Thursday, September 16, 2004

driving while black (and muslim)

Bilal Mahmud, an African-American Muslim who served as a Marine in the Vietnam war and has been a commercial truck driver for 28 years, has had his commercial driver's license revoked by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for posing a 'security threat' that they refuse to specify. The DHS’s Transportation Security Administration can preclude individuals from holding a hazardous materials endorsement on a commercial driver’s license if they feel that the person is a security risk, and they are not required to justify their decision.

When I was in elementary school in the 70's my teachers would take the time right after the pledge of allegiance to tell us about how the evil mean old Russians did shit like that, and doesn't that make us glad we live in the land of the free? It saddens me to see how willing this country has become to throw away every freedom for the illusion of safety. One part of Europe or another has been bombed pretty much continuously since the Luftwaffe rained hell on Guernica in 1937, but one attack on American soil and we surrender all of our rights to dipshit demagogues. Long may she wave, indeed.