Human Rights Badasses

Eric Stoller just wrote a post about Raed Jarrar, who was given a lot of crap and humiliation at an airport because he committed two very serious crimes:

1) Being Arab-looking while in an airport.

2) Wearing a shirt with Arabic script while in an airport.

The thing is, I’m not even kidding. They even said that was the reason, comparing this to telling a bank you’re a robber. Because Arab=terrorist, so letting people know you’re Arab is like telling them you’re a terrorist. I mean, I guess you can be Arab, but don’t go around making it known at an airport. Especially not one in the United States, where we have both terrorist attacks and an amendment to the constitution protecting freedom of speech. And I know people make a lot of noise about freedom of speech when it doesn’t even apply, like “oh my gosh you deleted my comments don’t I have freedom of speech!!1!” but this is actually a freedom of speech case. What your T-shirt says can be considered speech under the law, and the airport is a public place (unlike a private blog, etc, and no that hasn’t happened to me but it does happen). Edit: JetBlue is a private company and they actually only bothered him when he tried to get on the plane, so that’s arguable, but racial profiling is still against the law.  And you also hear a lot of argument about what constitutes racial profiling and what’s fair and what’s not, but this is about as clear-cut as it gets. There is no reason to think this guy’s a terrorist unless you think Arabs must be terrorists. (Michael Savage thinks all South Asians are terrorists, isn’t that lovely?)

Since I’m totally stealing this from Eric Stoller’s blog, take a moment to follow the link at the beginning and read about it there, and then come back and I’ll tell you what to do.

Welcome back.

So, Jarrar and the ACLU are fighting this, and you can do something pretty badass too. You can get your very own Arabic and English “We will not be silent” t-shirt from this website that looks pretty cool (I got a warning about its certificate but it seemed fine to me). I will award bonus Official Badass Points to anyone who wears it to the airport.


picture from the ACLU


et cetera