A Republican political operative about to give the First Amendment a rectal exam
(photo from here)
…well, not exactly. From the BBC comes this heartwarming story of fear of everything Arab (italics mine):
Raed Jarrar said security officials warned him his clothing was offensive after he checked in for a JetBlue flight to California on 12 August.
Mr Jarrar said he was shocked such an action could be taken in the US.
US transport officials are conducting an inquiry after a complaint from the US Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
JetBlue said it was also investigating the incident but a spokeswoman said: “We’re not clear exactly what happened.”
Mr Jarrar’s black cotton T-shirt bore the slogan in both Arabic and English.
He said he had cleared security at John F Kennedy airport for a flight back to his home in California when he was approached by two men who wanted to check his ID and boarding pass.
Mr Jarrar said he was told a number of passengers had complained about his T-shirt – apparently concerned at what the Arabic phrase meant – and asked him to remove it.
He refused, arguing that the slogan was not offensive and citing his constitutional rights to free expression.
Mr Jarrar later told a New York radio station: “I grew up and spent all my life living under authoritarian regimes and I know that these things happen.
“But I’m shocked that they happened to me here, in the US.”
After a difficult exchange with airline staff, Mr Jarrar was persuaded to wear another T-shirt bought for him at the airport shop.
“We Will Not Be Silent” is a slogan adopted by opponents of the war in Iraq and other conflicts in the Middle East.
It is said to derive from the White Rose dissident group which opposed Nazi rule in Germany.
Actually, the White Rose group called for:
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the protection of individual citizens from the abritrary will of criminal regimes of violence-these will be the bases of the New Europe.
There is a terrible and terrifying irony in all of this.
Edward R. Murrow once said, when standing up to the fear-mongering of McCarthy:
We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear – one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were – for the moment -unpopular.