Friday, June 15, 2007

There must be a better way to protect me.

I have this friend who grew up with me in Jamaica (since I didn't get his permission to write about him, we will call him Fred) who happens to be what is known in Jamaica as a Coolie mon. Fred is proud of his Jamaican Indian heritage, and came to this country, settled in South Florida, and married a wonderful American woman. Life was good for my man Fred until that beautiful Tuesday morning in 2001, when a bunch of crazy ass Saudis dying to get to some virgins in paradise, flew some big ass planes into a bunch of buildings loaded with people.

Now life for Fred has changed. Oh, did I mention that my friend Fred with his Coolie looks, could easily be mistaken for a Middle Easterner? Now flying down to Jamaica (where he still maintains a business) is always torture for him. He calls me constantly about the serious profiling he gets in the airport, and the looks he gets from his fellow passengers. I tease him all the time, but that shit is not funny. He understands it, and he really can't blame the people on the plane. He just wishes they wouldn't stare so much sometimes. Still, they are just a bunch of folks on a plane. They have no real power over him or his freedom. Now the government; well, that's another story.

Fred is afraid that he will be walking down the street one day with his family, and some "Men in Black" looking mother f*****s will just approach him, snatch him up, and ship him off to some remote military jail somewhere. When he relates those fears, I don't dare laugh or make fun of him, because I know in my heart that the possibility of his nightmare becoming a reality is very very real.

See, I know the story of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri , [the man pictured above]and Jose Padilla, and some of these other "enemy combatants" at places like Guantanamo. Take Marri for instance; seems this poor schmuck has just spent the last four years of his life cooling his heals in a Naval brig in South Carolina. Oh, did I mention that he is an American citizen? And did I mention that he has not even been given the opportunity to defend himself against the charges that were brought against him, or to get a lawyer? Four years! "The President has made it clear that he intends to use all available tools at his disposal to protect Americans from al-Qaeda attack." Even circumvent the Constitution frat boy? Like what the f**k? I mean when those planes flew into those buildings on 911 did our constitution burn along with them? Did we lose our constitutional rights along with our fellow citizens that day? Because if we did, well then those crazy mother f*****s who happen to look like my friend Fred will have won. "The President cannot eliminate constitutional protections with the stroke of a pen." That was Judge Diane Gribbon Motz speaking for the majority when the fifth circuit court of appeals in Richmond Virginia shot down the frat boy's latest attempt to take away our rights. "I believe the most solemn duty of the American president is to protect the American people" Wrong again frat boy. Your most solemn duty as my leader is to uphold that little document called the Constitution. If you can't do that, al-Qaeda won't have to take us out, because we will have already destroyed our republic from within all by ourselves.

As for my friend Fred, he will just have to endure the stares and the intense profiling just a little longer. At least I hope that's all he will have to endure. I just hope I won't try to call him one day and his wife tells me that he left one day and never came home.


The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

Stepha Henry is missing!

C-dell said...

You are so right. American rights are being stripped from us bit by bit. I know that since 9/11 the govn't hides behind this vail of protection to do as they please with our constitutional rights. This is an outrage.

Anonymous said...

stories of racial profiling like that are so sad and terrible but we have become normalised to them. at the moment in europe, being muslim is synonymous with being asian. i think people now have constructed their own definitions after the terrorism attacks and actually use july bombings in London for example to justify profiling and ID cards etc. it is infuriating. what we can we do? our black politicians (in europe for sure) are NOWHERE to be seen. their vanishing acts are legendary.

Liz Dwyer said...

Aww...I love that you made yourself the FN of the Day!

The racial profiling in airports is pretty ridiculous. I always love it when my six year-old gets picked for the extra-special screening. Maybe that's why my husband vetoed naming him Isfandiyar.

Anonymous said...

hey c-dell, at least we are talking about the prblem, that's a start my brother. aulelia, I am sure the problem is bad in Europe too, but at least most of those countries don't hold themselves up as the cradle of democracy.

LOL at the dangerous six year old. You never know with those al Qaeda folks; the recruits are getting younger and younger. And yes I had to use myself for FN of the day. You have no idea! I still tried to stay somewhat anonymous with my picture Shades,hat,the glossy picture...hey, you never know with "big brother" :)

Christopher Chambers said...

The first thing he can do is get rid that of mullet. As part coolie m'self, with that slick coolie 'air, I got shadowed my first book tour (during post 9-11 AND the anthrax scare) every damn where even when they checked my very anglo sounding name. Note to the frat boy: in the 60s and 70s some of the worst terrorists in the world were blonde-haired blue-eyed members of the Red Brigade and the Bader-Meinhoff Gang.

But hey, we live in an era where the Duke lacrosse prosecutor is held up as the great threat to civil rights in this century. Ha!

Anonymous said...

Here's what President Shithead thinks of the US Constitution:

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

Anonymous said...

Hey Field: Just seeing if my post will hit.



Anonymous said...

Yay!!! It did...

GiGi - The Shy Giraffe said...

B4 my 1st visit to USA, I told my buddy don't be surprise if I got detained by the LA custom police. True enough, while at the checkpoint after questioning my reasons for visit, I was led to a corner where more background check was done on me.
My mind run amuk, could it be because I'm Asian, or perhaps my name, etc. Silently, I said my prayers as events of 9/11 cross my mind and paranioa sinks in. When I approached a lady officer asking permission if I could make a call, I was informed rudely that I don't have the right to one. I informed her, I need to let my buddy knows that I have arrived safely. She informed me that she will called the respective airline representative for me instead. I was like WTF?!! but kept my cool and say thank you.

That's 1st trip, is one I can never forgets.

Anonymous said...

Alright; I am a little tired of this b.s. -

"Stepha Henry is missing" because she is an educated black female. Look at the community where she disappeared. If it is predominantly "black" she was taken by a black male who resented her strength and beauty - also, because she was TRYING to become part of the law enforcement "community". It is not the first time for a recent grad to go missing; LOOK CLOSE. Or you might try calling Sylvia Browne damn it.


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