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This is Not America

The United States of America is supposed to be a land where its citizens have certain unalienable rights and protections. But time and again, Americans continue to have their rights violated in the name of fighting terrorism. Two seperate news items demonstrate the breadth of these violations in recent weeks.

In Boston this week, a student at Boston College was detained by Secret Service for photographing the campus, presumably because his Sikh beliefs require him to wear a turban and beard.

Secret Service officials "suggested that he was a criminal, searched him and his car for weapons and bombs, and even had him sign a release form during the ordeal that gave them access to his psychiatric records."

In an unrelated story, it was revealed that the Dept. of Homeland Security has received from the U.S. Census Bureau specially tabulated population statistics on Arab Americans, including detailed information on how many people of Arab backgrounds live in certain ZIP codes.

While technically a legal move by the government, nothing good has ever come from similar measures. Remember the Internment camps into which the Japanese were rounded up during World War II? Or how Jews were made to register with officials throughout Europe in the 1930's?

Such tactics cannot be justified! We did no similar thing following Timothy McVeigh's implication in the Oklahoma City bombing, which was the deadliest terror attack on American soil prior to 9/11. Why didn't we start keeping tabs on all white males who resided in certain cities, states, etc.? Why didn't we track all others of the same religious persuasion?

And yet now it's suddenly OK for the government to watch, detain, and search American citizens because of their national background or the way they dress? It's pretty scary to me...

Posted by blipsman at July 30, 2004 3:42 PM