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Archive for August 17th, 2009

Racial Profiling Strikes Again

Posted by evankessler on August 17, 2009

me don, shah rukh don!

Image by grand.jeté via Flickr

Racial Profiling has been a longstanding tradition in the United States of America. If you’re brown and weren’t in the movie Slumdog Millionaire odds are someone in a position of authority thinks you’reeither a terrorist, a burglar hell bent on ransacking the homes of prominent Harvard Professors, or worse, a socialist Nazi who wants to turn us all into a helpless gaggle of able bodied citizens with guaranteed health care.  The African-American population could tell you some stories over a beer with the President if you’d like.

Tradition aside, it had seemed like the practice of profiling had died down over the past few weeks in the wake of some sort of controversial incident in Massachusetts of which we’re totally unaware of the specifics.  Leave it to the great state of New Jersey to bring back a grand ol’ tradition in style just in time for torrid news period that is the month of August. Over the weekend the vigilant officials at Newark Airport (i.e. The Center of the Universe) had their suspicions trained on one particular passenger.  Maybe it was the movie star good looks of Shah Rukh Khan that caught their eye, or his Muslim name, or the fact that he knew he had that certain something–that certain something that screams I’m either a really big star or I want to probably kill a lot of people, people who are currently asking for my autograph. Unfortunately for the Newark Airport officials, they would come to find out it was the former.
Shah Rukh Khan, one of the biggest actors in Bollywood currently on the road promoting a film about the racial profiling of Indian Muslims after 9/11, was ironically detained and questioned as part of a “secondary inspection” for over one hour by airport authorities  who subsequently found out that he was not planning on doing evil (unless his latest film ends up being a bomb).

The false detainment has caused a good level of embarrassment for the US and outrage from Indians, some of whom called for retaliation against the likes of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on their twitter accounts. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer
attempted to appease those outraged by stating that Khan was a “global icon” and a “very welcome guest in the United States.” As a further goodwill gesture he offered the Indian government Carrot Top provided they lock him up and throw away the key.


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