No one has successfully exploded a bomb hidden in their shoes while aboard a commercial airliner since would-be terrorist Richard Reid failed to do so the December after 9/11, nearly 15 years ago. Nevertheless, this is the United States of America, so we do a lot of the same things over and over expecting different results. Thus, you will continue to remove your shoes at airport security — even if no one else in the entire world is subjected to this same charade.
And if you so happen to not look like the average white American, you will have to remove a lot more than your shoes (think dignity).
On Sunday and Monday, Jasmeet Singh, a Canadian comedian who happens to be Sikh (which is not at all the same thing as Muslim, but does fall under the category of “brown”) and who happens to wear clothing that freaks out a lot of average looking white Americans took to Twitter to recount a recent experience at SFO in which he was ordered to take off his turban while going through security.
But the worst part for Singh, better known as JusReign on YouTube, was not that the San Francisco TSA agents removed him from the line to scan his clothing for signs of being
Muslim a threat. Here’s one of his tweets:
[jump] For those average looking white Americans reading this, being in public without your turban is not cool. Tying a turban on your head is one of the most sacred acts for a Sikh. It represents a commitment to the life god intends you to lead. And you’re supposed to have it on while in public, no exceptions. Christians consume the “body of Christ” in the form of a Saltine [editor's note: Jesus is even blander than that], so let’s all just be polite.
The TSA is famous for its unsavory treatment of people. Read about it here, here, and here. It’s also famous for letting whackjobs — albeit average looking white Americans mostly — bring all manner of “items” aboard planes.
Singh, for his part, seems to be taking it all in stride. He tweeted that he understands the protocol at airports — which is to say, he understands crazy in all its forms — but his gripe was the lack of a mirror to retie his turban and the insensitive TSA agents telling him to walk to the bathroom to put it back on.
If we’re going to humiliate people, America, let’s at least do it with some class.