August 15, 2006

Crime of Looking

Many reports of the cell phone terror hysteria explained that possessing pictures of a pretty bridge, and purchasing prepaid cell phones were reasons enough to require arrest. These descriptions of suspicious behavior leave something out, but we can all fill in the omission: the arrested men looked liked Arabs.

So the crime here is the crime of looking. Looking at the Mackinac bridge while also looking Arabic.

It is polite (and crappy) journalism to leave out questions of racism. We all pretend to live in a so-called color-blind society, as if racism is a dichotomy without middle ground, as if no good people are capable of seeing or reacting to a person's race.

Let us accept that this is folly. And accept that racism in the main, exists as a matter of degrees, neither purely evil nor holy. And that bridges between peoples shall be beautiful enough to make images of them worth possessing.

PS - Even though the FBI and Michigan State police have cleared the men of connections to terrorism, county authorities in Michigan have their pride to consider.

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