I flew US Airways from Port Columbus (yeah that's right, I'm exposing the airlines and the airport!) to Reagan National today and was just seething by the time I sat down on the plane. Keep in mind I've already gone through security and am now sitting at the gate to board. So, a US Airways agent comes on the loudspeaker at my gate and says "We are now boarding flight blah blah for Washington DC...we will board by zone numbers blah blah...and we ask for your cooperation as TSA agents will be randomly searching passengers as they board the aircraft." Okay, not a big deal, I understand doing that with the most recent threat and all. But what proceeds to happen next is what I'm on my soapbox about. US Airways and TSA's idea of "random searches" is nothing more than racial profiling at it's best! I stand in line to board and watch as 4 white businessmen board the plane without so much as a blink in their direction. Then, TSA agents one by one pull off to the side every non-white person and pat them down head to toe and check their carry-on bags. As this is happening, more white people board the plane. I counted 2 white people who were searched and I'd like to add that those people were ONLY searched; not patted down and their carry on items were no more than simply opened and glanced through not even moving the items inside. Basically, TSA was sprinkling in a couple whites so they can say they also searched whites. I'm still simmering about this! If TSA wants to implement extra security measures that's great. More power to them. I don't mind being additionally searched at the gate. But for US Airways to say they are "randomly searching passengers" and then search ALL the ethnically-diverse people, no, I don't think so. That is racial profiling and I wish I looked exotic enough to be searched so that I could tell those people exactly what I think of their "random" sampling. And for those of you who think it's okay to only search non-whites since "those people are probably terrorists" well let's bring it down a notch and put it in perspective ~ you think that it's okay for my sister from Guatemala to always be patted down and searched solely because she has tan skin and must be more dangerous than a white person traveling? You're thinking - "Well that's different." Nope. There's no difference.
US Airways and TSA - you want to search only non-whites? Go ahead. But don't pretend it's a "random search" of passengers. If you think your sampling method is just fine, then stand behind it and call it what it is - racial profiling NOT random sampling.