The latest episode with Shadi Sadr accusing ALL Iranian men of being chauvinists reminded me of standing in the TSA line. Have you ever been to a TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) line at the airport? From what I understand as a non-lawyer, the way the US laws have figured it, TSA will search everyone whether you are 2 years old or an 89 year old lady on a wheel chair. This way, TSA will not be accused of profiling. However, when there is an orange code (or whatever the color is now), TSA will randomly pull out ALL people of Middle Eastern decent off the line for a full search. Let’s see, I am not an Arab from Saudi Arabia or Egypt, I am not a Sunni radical Muslim. However, I am a man; my name is Ahmad/….. with Iran as the country of origin (don’t forget my permanent tan), so I must be a good candidate for a full search.
OK, I am standing in front of the TSA officer. What do I do? Scream bloody murder that I am not a terrorist, or, let bygones be bygones and take it like a “man”. If I object, I will definitely be targeted as a trouble-maker and be pulled off line. If I do not say anything and just look disappointed, I will probably be subjected to further searches especially if there a code orange, anyways. So, let’s see. How about if I pull a US flag around me and sing Yankee-doodle-dandy?
How can Shadi Sadr be wrong? A woman with her credentials cannot tell a lie, so I guess as a good MSP, “I will let her win” and declare that we are ALL card-carrying male chauvinistic pigs. So, next time, what kind of a traveller will YOU be? The lesson I learnt from the Shadi Sadr incidence is that there is a code red, so I will take it like a “man” and stand in the TSA line like a good boy. And, when it comes to my turn, I will ask: Can I have another one, and hopefully it will not turn into a deep cavity search?
* Unlike the nice cartoons by our talented crew, my cartoon was taken from http://www.chiefhomeofficer.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/skooba-tsa-image.jpg with slight modifications.