I just got back from traveling to the liberal land of Massachusetts. I didn’t see their celebrated female Cherokee Senator, Elizabeth “Crock of Bull” Warren, on my plane, nor any obviously Muslim passengers, so I had a good flight. (If that last part about Muslims makes me a bigot, so be it; bigotry and realism are not mutually exclusive.) In preparation for my travels yesterday, I fully expected to experience firsthand, for the first time, being profiled by the Transportation Security Administration.
Why did I expect to be profiled? Because it was a roughly 12-hour day trip I was taking, flying from Virginia to Boston and then back in the same day to visit my girlfriend, and therefore I only packed, and barely, a small backpack; no checked baggage at all.
Considering that my destination was recently attacked by two worthless snots who hid their explosive devices in their backpacks, I figured it was a tick against me that I had a backpack (which, by the way, was filled with various electronics and wires) and was heading to Boston. Given that I was coming back the same day, I would not have been surprised had I been suspected of merely buying the return-flight ticket to guard myself against the suspicion that I was actually going to make this a “one-way flight.” One-way flights are always seen as suspicious, naturally.
I realize lots of people pack one carry-on and one carry-on only, but they are usually businessmen, ostensibly. I, dressed in a black and purple T-shirt with a hole in it and wearing an old, red, raggedy backpack, probably looked closer to a victim of President Obama’s jobs recovery. On top of all this, I was quite nervous. Whenever I’m boarding a plane, I am always half-convinced it will be my last time on Earth (or second to last, if the final crash-down is included). Frequent travelers, such as businessmen, don’t act how I do at airports.
In short, barring my skin color, I had all the appearance of a terrorist. For this I expected to be pulled aside and asked a series of questions pertaining to my trip; expected to be profiled based on all factors. And I hoped to be pulled aside, if I’m honest, because it would have meant the TSA were doing something right, and this would have soothed my nerves. Likewise, if I were a Muslim wearing Muslim duds, I would want to be pulled aside and subjected to questioning; I would feel safer, and I would realize that America is justified in feeling unnerved around Muslims.
The TSA did not pull me aside, however, so it’s lucky for them and their job security that I didn’t convert to Islam at the departure gate.