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We Will Not Be Silent in any language

An arab man (Raed Jarrar) was hassled at JFK airport for wearing a shirt with Arabic script on it. Because, as well all know, all Arabic script translates into: “All your airplane are belong to us. Someone set us up the bomb.” While I am no longer surprised at this kind of ridiculousness, it still makes me angry.

The comments on the original post Raed made on the subject have been turned off, probably to avoid getting the kind of bullshit comments going on over here.

I can’t even begin to talk about how fucked up statements like “Only KKK members wear KKK outfits. Only Islamics wear Islamic script” are and how wrong they are to the point of insanity. If you don’t already know this, I can’t help you.

It’s things like this that make me wish I had a huge following of readers like Atrios so I could call for mass protests or something like that. I need minions! Or, at least, friends.

If I had my way, there would be a letter-writing campaign to JetBlue followed by an informal boycott. No major declarations and press releases, just a decision by people who are sick of this shit not to fly with them. If I had my way, everyone I know would get involved in this movement to stop stupid, uninformed profiling at airports. Those same folks would also buy a lot of shirts and wear them not just when they fly, but in silent protests strategically planned by someone who is not me.

But, seriously, how long are Americans going to allow this kind of thing to go on? At what point do we rise up and put a stop to it?

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(p.s. Can I just mention that Raed Jarrar is a fine brown man? A slim goodie, as my mother would say.)

19 thoughts on “We Will Not Be Silent in any language”

  1. David says:

    I am a white man who wears a t-shirt with Arabic script, but I doubt they’d stop me because I am white. Then again, because of my problems with the CIA I am too scared to even try to visit a US airport. Keep being angry.

  2. hexyhex says:

    One of my friends has a tattoo in Arabic around her arm. It would be awfully ironic if the Western officials made her cover herself before she could pass through the airport.

    Of course, she’s a white female, so she’s unlikely to be picked on.

  3. A.R.Yngve says:

    Airport official: “White female with Arabic tattoo… pass. White male with Arabic script on cap… pass. Arabic-looking male with an ARABIC WORD on his t-shirt?? Hold it right there, sir! Remove the explosive shirt, sir, or I will have to use force! Code Red! Code Red! We have a hostile t-shirt!

    A crazy person wearing a uniform is still a crazy person… :-(

  4. Thin Black Duke says:

    For what it’s worth, I’ll be writing my letter this afternoon.

  5. belledame222 says:

    Oh fucking hell. Why, Jet Blue, why’d it have to be you? Of ALL the airlines i feel more than thrilled about hating or even boycotting.

    okay, letter-writing time.

  6. the angry black woman says:

    I know, cheap airfare is rare. I use Priceline to find good deals. I don’t think JetBlue flights even come up there.

  7. Anna in Portland (was Cairo) says:

    I think what might help is if other airline passengers started wearing foreign t-shirts to the airport on purpose. If everyone does it they won’t be able to persecute the “brown person” doing it.

    There needs to be an uprising of the decent, here. Why can’t people act like mobs in a good way, I mean questioning this sort of silliness, instead of in a bad way, like those British people who got those Indians kicked off of their flight just because they were Muslim-looking or those stupid Canadians who got a Hasidic Jew pulled off because he was praying and they thought he might be Muslim?

    Rather than people commenting, “gee, I have a shirt like that, guess I will leave it at home,” people should be saying, “Let’s all wear foreign t-shirts next time we travel and screw with their heads.”

    I just moved to the US and my teenage son Osama was worried about how his name would be perceived at school. I got him a t-shirt that says, “My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?” and he wore it to school on the first day. Not only did he get no hostility he got to deal with the issue on his own terms with humor. I think t-shirt humor is a very great tool.

  8. the angry black woman says:

    I’m all for a movement where people wear t-shirts with foreign words and script on them whenever they fly. Whole groups giving a big middle finger (via fashion!)

    There needs to be an uprising of the decent, here. Why can’t people act like mobs in a good way

    That’s a good question, actually. The mob mentality only seems to work with anger and fear and negativity. I wonder why that is?

    I also wish that there could be an uprising of decentness, but I guess it takes less energy to be decent than unreasonable.

    I love the story about your son! That sounds like a fabulous shirt :)

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  11. HijabMan says:

    FYI you can get the “My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?” T-shirt over at

    Have a wonderful day

  12. hat says:

    I felt good about this post. It confirmed for me some of the things I’ve been thinking about.

  13. blues says:

    I felt good about this post. It confirmed for me some of the things I’ve been thinking about.

  14. Aurora says:

    Does anybody know where I can order those t-shirts? I want to get one for everyone I know!

  15. Brandon says:

    Wht th hck s ths wb st????? ll hv knw d wht s gng n P.S. my wbst s dr cnstrctn tll Chrstms

  16. Wes says:

    Does anyone know where I can get a T-shirt that has “This notice is written in Arabic” written on it (in Arabic)?


  17. Brandon says:

    Hey Ummmmmmm so what is this site any way please help me out!!! all that i know is that there is an angry black woman, I mean you have to move on……… or you’ll climaticly impact and battle ur rival on a roof top and pretend to shoot someone with ur finger and fall over…………. and a star goes out….. and its symbolic!

  18. Brandon says:


    –devoweled by ABW

  19. the angry black woman says:

    Dearest Brandon, yelling at me and calling me names isn’t going to score any points, you know. I’m leaving your comment up just to show folks what a dumbass you are. But I won’t respond to your initial question (or your demand that I answer it) because it’s stupid. If you can’t figure out what this site is on your own, I can’t help you. As to moving on, I think maybe you need that advice yourself.

  20. littlem says:

    Just write first. Don’t boycott yet. Jeff, the CEO, seems pretty cool, and perhaps he doesn’t know that someone further down his chain of command hired an idiot. Yet.

Comments are closed.