This Is All Kinds Of Wrong of the Day: On Sunday, September 11th, two passenger planes had to be escorted to their destination by F-16 jets after suspicious activity was reported on board.
One of those flights, Frontier Flight 623, landed at Detroit’s Metropolitan Airport, and was met on the runway by FBI agents and a SWAT unit. Three passengers — two men of Indian descent and a woman — were removed from coach in bracelets, and taken into custody.
The female detainee, as it turns out, was Jewish Arab blogger Shoshana Hebshi.
“Silly me,” Hebshi writes in a post describing her ordeal, “I thought flying on 9/11 would be easy.” Hebshi says she had never been profiled before, despite the Arab features she got from her Saudi Arabian dad.
“Because I am my father’s daughter I am aware of the possibility of anti-Arab and anti-Semitic sentiments that have increased dramatically,” she says, “but luckily no members of my family nor myself have had to endure what so many others have gone through in this country and throughout the world.”
All that changed Sunday when Hebshi was handcuffed, locked up, and strip-searched — all because a passenger aboard her plane thought she looked suspicious.
“You understand why we have to do this, right? It’s for our own protection,” said the female officer responsible for administering the search. “Because I am so violent,” Hebshi thought to herself. “And pulling me off an airplane, handcuffing me and patting me down against a squad car didn’t offer enough protection. They also needed to make sure all my orifices were free and clear.”
After all was said and done, an FBI agent apologized to Hebshi and thanked her for her cooperation. “It’s 9/11 and people are seeing ghosts,” the agent told her, adding that the FBI “had to act on a report of suspicious behavior, and this is what the reaction looks like.”
But to Hebshi, who says she won’t be flying on September 11 any time soon, these excuses ring hollow:
In the aftermath of my events on Sept. 11, 2011, I feel violated, humiliated and sure that I was taken from the plane simply because of my appearance…We live in a complicated world that, to me, seems to have reached a breaking point. The real test will be if we decide to break free from our fears and hatred and truly try to be good people who practice compassion–even toward those who hate.
[ap via lasvegassun / shebshi.]