It’s the Context, Stupid!

On New Year’s Day a group of Muslims/Middle Eastern looking people were removed from an Air Tran plane because passengers over heard a conversation about what to do if the plane blows up.  Now Air Tran has apologized.

The State Department has a list of Significant Terrorist Incidents 1961-2003 that I’d like you to review before I make my points.

Okay, so, reading that list it is clear that not all terrorist incidents are perpetrated by Muslims.  However, it is also clear that Muslims committed many terrorist acts.

Specific to any discussion related to Muslims, planes and terrorism, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories:

Allow me to refresh your memories a little further: on February 26, 1993 a group of bonehead Muslims attempted to destroy the World Trade Center in New York City.   On September 11, 2001 another group of bonehead Muslims succeeded.  Also on September 11, 2001 two other buildings were targeted, one, the Pentagon, successfully, the other target, whatever it was, remains intact.  The 9/11 criminal/terrorists/asshats did this with planes.  Not planes purchased and empty of anyone other than the dumbass terrorists.  Oh, No.  They used planes stolen and hijacked, full of civilians and then they murdered every person on board; man, woman and child, as they murdered as many people on the ground as they could.

So, to put this in other words, what the morons of September 11th did was to make every person on board a plane acutely aware of their own vulnerability and the immoral barbarity of the hijackers/terrorists/asshats.  By hijacking civilian jets, the terrorists put us on notice that everyone on board a plane is a potential victim, regardless of age, race, gender or religion.

Let’s look as this another way: Lets say you were in a room of people and you were discussing, in a purely theoretical way, the effectiveness of curtailing crime by lynching criminals.  Now, lets say that you were a white person raising this theoretical discussion in a room full of black people.  You would have to completely stupid and have a death wish.  In fact, I’d let you get your butt whipped.  It’s a stupid conversation to have, it’s deadly stupid to have that conversation in that context.

In the same way, it is moronically stupid for Middle Eastern/Muslim looking people to even HINT at saying anything slightly bomb related on an airplane.  Every single person on that plane is aware that they are potential victims.  Do you really think that your tone-deaf theoretical conversation is okay?  Are you that thick?

Personally, I think the group was fishing, testing the boundaries like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park tested the fences for weakness.  If they weren’t, then they are so blindingly stupid that I really hope they get the institutionalized help they need.

Really, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to discuss bombs and terrorist hijackings when on board a plane.  Smart people review their options and contingency plans before they leave for the airport.

Air Tran was absolutely correct to remove these tone-deaf passengers from the plane.  Air Tran was absolutely incorrect to apologize.

P.S. Back in 1989 I was an Airport Security Guard for the summer.  It was six short months after Lockerbie.  There was a sign at the entrance of every Pier in the Airport that stated something like “ANY PASSENGER MAKING COMMENTS, JOKES OR STATEMENTS ABOUT BOMBS WILL BE ARRESTED.”  And let me tell you, they meant it.  I reported for duty at 4:30 AM, I was on the Pier at 4:4 AM.  One morning at 5:30 three very drunk men showed up for a flight.  They read the sign and started giggling.  Then they started making jokes about “not telling anyone about that bomb in my backpack.”  I pointed the sign out to the gentlemen one time.  They giggled more, and then started making the jokes again.  So, I called the police and those guys were arrested and charged.  I really don’t know why we don’t still do that, you aren’t allowed to yell fire in a crowded movie house.

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2 Responses to It’s the Context, Stupid!

  1. Dana says:

    Great post, VL. Political correctness will be the death of us all, one way or the other. Of course they should have been removed and it was *not* Air Tran that should have done the apologizing.

  2. Emmy says:

    I whole heartedly agree. As someone who has also been in the business of Security, and who has had experience both during and after 9/2001 with what happened to ailine and airport security, I have no idea why the airline apologized- they surely would not have had the people been WASP’s.

    Does anyone remember what happened after the hijackings in the 70’s? you couldn’t use the sounds of ‘hi’ and ‘jack’ in a sentance in any airport in the world- should still be the same, as well as references to bombings and acts of terror.
    That being said- Those who overheard the conversation also should have listened and perhaps figured out if it was genuine concern or more than that. And spoken to the people first.

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