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July 21, 2004

Enter racism, stage right

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, one of my biggest concerns has not been a repeat, but rather the repercussions on those who share the same, or even just somewhat related ethnic backgrounds, to the hijackers. These fears were founded, of course, as evidenced by the stories of people of Arab decent (or even non-Muslim, non-Arabs of similar skin tone) becoming the victims of hate crimes in this country. It made me sick how, traveling by plane a few days after international flights resumed that weekend, the airline employees made no bones about hassling and searching the Arab passengers and made such a show about letting obviously white passengers go through the security checkpoints without having their bags opened and searched thoroughly. I wasn't subjected to the humiliation of having my underwear held up to the light for inspection in front of everyone, but the Arab grandmother in front me was.

Anyway, today Salon is discussing an article that had the incredibly poor taste and judgement to publish, about one Americans terrifying ordeal of being trapped on a plane with 14 Syrian musicians who had the gaul, in this day and age, to be Muslim and on a plane. According to Salon, the piece has made the Internet rounds, and hasn't been adequately discredited as one Web site's bad judgement in publishing an obviously racist and pointless piece. I can't say anymore. I want to, but it's too busy a day. Just read this. And be pissed off.

Posted by paulette at July 21, 2004 12:13 PM | TrackBack
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Thanks Paulette. As a regular reader of Ask The Pilot, I now love Patrick Smith's writing more than ever.

Seems like racism has become fashionable again in some circles. Just the other day, Andrew Sullivan had this appalling bit of quoting:

Every now and again, you're reading the paper, and a sentence obscures the rest of your day. Here was mine yesterday:

France's prison population is more than 50 percent Muslim.

That's a stunning statistic, if true. What does it say about France's ability to integrate immigrants that it has failed so dramatically with Muslims? And what does it say about France's ability to stand up to Jihadist terror, when they are already sitting on a demographic and social time bomb?

Of course, the fact that the within the US prison system almost 50% of the inmates are black doesn't concern Sullivan in the slightest. (I pointed this out to him, but of course got no reply.) By attempting to reveal the "racism" of the French he reveals his own.

Posted by: david on July 21, 2004 02:12 PM
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