The Treatment of Arab Americans

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A stressful month of work has finally come to an end and a long waited vacation with the family is just around the corner. The next morning you finally get everyone’s bags packed and jump in a shuttle to head to the airport. When you arrive at the airport the heavy door to the shuttle opens as you gather your bags and head through the big glass doors to check in. The nice blonde at counter smiles at you and your family and tells you to have a nice trip. Making your way to security you are relieved that you no longer have to drag your heavy luggage around. When you hand your family’s passports to the TSA officer waiting half way through the line he takes a quick glance at them and hands them back so you can be on your way. As you are waiting in a new line to pass through the metal detectors you notice a man of Middle Eastern decent with a thick black beard wearing a turban and a long black robe. How does this make you feel? Anxious? Concerned? Nervous? Frightened? Or do you feel comfortable? Do you feel guilty for even noticing him? Do you check to see if the TSA officers are keeping an eye on him? Do you watch him as he goes through the scanner to see if he is asked to step aside for a “random” check?
Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 airport security has been drastically increased and improved. However, with this increase in security have we also seen an increase in racial profiling and discrimination? It is evident that people of Middle East or South Asian origin have been subject to extensive screening and controversial detentions by officials at American airports (Shah). TSA has a and professional mandate to do their job a specific way that directly includes racial profiling. These TSA agents are train...

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