US Dept of Homeland #Security @DHSJournal “If You See Something, Say Something” #GWOT #Counterterrorism #CivilRights #Discrimination #Profiling
My first instinct when I came across this video was to dismiss it and come up with alternate titles such as, “If you see someone brown, say something.” “If you hear something non-Anglo, say something.” But as I’m trying to become a more responsible person each day, and, above all else, terrorist attacks are wrong and we should do what makes sense to prevent them, I watched the video and wrote a few comments.
1. The video takes care not to portray Muslims as the only terrorists, which is good.
2. For some reason, the terrorists nearly all wear black and have hoodies.
3. At minute 2:44-2:50, surveillance and elicitation are mentioned as possible suspicious behavior. At 7:54, a man in a hoodie taking notes and pictures at the train is portrayed as suspicious. How can a person pursue a public issue without these activities? For example, Justice Clarence Thomas is supposed to come to my city of Augusta, GA to inaugurate a new federal courthouse. The date was unknown, and I was thinking of planning a demonstration. I called people in the city government to find out when the opening ceremony was to take place. Is that elicitation going to put me on some list? (I know I’m already on lists, so it does not bother me.) But will a white person with an Anglo name end up on a list because of elicitation or surveillance or note taking?
4. OK, so let’s assume all us non-white, non-Anglos take one for the team and not care about extra surveillance on us and our being investigated for normal activities. Will authorities, after investigation, inform us that we were investigated and cleared? Is there a process for removing records related to the incident from all the databases? Will these reports affect security clearances and other professional opportunities?
5. Will there be an effort by the authorities to educate our Anglo brothers and sisters who submit the crazy reports so that their paranoid fears of the non-Anglo may diminish?
In the time it took me to write this, CAIR reported two cases of police and private security freaking out over Muslims. One involved an airline passenger in San Diego, and the other a college student in Virginia.
Sept 8, 2011 Addendum: Under Suspicion at the Mall of America
April 29, 2012 Addendum: Charges against Virginia college student dropped