Racial profiling exposed at Boston Airport
Muslims and Arabs are routinely pulled from lines and subjected to invasive checking and interrogation.
August 16, 2012, 17:40 EST
After the August 5th shooting at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin, more examples of the racism and domestic hate culture in the United States is drawing to the surface. In a recent example, 32 security officers affiliated with the Boston’s Logan International Airport have filed a complaint about undue and excessive racial profiling of minorities.
The Transportation Security Administration’s “behavior detection program” at Logan is a flagship surveillance program for screening airline passengers and their techniques are widely copied in other airports around the country. Washington DC’s Reagan Airport is one airport using “behavior detection” officers. However, in the complaint, officers point out that the program is being used to justify undue harassment and targeting of minority passengers.
According to an AP report, “Specially trained ‘assessors’ observe security lines for unusual activity and speak individually with each passenger, looking for inconsistencies in the passenger's responses to questions and behavior such as avoiding eye contact, fidgeting or sweating.
However, “They just pull aside anyone who they don’t like the way they look — if they are black and have expensive clothes or jewelry, or if they are Hispanic,” said one white officer to the New York Times, which broke the story. “The behavior detection program is no longer a behavior-based program, but it is a racial profiling program,” one officer wrote in the complaint.
Muslims have borne the brunt of such techniques—passengers with Muslim names or who visibly look Muslim or Arab are routinely pulled from lines and subjected to invasive checking and interrogation. However, the program widely targets anybody who departs from “the norm” (White Anglo Saxon Protestant). Kenneth Boatner, a black psychologist, has filed a complaint against the TSA for invasively interrogating him at the airport, which included going through his personal belongings and looking at his client files.