Jesurgislac’s Journal

August 20, 2008

What had this woman done?

No, I’m never going to the United States again:

There was one British tourist in the group. Paul (also not his real name) was traveling with three friends who had passed through customs soon after their plane landed and were waiting for him on the other side of the metal barrier; he suspected he had been detained because of his dark skin. When he asked if he could go to the bathroom, one of the guards said, “I wouldn’t.” “What if someone has to?” I asked. “They will just have to hold it,” the guard responded with a smile. Paul began to cry. I watched as he, over the course of four hours, went from feeling exuberant about his trip to New York to despising the entire country. “I speak the Queen’s English,” he said to me. “I’m third-generation British. I came to America because I’ve always wanted to come here, and now they’ve got me so scared that all I want to do is go home. We’re paying for your stupid war anyway.”

PS: The answer is – she was a US citizen who had visited Syria. In the United States today, a trip to Syria warrants hours of being harassed and crapped on at your arrival.

At JFK Airport, Denying Basic Rights Is Just Another Day at the Office, by Emily Feder, 18th August 2008.

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