Has Anything Changed?

The previous post regarding the FBI checking on whether a photographer was Middle Eastern reminded me….

The Civil Rights Movement occurred before I was born. However, my parents were afflicted by blatantly racist laws which continued for decades. State anti-miscegenation law [1] at the time prohibited White females from marrying outside of their race. Since my mother qualified as a White female and my father did not qualify as a White male, they could not get married in the state. They had to get married in another state.

Jim Crow laws were designed to discriminate against anyone not of Caucasian descent and make them uncomfortable enough to go live elsewhere. Since these laws have mostly been purged, some say discrimination is done. Others say the discrimination is just less blatant. For brevity, I won’t go into all the examples.

Store employees who follow me around the store. Sixty year old men who pretend to read SAT prep books while peeking around the corner.

Getting placed in all “average” classes despite scoring in the 97th to 99th percentile on all but a single sub-test.

Being told, “No offense, but it is morally wrong for Whites and Blacks to have children together.”

Lately, though, except going through airport security, I don’t feel oppressed. In looking for why, I wonder: Is Bill Cosby right? Does behaving less Black mean more acceptance?

TSA seems to think I look more like a potential threat than African American so I get extra screening. So my new conflict is, I need to look Black to TSA and act White for everyone else. It would be easier to just be me. Ya’ know?

FBI Investigates Legal Activity Also

One of the reasons my photos sets are more full of flowers than buildings is people don’t call the FBI over pictures of flowers. While it is perfectly legal to take pictures of buildings from public spaces, it makes “victims” nervous. No one cares about flowers. I can take all the pictures I want without uncomfortable encounters.

Of course, unless my airline ticket is purchased by a government, I consistently get extra screening. It is a fact of life of neither looking African American, Native American, Caucasian, Asian, or Hispanic. Because look like an other, people put me in the extra screening list just in case.

A local student had to sit down with an FBI agent to “prove” he did not look Middle Eastern after photographing chicken rendering plants. Security of the plants called the local police who called the FBI. What would have happened to Jim if he had looked Middle Eastern? Would he have been arrested for doing something perfectly legal?

This is choice from the article:

Filson told Diffly that this is America and he should do what he wants, but when someone looks different in a post-Sept. 11, 2001 world, police may be called.

By the way, police officers arrest photographers who take pictures of them in the middle of an arrest.

Abuse?

EDIT: I almost forgot. A Georgia Tech student from Pakistan was detained for taking video of a building. This student also visited Pakistan and made statements which could easily sound threatening.

Firefox Weirdness

Our Systems folks upgraded the code running Stats web site they let us use. This morning, was the first time I looked at it since the upgrade.

Naturally, it was not working for me. Figuring it was my Mozilla Firefox’s fault, I tried the same web page in Flock. (Firefox with some other apps but none of Add-Ons, formerly the Extensions really plug-ins, I use in Firefox.) Flock showed it fine, so I “knew” one of three Add-Ons Extensions had to be the culprit: Greasemonkey, NoScript, or FasterFox. I disabled all three and found the site worked as it should. So I enabled each in turn. The site still works.

Enabling one of the three should have rebroken the web site. That this failed to happen could mean:

  1. Add-Ons Extensions did not break it. Something out of my control did.
  2. Add-Ons Extensions did not break it. Something I don’t remember changing did.
  3. Disabling and enabling Add-Ons Extensions changes their configuration and their impact on pages.

Annoying.