Monday, January 14, 2013

Profiling

Dear Airport Security,

Have you heard of profiling? In your case by a person's profile, you target them as a risk to security. I can think of an Indonesian Moslem workmate, and his son has started at work too, and I would be targeting them for security and explosive checks. Unlike my other Indonesian Moslem work friend, this father and son combo are truly scary. The son is the worst. While he drives a smart black BMW to work, with loud modern music booming from the car, after he checks his Ipad for anything new, he can be found in corners praying to Allah. Clearly his missed humility in his reading of his religious texts.

In my anecdotal experience, our airport security seems to focus on checking old Anglo Australians for hidden explosives. If they are gay, they get extra focus for an explosive check. If it was one older gay man who mentioned it, I would not think much about it, but when I hear back from so many older gay men who have been checked so many times, and a very very old Anglo woman, well, what can be concluded?

Is it exhibition to older Anglo Australians that our airport security is doing their job?

So when did the last older Anglo Australian blow up anything, least of all a plane?

Should I remind our security that English Moslems blew up The Tube and a bus in 2005.

Should I remind our security that American Moslems blew up the World Trade Centre.

Should I remind our security that Australian Moslems have already been caught ahead of committing terrorist acts here.

So why is Airport Security targeting older gay Anglo men for explosive tests?

16 comments:

  1. Well I don't know about you but when I was in Queensland airport many many years ago (but after 2001) I overheard the custom officers instructing the security staff to do more baggage checks on non-Australians. How bloody rude was that!

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    1. Michael, I have heard many stories about how Asian people are targeted at Australian airports and treated rudely. Most of this comes from gay Asian men, who are not the ones likely to bringing in illegal foodstuffs, which is a serious matter.

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  2. You sure you are not paranoid? I've been checked for explosives heaps of times. A grey nomad Australian but if you watch them they usually grab every fifth person. I guess they also grab the suspicious ones too.

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  3. Diane, I've never been checked for explosives, but R has twice and other gay men of a similar age often. That you would be checked rather proves my point at the absurdity of who they check.

    PS You are not thinking of blowing anything up are you?

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  4. I don't think they should discriminate. If they're going to check, then check everybody.
    EVERYBODY.
    Not only for explosives either.
    Then no one has reason to complain and maybe they'd even catch the baddies.

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    1. Takes resources though River, which are presently being wasted by testing older white people anyway.

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  5. Whenever T.O. or I have been stopped by security it has been a random count thing. The check was with those wand thingys, and a special look through carry-on stuff. Do they do something extra or personal when looking specifically for explosives?

    The thing about random numbers is they happen in clusters rather than being evenly spread e.g. 37 might be a chosen number in the lottery 8 weeks in a row, and 36 not for a year. Maybe it's a random thing that gays get selected for months in a row and then later not very frequently. Or at least the gays you know.

    If they are checking one in 5 people and 2 or 3 are together, are all 3 getting checked? I'm not disputing your experience. It could well be that there are homophobes working at the airport. In fact I would be surprised if there are not all manner of people with poor values working at the airport.

    But I think River is right. Although it would hold queues up even more, if they are going to check anyone they should check everybody. Unfortunately, that would require someone to create jobs, so it won't happen. And more sniffer dogs would be good too.

    As for the aggressive doof doof testosterone driven lads in their cars, or the self-absorbed young lady P platers who have never considered there might be young kids or elderly people in a car park, or all the other little sub groups that annoy me, that's a separate issue. I don't equate any of these with a particular religion [other than self-absorption].

    ALL religious beliefs [including atheism] survive because they adapt to local cultures. It's difficult to separate religion from culture. [Let me be "offensive" here before it's outlawed later this year:] Lebanese Muslims have Lebanese Muslim attitudes, while Egyptian Muslims have Egyptian Muslim Attitudes. Sephardic Jews have Sephardic Jewish attitudes and Ashkenazic Jews have Ashkenazic Jewish attitudes. Irish Catholics have Irish Catholic attitudes and US Tea Party Christians are just weird.

    For an imaginary friend, god is not only popular, but he also gets the blame for a lot of stuff people won't take responsibility for themselves. It's not god that's the ****hole, but the individual.
    Of course the most annoying people don't live up to the best standards of their religion, and that's because they don't see religion in terms of a relationship with others or as a way to build a caring community, but in terms of their own personal fantasies of superiority or power over others, and their own convenient version of who god is.
    Any disaffected or alienated person should be frisked frequently - unfortunately it isn't always obvious who is disaffected.

    [We do need a more balanced intake of immigrants, BTW].

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    1. FC, I am not really saying older gay men are targeted, but it just seems so pointless testing people who are so unlikely to have anything to do with explosives.

      I did note in Malaysia that local Moslems were not at all keen on the Middle Eastern ones and treated them quite differently to how we were treated.

      Re blaming god, did you hear the latest from pedo priests, 'I am like this because god made me so'. Ahhhhh. That explains it.

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  6. To answer one question asked by Fruitcake, I am regularly asked to do the bomb residue test including in both directions on my Christmas trip to Brisbane. I also had to undergo the test in both directions when I travelled to Europe in 2011 and although I was travelling with two female friends - all three of us aged in our 60s - I was the only one checked.

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    1. Could be your shifty countenance Victor? I remember you mentioning that matter and combined with someone else on the same day mentioning it, gave thought to this post.

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    2. Thanks Victor. I had no idea there was any such thing as a bomb residue test, let alone that it would be inflicted on domestic travellers. From what you have said it seems women are also discriminated against.

      I would be peeved if the same thing happened to me repeatedly.

      I do remember a truly lovely Indian man I once worked with in the public service. He had been a customs officer in India before migrating to Oz. When asked how he knew whose bags to check etc he said that after a few years one develops a sixth sense for these sorts of things. [I assume they unconsciously absorb clues about body language, or something similar].
      This suggests that relying on random testing is not as effective as it could be, and is certainly not enough on its own to be any use.

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    3. FC, at the end of the day, in the fullness of time, in the washup, I would rather trust instincts than random testing.

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  7. I get checked all the time too but I don't feel like I am specifically targeted. It's so part and parcel of travel nowadays, it doesn't bother me much. From what I can see, the security people seem to check people at a steady pace and more often than not, if I want to, I can avoid a check simply by taking my time putting the lap top back in the bag etc until the security person has started checking someone else.

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    1. Fascinating Ad Rad. You have worked out how to avoid an explosive check. Now I am thinking checking for explosives is just a waste of time. I wonder if a terrorist has even been caught?

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  8. So funny, if it's instinct that makes them choose...WHY ME!!! Every time! Aimee and P just crack up, must be my 'terrified of flying' face that they mistake for something more sinister haha!

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    1. Indeed why Grace. It is just so pointless and silly.

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