Thursday, August 30, 2007
The usual suspects
There you go again, a woman traveling from Californian to Chicago yesterday, Wednesday, August 29 went to the flight crew and reported suspicious Arab-looking men who were “possibly speaking Arabic” after she boarded the plane heading to Chicago. The woman was reported to have told the crew that there were 4 to 7 men possibly speaking Arabic who acted in an “ odd behavior”
Later on, the woman wanted to get off the plane causing the plane to go back to the terminal and was delayed until the next day.
It was not known what constitute an odd behavior in the woman’s mind!
It turned out that the Arabic men were Iraqis who according the Associated Press were contracted by private company to train US marines, possibly, my guess, on Arabic language, cultural sensitivities and the significance of special Shia rituals in Iraq.
The most “ Odd” thing about this story was how in the world did that woman know that the men were speaking Arabic? It was a lucky guess of course because obviously the woman does not know or understand Arabic. The men could have been speaking Mongolian, Hebrew, Armenian, Bulgarian or Persian or even Martian language. But maybe, and I am speculating here, the moustaches gave them away as being Arabs!
The truth and the significance of story and countless others like it, is that the woman acted with a racist disposition when it comes to Arabs and Arab Americans or anyone who looks like an Arab.
Popular culture and Hollywood feed Americans a relentless and shamless daily diet of anti-Arab racism and hatred in shows and movies that portray Arabs as always villains and terrorists.
The TV show, 24,for example is a fantastical stupid show that the very reason of its existence is to portray Arabs and Muslims as the evil ones, the villains and the terrorists. Always. Hollywood role here is being the fountainhead that provide the racists, and the criminals with mental ammunition to perhaps go ahead and harm an innocent Arab American or a Muslim American whose only guilt is his ethnicity or religious belief. Hollywood is guilty of manufacturing deception and planting a culture of fear, racism, and hatred in the minds of millions of will-meaning Americans.
With that said,only the Arab money,however, is welcomed in America, as the gulf Arab countries are ready to pump over 20 billion dollars worth of worthless military hardware into the American economy thus putting and keeping millions of Americans at their jobs. Other than that, An Arab who comes to America, according to Arab press reports, would feel un-welcomed, disrespected, looked down upon, and often times treated with the most undignified fashion.
So when ordinary Americans get suspicious about something at an airport or a train terminal, they immediately look for the usual suspect, an Arab or someone who looks like him.
It would be very stupid to think that terrorist syndicates would send an advance surveillance team to any American city wearing fluffy white robes, sporting colorful turbans with a peacock feather coming out of the middle of it, and having nametags that reads “ Sheik Mombasa Bin Babil”
Anti-Arab stereotyping and racism, however, might prove to be lethal and an Achilles heel for which the real terrorists whose skin might lack enough pigmentation to look pleasing to any racist person in which case would cause him to pass as “Whitey” himself. And imagine a new wave of terrorists who have blonde hair and green eyes who then would be able to conduct surveillance, plant bombs without raising an eyebrow from ordinary people who are looking at an innocent man who happened to go the bathroom (odd behavior) or talking to his wife Fatima or his cousin Ali Baba (another odd behavior) or, God-forbid, speaking Arabic (the oddest behavior of all at any giving airport)
I bet if Barak Obama was not famous enough or running for national office, he would be taken off the plane for an odd or suspicious behavior such as reading a newspaper or going to the bathroom or for the oddest behavior of all; having a dark skin!