Saturday, May 5, 2012

An app to fight profiling

Think you're being profiled by TSA personnel at the airport while you wait in line to board that plane? Well, now there's an app for that.

On Monday the mobile app Fly Rights became available for download. If you suspect you're being profiled you can open the app, answer a few questions and send a complaint to TSA (for filing in the cylindrical container under the desk, I'm sure).

The app was developed by the Sikh Coalition who came up with the idea when Sikhs living in Silicon Valley approached them about their fears they were being profiled in airports. Of course, TSA denies any claims that passengers are profiled; but we're not blind to reality. Passengers who "look" or "dress" Arab are more likely to be picked on than the next guy; just as a black or Hispanic male is more likely to harassed by the police on any given night.

And these are the same goons METRO decided to bring in to our fair city last month to harass folks who rode the bus. Well, that's not exactly true. METRO decided to subject black and Hispanic folks who rode the bus and not those who took the Park and Ride buses in from the suburbs. But that's probably just an unfortunate coincidence, wouldn't you say?

Yes, there is a need to make certain that air travel is safe for the flying public. But, if you take out the hijackings on 9/11, airline passengers have more pressing concerns than their plane being hijacked.

TSA security measures are overkill - and they are aimed at the last incident. The same holds true for most of our safety devices. We are looking to protect ourselves from what happened the last time. The police state the government has installed in our airports hasn't made up any safer.

It has been an interesting exercise in how willing the American people are willing to give up their privacy just for the asking. I haven't been on a plane since 2004 - before the most stringent security measures were enacted - and I have no intention of boarding a plane anytime soon. I don't feel the need to be a lemming.

No comments: