supposed to pat down the area in question, in this scenario, your head and neck. They SHOULD NOT subject you to a full-body or partial-body pat-down.
* You may ask to be taken to a private room for the pat-down procedure.
* Instead of the pat-down, you can always request to pat down your own scarf, including head and neck area, and have the officers perform a chemical swipe of your hands.
* If you encounter any issues, ask to speak to a supervisor immediately. They are there to assist you.

In other words, if you're "wearing hijab" you're supposedly excused from the groping-type search. Gee, isn't that a kind of profiling?

Ironies abound.


Dennis Warner said...

Very ironic indeed. And when you think about the fact that much of the cargo that's loaded on to planes isn't screened thoroughly it does make you wonder why we all have to take our shoes off and go through the scanner and/or be patted down.

Kathy and Brian said...

The Internet is now ablaze with articles, comments, and commentary about the new machines and the new rules. National Opt-Out Day is scheduled for November 24 and we'll just have to wait and see if the current Hobbson's Choice between X-ray exposure and an unpleasantly intimate search will stand.