NCPCF                                                 Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Seventh Annual Conference Report
Dear Friends,

We’re excited to report that our Seventh Annual Family Conference was very successful, and also a very full weekend!  We will be telling the whole story in coming weeks, but for now we want to let you know about a difficulty one of our participating families was able to overcome to get to Maryland, or we should say, mostly overcome.
In solidarity,
Mel Underbakke, PhD
Executive Director Leena Al-Arian
Deputy Director 

I’m sitting here at MSP-International Airport livid at the discriminative behavior by TSA Agents per the recommendation of the federal govt. My family and I were visited by the FBI yesterday who after finding out that we had a domestic flight booked which is neither abnormal nor illegal, decided to tell us my brother cannot board that flight. We declined speaking to them, told them they can address any inquires or concerns to our lawyer. The remainder of the day I spent coming home to a limo with tinted windows parked in front of our home, I leave to head to the gym and a car with tinted windows decides to escort me there and wait the full two hour duration of my workout and escort me home. The harassment and intimidation does not stop there. 

Last night, I thought of saving us some trouble and decided to do an early check in online. A notification told me that because of government restrictions we have to rise earlier to check in at the airport. When we arrived, the kiosks weren’t sufficient enough either, we were prompted to speak to an airport staff to get our boarding passes manually printed. 

At what point does this start to sound like a chore? Less like the start to a good weekend and more like a monotonous drill you’re repeatedly put through to test your anger, waiting for you to burst. 

We got to the security line and my entire family as well as aunty Ayan Farah‘s entire family were asked to step aside. You can imagine standing there, attempting to stay composed as everyone stares, some with knowing looks of “the Mozlim” stereotype reinforced, others still wondering why two whole families were asked to step aside for further screening. 

4 S’s marked each of our boarding passes and the younger kids sat to the side and watched as our mothers were patted down, shuffled, searched, their bags stripped. This procedure wasn’t done once, or twice, but FOUR TIMES to each person. At this point we realized they were going to make us miss our flight despite being early. 

I’m tired. I’m tired of being subjected to endless scrutiny and surveillance despite being born and raised in this country. I’m tired of being harassed and followed. I’m tired of government agents being able to restrict the rights of a legal citizen with no criminal record and restrain him to certain borders with not so much as a single explanation. I’m tired of seeing my mother cry helplessly because she thought this country would be good to her children. I’m sick and tired of sitting silently, fuming silently, knowing that if I were to release the angst and anger in my lungs, I’d be labeled “the angry black mozlim woman.”



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