It was at that point that the Air Canada clerk at Gate 27 approached me.
“Excuse me,” he said, “you can’t say those words. Those words are illegal.”
“What words?” I asked, bewildered, given that by then I’d said probably 2,000 words.
“Suicide bombing,” he whispered.
Now, I know of course one is not to make jokes or threats about bombs at airports, and properly so. But I hadn’t been doing that, rather recounting some of the public evidence heard that day at a public trial in the nation’s capital.
“That’s not illegal,” I snapped, barely restraining myself from adding “You ninny.” Besides, I told him, I was a reporter telling another reporter about my work day, which was true enough.
“Do you want me to call security?” he asked primly. “I’m supposed to call security in these situations.”
“You do what you like,” I said, talked to Rose a bit longer, then sat down and resumed reading my book.
About 10 minutes later, a fellow passenger warned me that she thought the clerk had called security. I couldn’t believe it, and kept reading, and sure enough, within a few minutes, a young woman with a walkie-talkie in her hands (I guess so if I suddenly turned into a human missile she could call for help) asked to speak to me. She’d had a report about “an incident,” she said. So I told her through gritted teeth what had happened, she magnanimously agreed it was “not illegal” to say what I’d said, apologized and went on her way.
When we boarded a little later, I asked for the ninny’s name. He refused and hissed, “If you make a scene, I’ll call the pilot and you won’t be flying tonight.”
I was so very tempted to tell him to go ahead, but I knew he probably would do it and I wanted badly to get home, so held my tongue. I was quietly praising myself for my steely calm when another passenger remarked, “I didn’t know you were an anarchist, Christie.”
I despise Chritie’s comments, I think DiManno is a douche bag and Steyn is a racist. However, we need these voices. We need them to remind us that there are people out there who still think that racism is ok and being one is very, very “brave”.
I would, however, prefer that these commentators be a little more consistent. The other day Chritie wanted Canadians to be less polite and now she is complaining about a `less polite`Canadian. The other day DiManno said that everything is going fine in Afghanistan and a week later soldiers are being killed, Taliban breaks out of jail and Dimanno bemoans lack of security in her next column. And Steyn. Oh boy, some are racists subtly, but this guy wears it on his sleeve.
I am brown and I would gladly (and have) submit to racial profiling at the airport. It is annoying, humiliating and embarrassing esp. when my daughter is with me. And all because I worked in the UAE for 3 years. I don`t like it but it`s the sign of the times. And I am not even a muslim.
So for all the times that you white folk have been stepped on lightly by airport security, we brown folks have had to endure much worse. So stop whinning and get back to your lattes and newspaper at the airport while we are subjected to intimidating interviews. we will try not to delay your flights.