Friday, September 01, 2006

The T-Shirt

I like this response to the T-shirt incident:
"What, exactly, did they think they were protecting against? The slogan was certainly not a weapon. If he were a terrorist, wearing the T-shirt would not have assisted him in his task. It's true that Arabs figure prominently in the terrorism game, so it may make sense to pay particular attention to Arabs, but if that were the point, they wouldn't have denied him boarding, they would just have selected him for extra scrutiny. It is remotely possible that they thought that he was so powerful and dangerous that even without any weapons he was a threat, but in that case they surely would not have allowed him to board once he covered up the T-shirt, which is what they did. Assuming that they weren't engaged in simple harassment, which is a possibility, the only sense that I can make of this is that the officials concerned attributed to the words some sort of magical power that could be contained by covering them up. There have been societies in which people held such beliefs, but I wasn't aware that the United States in the 21st century was among them."


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