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Interest and Perspective

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

 

"We Will Not Be Silent" T-Shirt Exposes More Racial Profiling, This Time by the Government

PEACEFUL PROTEST IN RESPONSE

WWNBS T-Shirts Pic


The profiling of Americans based on their wearing of clothing bearing Arabic script continues. As noted on this blog, Racist JetBlue Airlines made a man of Middle Eastern descent change his shirt and sit at the back of the bus (sorry, plane).

The incident began the We Will Not Be Silent movement. Thousands have ordered the t-shirt worn by Mr. Jarrar on that flight with the intention of spreading the message, especially at airports and other transportation venues (like subways, etc.).

Now, the U.S. Coast Guard is violating Americans' Fourteenth Amendment rights to not be racially profiled and denied free movement. This is exactly the Constitutional violation that began the Civil Rights Movement (link to Montgomery Bus Boycott website).

Stephanie Schwartz writes:
On Monday, October 9th, I boarded the Staten Island Ferry wearing a shirt that reads "We Will Not Be Silent" in English and Arabic. Immediately after boarding, my four armed Coast Guard officers positioned themselves around me and my friends. Every so often you see the Coast Guard patrolling the ferry, but I've never seen a bunch of them standing in one place before. I joked to my friends that this was a response to my shirt, but I didn't really believe that they would put so much security on me. As I got off the boat, I was stopped by a Coast Guard officer.

Officer: You'd better not wear that shirt here anymore.

Me: Excuse me?

Officer: It's not safe to wear that shirt in high security places.

Me: What about my shirt makes it unsafe? What do you think it means?

Officer: Isn't that Arabic writing?

Me: Yes. Is there something wrong with Arabic writing?

Officer: Well, do you remember what happened with that guy on Jet Blue?

Me: Yes. I remember that. It was racial profiling.

Officer: Well, you're obviously not a threat, but someone else wearing that shirt...

Me: Are you saying that an Arab wearing a shirt in Arabic is a terrorist?

Officer: I'm just saying you'd better not wear that shirt here anymore.
This is one of many examples of anti-Arab racism that has become so prevalent in the US since September 11th, 2001. Now, it has come to the point when Arabic writing itself is under attack. We need to stand up to racist law enforcement officers to seek to silence and scare Arabs and Muslims from speaking out against the US and Israel's wars in the Middle East.

Stephanie Schwartz
stephschwartz@gmail.com

NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice, and certainly without probable cause. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse or protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.
To protest this latest, egregious violation of Federal Constitutional rights by the Federal Government, the movement protested Monday on the ferries. The second civil rights movement is beginning.

To get a shirt, send an email here - payment is optional but I recommend contributing if you can, to allow for more shirts for those who can't. Wear the shirt whenever you travel, and if someone asks you about it spread the word that our civil rights are still not safe.



UPDATE: This story makes more sense now in light of a recent news release by the ACLU that DoD has been spying on almost 200 protests and has dossiers on 2000+ people.

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