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expatriate's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I still don't agree that the Constitution inherently applies to private enterprise. I'm not allowed to use the ladies locker room when I go to the gym. That's sexual discrimination! The corner grocer doesn't carry matzo -- anti-Semitism!

But here's your blanket rule for you, even applied: "You can't wear clothing that is offensive or would lead passengers to believe you may be a threat to their safety."

That's the issue here, and if the case had been properly articulated I think the outcome might've been different.

Let me put it to you this way. If a passenger boarded an El Al flight in New York with a swastika emblazoned across his T-shirt, do you think if would be out of line to ask him to cover it up? Absolutely not. But then, people aren't afraid of offending Nazis, are they?

cowgal's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

For a business not to be accused of discrimination, the rules must be applied equally across the board. I'm guessing JetBlue did not not have a clear policy about offensive clothing. I bet they do now!

I did a search on Raed Jarrar. Are you aware he's the Baghdad blogger and has for years blogged with Salam Pax who were vocal against the US occupation of Iraq? Oddly before the invasion they had chronicled the horrors under Saddam, so I find his criticisms of the US confusing. He's considered a human rights activist and some articles suggest he actually staged this t-shirt incident. I find it ironic that he has the t-shirt incident, contacts the ACLU and then demands "his rights" under our constitution. BTW his recent blogs lash out against the Israelis (he's half Palestinian). Oh yeah, and he's now living in the US.

I hope JetBlue fights back.

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Location: California
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

Expat wrote,

Quote:
You can't wear clothing that is offensive or would lead passengers to believe you may be a threat to their safety."

Obviously this is something that is open to interpretation and thereby to the slant of the interpreter. I'm German. If I were to wear something with German writing on it would someone of Jewish faith be able to claim they were offended or threatened. Possibly so, depending on what was written. if I use foul or threatening language here I could be censured.This would not be a violation of my rights as these standards are applied to all here. Nor are they bassed upon race, religion etc. A t shirt with Arabic writing on it is not offensive or threatening to any reasonable person. This is a rule of the application of law, "what a reasonable or prudent person would do under the same or similar circumstances". Being threatened by anything Arabic or middle eastern is not reasonable or prudent.

Expat also wrote,

Quote:
I still don't agree that the Constitution inherently applies to private enterprise. I'm not allowed to use the ladies locker room when I go to the gym. That's sexual discrimination! The corner grocer doesn't carry matzo -- anti-Semitism!

The corner grocer not carrying mazo isn't in and of itself descrimination. Not allowing you to shop there because your Jewish would be. And no you can't use the ladies locker room (darn!) which is not descrimination because one is provided for the use of male patrons. The constitution and the law both apply to private enterprise. You can have standards but as Cowgal said they have to be applied across the board and cannot be based upon the criterion I have stated earlier, race age, sex etc. The airline obviously did in this case and they paid the price. Again it was too high, but they were wrong. We might want to keep in mind that those with politics such as ours are now in the minority. How soon before we're being descriminated against? How far do we really want to take something like this? Again a T shirt with something written in Arabic is not in and of itself a threat or obscene. Also again I point out Nichols and McVeigh were both right wing Christians. Will you or I be under the microscope of public scrutiny when next we board a plane or go to a government building? Will I have to remove the cross from around my neck or cover my NRA T shirt? According to your standards I would if they were applied across the board.

expatriate's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

Reference cowgal's last post. I said up front that I thought there was more to this -- like the guy trying to get arrested. The article's not saying how this went down -- was he being aggressive? Did he get vocal or erratic when asked about the shirt? There's no context here.

If in doubt about his motives, check out his blog:

http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/

As for the ACLU, I'll believe they're actually interested in constitutional rights when they start arguing on behalf of the 2nd Amendment. Until then, I'll stick to my belief that they're only interested in a liberal agenda.

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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

Taken from your referrenced article,

Quote:
On August 12, 2006, Jarrar was waiting to board a JetBlue flight from New York to his home in Oakland, California, when he was approached by two TSA officials. One of them told Jarrar that he needed to remove his shirt because other passengers were not comfortable with the Arabic script, telling him that wearing a shirt with Arabic writing on it to an airport was like “wearing a t-shirt at a bank stating, ‘I am a robber.’

Again, this makes my point. Simply wearing Arabic writing is not threatening nor should it be treated as such. There were no threats nor was there any violence. As far as his politics go the point is at best irrelavant. There was nothing violent there, he simply states his political beliefs. No calls for Jihaad or killing. Beliefs you and I happen to disagree with but legitimate points of view non the less. He has a right to them and to express them. Just as you and I do. As far as the ACLU goes, well even a broken clock is right twice a day. We cannot slience someone because we dislike or disagree with them.

expatriate's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

Did you read the blog at all?

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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

Yes, To what are you referring specifically?

expatriate's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

All the pro-Hamas activity. The point I'm making is that this guy isn't just a guy on the street -- he's a political activist with an axe to grind.

As far as the issue of discrimination and the ACLU goes again, I won't hold my breath about them taking this case on anytime soon:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,479904,00.html

I expect they'll pay about as much attention to that as to all those families in Texas who had their kids taken away simply because they were members of the FLDS church (monogamous members at that).

So I really don't lose any sleep over someone being asked to cover a T-shirt.

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Location: California
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt

I don't lose sleep over it either. My only point being that someone's politics, however objectionable are not a reason to silence them. Don't get me wrong I see your point, we just interpret things a bit differently. I guess when it comes to constitutional issues I would rather ere on the side of individual rights than not. As I'm weary of seeing the certain amendments I hold dear bashed and trashed I get like an overprotective old mother. We'll probably have to agree to disagree on this but I do respect and see your side of it.

expatriate's picture
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240,000 dollars awarded to man forced to cover Arab T-shirt
BunnySlayer wrote:
My only point being that someone's politics, however objectionable are not a reason to silence them.

If only liberals felt that way.

By the way, somebody accused me of arguing the left-wing perspective here. So if you're looking for something hardcore, I'd argue that if the guy's going to take us to the cleaners over an Arabic T-shirt, we might as well beat his a$$ and get our money's worth in the process. Evil!

Really -- we've got 240 passengers that agree he went crazy, flushed his shirt down the toilet, and fell as he was coming out of the bathroom... Think

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