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Delta Boots Traveler for Satiric T-shirt

Delta Boots Traveler for Satiric T-shirt
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If you believe freedom of expression extends to mocking TSA’s paranoia, you have not flown lately. On August 18th Arijit Guha was barred from a Delta flight from Buffalo to Phoenix because of a t-shirt.

This is a new twist on a phenomenon Care2 bloggers have addressed before. The Transportation Security Administration has disabled insulin pumps, barred breast milk pumps, confiscated a cupcake because of its frosting, put a toddler and a student on a “no fly” list, and stopped blacks and Hispanics because they fit racist stereotypes.

As Arijit details on a blog, now a t-shirt can get you banned from a flight. A pilot may be the one who makes the call. He and his wife attended a family funeral.

On the way back, they flew through Atlanta without incident.†Things changed in Buffalo, when a Delta supervisor told Arijit he was making passengers and employees “very uncomfortable” with his satiric t-shirt’s TSA logo and message about “ZOMG Terrorists.” (Cory Doctorow designed it and made it available via Creative Commons.)

Although initially cleared to fly, and willing to change shirts, he was ordered to wait until all other passengers boarded. He says the pilot decided he did not want him on the plane, so Arijit and his wife were refused boarding. The ordeal continued as transit police kept up the questioning until the couple missed the last flight of the day.

After a long drive to spend the night with relatives and an early morning return to the airport, they finally caught a flight home. Although Arijit says the lead TSA agent treated them with the respect, he called the transit police “thuggish brutes.”

Next: What Does It All Mean?

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Graphic by Cary Doctorow via Creative Commons; photo from Thinkstock

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74 comments

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4:06AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Bringing down a complicated device like an aircraft dependent on many inputs while considering the many opportunities to thwart the needs of such a device is but intellectual childs play that need never pass through the terrorism theater is childs play, the planes keep flying.

It's of the same reality of border protection that finds no shortage of illegals to mow your lawn , drugs to make a sex session unique but deafens the world with the silence of terrorist bombs.

Fear sells , fear is profitable, yet the unreality fills theaters with bullets of death, Oklahoma with chairs of morn , and the promise of more destruction born not of some foreign force but native born mental defects of unreality filling our nightly news.

Born not of defective genetics or defective nature , but rather a sales force of fear in count of coin.

3:40AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

I can think of a few alternative meanings for what TSA really stands for. Since they're not in the least polite, I'll let you fill in your own blanks.

As for post 201-09-11 airline security, all the US really had to do was follow the lead of El Al (Israel Airlines). This is an airline that has yet to have one single plane hijacked EVER. Their security measures were strong enough that they never had to change any of them after the kamikazes hi the towers, unlike the panic that ensued throughout what the majority of the rest of the airlines. I flew on El Al when I went to Israel in 1989, and flew them again when I returned to the US. The entire time, they treated their passengers with dignity, they were completely professional, and they weren't in the least intrusive. You really felt safe flying their airline. (Bear in mind that while this was obviously before 9/11, this was still the time when you were nearly asked if you were flying armed or unarmed, and suggested that in case of hijacking, a 9mm would drop from the ceiling and you should take it to the cockpit in the name of Allah. IOW, there were a LOT of hijackings constantly making the news, and my previous sentence comes from Robin Williams' take on the entire situation.)

2:00AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

M.E. W.

"Hey, I live in TX and when I see a redneck wearing a questionable/offensive t-shirt I avoid 'em like the plague"

Good! That's what you're supposed to do,,,run from anyone who says things you don't like. Then you can hang out with people like you and feel safe...until the universe kills you...

There is no safety. There is only now. Live as well as you can. Life is a temporary phenomena.

2:00AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

I do not see a t-shirt as a threat. Being treated like a terrorist suspect because you are wearing a t-shirt that pokes fun at an out-of-control agency is wrong and violates every aspect of our constitution. People in this country need to realize that what should be an agency for our protection has turned into an agency of rogues who live for nothing more than to make us suffer. I'd love to see someone get all the passengers on any given flight to wear identical t-shirts such as the one worn by Arijit. THEN what would they do?

1:44AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

It's too uptight here to write, so I'll wish you all a peaceful goodnight.
One thing I will say is that life does not have to be this hard..... on the airline, or here on care2.
There's only one thing any of us has any control over...and that's our self.

1:34AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Given since 9-11 all airports are on alerts, the passenger should have known better. What I want to know, is what idiotic company made the tee shirt. Not funny...

1:19AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Definition:

ZOMG abbreviation informal
(used especially on electronic message boards as a sarcastic comment on an inexperienced or over enthusiastic poster) oh my God!:

usage example : ZOMG!! I finally managed to reformat the file

1:14AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

I don't believe for a second that he was "making passengers...'very uncomfortable.'" I think he just pissed off the wrong people. And that should NEVER be a reason to keep someone off a plane that they paid to board. I am sickened by the comments here to the effect that he should have known better. How can you be so willing to subordinate your rights to those who abuse them? Shame on you.

1:06AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Nothing new about this. Some years ago, someone was denied flying because of his Bush shirt http://www.wayodd.com/aussie-man-wearing-anti-bush-t-shirt-not-allowed-to-board-flight/v/5954/
At least it hits all T-shirts, so that at least makes it fair.

For the record I understand if Arjit made other passengers nervous.. You never know

12:59AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

@Veroncica C. [If you don't want an incident like this, use common sense and don't bring attention to yourself. If you do something like this, you're asking for trouble.]

After hundreds of thousands have laid down their lives to uphold and defend the constitution, show your respect by keeping your head down, shuffling your feet and freely sacrificing freedom at the altars of fear.

Just go along to get along.... LAME

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