Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Be watchful - but try not to hurt anyone's feelings

An AP article explains how big city officials are encouraging vigilance on the part of subway commuters to help thwart future attacks:

Subway and commuter train riders must take a greater role in their own security to help thwart a London-style transit attack in the United States, big-city officials said Tuesday.

Transit security officials from New York City, Los Angeles and Washington focused on low-tech solutions, such as asking the public and transit employees to be on guard for suspicious behavior.

"The most important technology that is out there, right there today, is the human element," said William Morange, head of security for New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the city's subways, buses, and commuter trains.

Sound advice. Except that it was only Monday when New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg chastised some of his own citizens for doing just that during Sunday's subway scare, according to The New York Daily News:

The mayor urged New Yorkers to call authorities if they see something suspicious, but added they should use "common sense" and avoid profiling people like the group of South Asian-looking visitors, who were Sikhs from Britain.

"It turned out that these ... people did not present any threat whatsoever," Bloomberg said. "It's a shame, and I certainly apologize on behalf of the City of New York. We love tourists and we want them to keep coming here and feel that they ... can go around and enjoy the city."

You're a shame, Mr. Bloomberg. These citizens were just doing what they were asked to do by your administration and as embarrassing as every false alarm may be, there will come a day when the threat will be real. So that means that for the time being, certain people who look and behave a certain way are going to fall under suspicion and some of these will be temporarily inconvenienced. Even the British tourists who were involved seem to understand this:

"These things happen, don't they?" said the man, who gave his name as Jas, 39. "We have no hard feelings. It certainly made our trip different, but didn't ruin it at all."

He gets it, and displays a great attitude about it. Now let's go back to the AP article which advises commuters what to look for:

New York subway and bus riders are being told to look out for passengers with clenched fists, or who are sweating profusely, or reek of excessive cologne — all possible indicators of a suicide bomber.

Yes, and another indicator would be a mid-eastern looking man exhibiting these traits. Funny how they always forget to include that. Political correctness is no longer just an annoying attempt at controlling free-speech. It can now kill. God save us from this lunacy.