Security Theater / Raed Jarrar / Airport Hell / JetBlue / TSA / → All Tags
Finally, An ACLU Victory That's Not Annoying
The TSA and JetBlue have agreed to settle a court case alleging that they illegally discriminated against a passenger because of his race and what was printed on his shirt. Raed Jarrar is walking away with $240,000, an amount that's neither offensively large nor pointlessly small.
Way back in August 2006, Jarrar rolled through JFK to catch a flight to Oakland, wearing a shirt that said "We will not be silent." Except along with the phrase written in English was the same thing written in Arabic. After fielding complaints about the shirt from other passengers, TSA and JetBlue employees asked him to remove it or miss his flight. Despite reluctantly agreeing to cover up with a new T-shirt purchased by JetBlue, the airline still moved Jarrar's seat from the front of the plane to the very back.
Needless to say, Jarrar was never a security threat. (And silk screened shirts, last time we checked, are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage!)
Transportation officials have the important responsibility of ensuring that all flights are safe, but there is no reason that safety can't be achieved while at the same time upholding the civil rights and liberties of all airline passengers.