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i`ve always know that Trinidadians were copy cats but the incident in Port of Spain yesterday is incredibly saddening for me. not necessarily because i thought that Trinidad was immune to terrorism, i mean we`ve had armed insurrection before. we`re generally laid back as a people but there`s always been a breaking point.

but there are marked differences between insurrection, terrorism and a prank gone throughly awry. and from all indications it appears that yesterday`s… i don`t even have words for it, in Port of Spain may have been a prank that went heniously wrong. there is no rhyme or reason for it. compounding this are the idiots that are crying wolf and wasting the resources of the minimally trained police and emergency services by calling in bomb threats.

this is not a slight to many of the people who choose to protect and serve in Trinidad, but the percentage of people who join the police and armed forces out of a desire to make a difference as opposed to not having any other options and seeing an opportunity for a steady paycheque and get off on the power trip are slim.

the fact that one of my daughters was in Port of Spain less than three blocks away still has my stomach in knots. some of it is fear but most of it a bubbling rage that someone would dare to put my child in danger for what is most likely a prank. i understand that there are people injured and thankfully no one is dead; yet. but i`m mostly blind to that because this is my child.

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December 9, 2004 — Leave a comment

remember when you were in school and you were taught, never assume because it makes and ass of u and me. you would think that; stupid snickers aside; this lesson would have stuck with most people, apparently not.

i`ve read in various journals support for the Patriot Act and profiling of Arab men by fairly intelligent people. what is interesting to note about those who supporting profiling is; in the grand scheme of things; the closest they will come to be profiled is the Ugly American Abroad and the greatest penalty for that is a high price at the cash register.

profiling is based on a flawed assumption that all people of a specific group will behaving in a specific manner.

all Arab men terrorists

all black men from the Caribbean drug dealers

all Americans abroad loud and obnoxious

are any of those statements 100% true? of course not, but they are the basis for a profile and it doesn`t work that way or i should rephrase, it shouldn`t. for those of you about to jump in with specific instances where the authorities have stopped someone and prevented a crime; there is a vast difference between probable cause and profiling.

i`ve said this on more than one occasion, Americans are willing to give up personal freedoms for the illusion of safety. The Patriot Act and racial profiling are not making the US any safer. profiling Arab men is stopping terrorists but people `feel` safer because it looks like they`re doing something but in the long run, organisations like Al Qaeda believe they`re fighting a holy war and they can draw on the support of many Muslims and here`s the frightening thing; they look just like you or i. one of the people captured in Afghanistan was a white middle class US citizen.

fear and shock are the basic tenets of terrorism. terrorist don`t have rules of engagement, they don`t follow set patterns. profiling people isn`t going to stop attacks, if anything they are more likely to escalate as people start to feel more marginalised and ostracised.

sadly this boils down to race; black men are still being profiled, not as much in places where there are Arab men, but it`s going on and until they start pulling white Americans out of cars and lines in airports and doing strip and full cavity searches on them, people are going continue to sit back and think profiling is a good thing.