targeted and ignorant + institutional morphism

Racial Profiling Rife at Airport, U.S. Officers Say

BOSTON — More than 30 federal officers in an airport program intended to spot telltale mannerisms of potential terrorists say the operation has become a magnet for racial profiling, targeting not only Middle Easterners but also blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.

joe walsh New Mexico
What on earth are they doing? When did TSA become a stop and frisk general law enforcement agency? They have overstepped their mission. What does terrorism have to do with outstanding warrants, which are often traffic violations! If someone has pot in their pocket, how is that a threat to security?

They have gone way beyond their mission. This is a real violation of civil liberties, a real categorical advance of citizens as prisoners. Can we stop it , please? Don't use my taxes to pursue this misguided policy. If e ever have an honest Supreme Court again, it's time for a constitutional lawyer to take this on. Or we could just stop it, stop it now.

wsschaillcom florida
As many of us have suspected for some time, the TSA is not in the business of protecting us from terrorists but rather of trying to catch drug users and other common criminals. It's 'stop and frisk' on a national scale.

Luc K Shanghai, China
This year I have stopped visiting my daughters in Honolulu. Each time I arrive I'm pulled aside and questioned as to why a US citizen has a second residence in Malaysia, a primary residence in Shanghai and no residence in the US. Upon departure again I'm checked in more detail. I have a defibrillator implant done in Taiwan. The ID card issued by the US manufacturer Medtronic is not accepted by the TSA. I have to undergo a 20 minute special check in an isolation room. I'm 70 years old, Jewish.

Thomas Nyon, Switzerland
For an agency that appears incapable of stopping its own employees from stealing from passenger's suitcases, it is inconceivable that they could find a terrorist if their life's depended on it. Too bad it's our lives that depend on them.

deering24 Plainfield, NJ
Let's see--if you are black and dressed casually, you look suspicious. But you are also suspect if you are black and wear expensive clothes and jewels. And if you dress practically and casually for a flight (i.e, in sweatpants and t-shirt) and you're black, well, you're still suspect. What should black folks wear that won't make them suspect? Why am I even asking?
Aug. 12, 2012 at 9:28 a.m.RECOMMENDED23

bluestar MDNY
The Israeli's screening works because the screeners are for the most part very well trained people, often in the years of the required army service. The Istaeli screeners are chosen carefully and are well educated and intelligent,- not the least educated and poorly trained like the TSA screeners here.

Bill Fisher Baltimore, MD
The behavior detection program is hocus-pocus being used to conceal a drug interdiction scheme. Is anyone really stupid enough to believe that TSA can train a fast food worker to read minds in six weeks?

This is the third major incident in this program in a year involving racial profiling and harassment, illegal interrogations and unlawful searches and there have been others that received less exposure. TSA investigated themselves in the incidents in Newark and Hawaii and found they were innocent. No one was fired or prosecuted for their illegal searches and harassment of innocent people. What a surprise.
Where does this stupidity stop?

In the past two months 35 TSA workers fired or arrested and 66 more disciplined for misconduct on the job. A known pedophile, Thomas Harkins, was exposed in May but remains employed as a TSA Supervisor in Philadelphia.

There were a total of 97 TSA workers arrested in the last 20 months including 12 arrested for child sex crimes, over 26 for theft, 12 for smuggling contraband through security and one for murder.

This is precisely the problem with TSA, no accountability when they exceed their authority. Even police are subject to prosecution by victims. Not so for TSA workers and this must change.

The management and screeners at TSA responsible for this illegal activity should be prosecuted and the agency sued for billions.

TSA needs to be held to the same standards of accountability as other agencies.

Vera Montreal
There is no profile for domestic terrorists despite the danger they pose to racialized members of society. Consequently, a neo-Nazi covered in tattoos singing racists lyrics just appeared "normal" to neighbors. This is everyday bias that no one wants to talk about.

TimothyI Germantown, MD
As always, TSA is reacting to last year's threat. They're on the lookout for the twitchy, wild-eyed terrorists of 90's Hollywood, plus the mental caricatures produced by bigots trying to rack up points. They've hit the trifecta: ineffective, offensive, and expensive.

And MAYBE we should freeze their funding?

Scott Fortune Atlantic beach, FL
When I was a teenager in the 70's, a policeman in Miami told me, as I was sitting handcuffed in the back of his cruiser, that I seemed like a good kid and that I ought to get a haircut. I was in his car because I had been arrested for hitch hiking from my home to the beach, a few miles away.

He was honest enough to tell me I wouldn't have been arrested if I hadn't had long hair. ( I was in 10th grade, but he told me I looked like a draft dodger; the war in Viet Nam was raging.) he took me to the jail in downtown Miami (20 miles away from my house) and I had to sit in a holding cell until my mom came to get me.

I was searched before I was put in the cruiser and before I was put in the cell. All I was carrying was a comb and a few dollars. I was actually the president of my student government and of National Honor Society at the time.

From the time I was arrested until I got back home, about five hours had passed.

When I start to think about racial profiling, I remember my hitch hiking arrest in 1972, and it starts to make my blood boil. The question is whether we are a free society or a police state.

jbaker saint louis
Aside from the obvious wrongheadedness of racial profiling this focus of the TSA on looking into whether an individual traveler may be involved in some illegal act unrelated to terrorism is a waste of resources. Are these resources being used to determine whether individual travelers have violated any one of the four to five thousand criminal violations of the federal criminal code, in preference to interdicting terrorism?

There are a number of people who believe that if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to hide, but with our expansive criminal code on any given day anyone could have violated the law. Just how many of our rights are we required to surrender on the altars of safety and security?

Dr. Bob Miami Florida
I often travel with college student groups. Regularly they are able to predict which of them will be targeted at airport security for a "bag and body" super check.

They treat it as a learning game, an "in-class" moment illustrating institutionalized and legitimzed human ignorance and racism.

Casey Brooklyn
The TSA is doing nothing less than "stop and frisk" - hauling up anybody with dark skin. Even New York City has ceased that behavior and all they were stopping were kids. In airports, no one is safe, including passengers who count on the TSA to stop terrorism, not to spend their time shaking down "racials".

Jack NY, NY
Let's be honest, isn't this exactly what we want and need? Why in the interest of some abstract notion of fairness and equality should 90 year old grannies and 3-month old babies be subjected to full body scans? Can we not use the data from prior terrorist events to inform us of things we should look for? Does a physician "profile" me by not giving me a mamogram or my wife a digital prostate exam? Is it profiling to test my blood for certain genetic markers that are more prevalent in my racial group? Justice may be blind but she does not also have to be stupid.

MSA Miami
The TSA is a rogue force that has outlived its purpose.

1. It routinely profiles on racial characteristics -- which we all knew
2. It routinely tramples our rights, bulldozing every citizen -- which we have all suffered
3. It is not held accountable to anything: profiling, trampling our right or, worse, results

We are now routinely stripped of our shoes, our belts, our jackets, photographed naked... all for what? We don't even know if these measures actually produce results or just serve as constant reminders that we are powerless little ants in the mind of the TSA.

It is time to make them private, accountable for results and for upholding the law. Or be sued.

Ken MT Vernon, NH
They are supposedly looking for terrorists, yet to make the program look good the managers give targets or even quotas for how many people they should stop to make the program look good.

Simple question,. Have they stopped even one terrorist?

Seems to me the TSA is a part of the government we could save a lot of money on.

richard denver
Gosh. Why is it considered " racial profiling " When scientists are studying certain diseases don't they try to "profile" the groups who share certain characteristics to study ? The over-use of this " discrimination" baloney in ferreting out potential terrorists is what has lead to the frisking of grandmas in wheel chairs. Ridiculous . A big waste of tax payers' money all for the sake of " political correctness."

Kannan New York
How about doing some ethnic profiling on white supremacist who shoots up Temples, Lone crazy gunman, Corrupt Bankers who caused the financial crisis .... I wonder if you ran your percentages by ethnicity who would be on the top of the list?

Ben Deily Boston, MA
My family came to these shores in the 1700s...and have never expressed an opinion more radical than a preference for Budweiser over Coors. In and around Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, we've been farmers, miners, preachers, soldiers, school teachers, and small-town shop keepers. Not a 5th columnist or a fanatic in the bunch.

But I have a fairly dark, olive complexion. So guess who *always* gets hassled at Logan?

Your tax dollars at work. :-)

Bear New York
So, how many terrorists has the TSA caught with this program?

Rudolph New York, NY
Why this constant complaining by the passengers - give the securiy folks a break. Whenever I'm travelling through Dubai, the heart of the Middle East, I always get checked at randon - yeah, right. For a 60 year old white guy in clean trousers, $200 shoes, a blue blazer, and a fancy carry-on bag while surrounded by zillions of that part-of-the world travellers in jeans and cheap rugsacks I feel honored - especially when it is a non-stop United flight to DC. On the other hand ......... whatever.

Milwaukee Woman1 Milwaukee, WI
It appears that TSA employees have no restraints; that is, unlike police who cannot conduct searches without reasonable cause or a warrant, a TSA employee rifled through the psyhologist's check book and client notes! This is no different than living in a police state.


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