An airline and an airport official prevented a man from getting on a flight because he was wearing a T-shirt with an Arabic message on it are being sued. The American and New York civil liberties unions said JetBlue Airways and a federal inspector violated Raeed Jarrar's civil rights when they barred him from boarding a plane at JFK because he is of Arab descent and was wearing a shirt that said, in English and Arabic, "We Will Not Be Silent."
"It is a dangerous and slippery slope when we allow our government to take away a person's rights because of his speech or ethnic background," said Reginald Shuford, a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. "Racial profiling is illegal and ineffective and has no place in a democratic society." Apparently the inspector said that wearing an shirt with Arabic writing at an airport was like "wearing a T-shirt at a bank stating, 'I am a robber.'"
Clearly in days gone by if every long hair wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt were stopped from boarding a flight in case they high jacked it to Cuba things would have ground to a halt pretty quickly.