Since September 11, 2001, there is an alleged pattern of discrimination at airports against people who are perceived as being of Arab descent. The JetBlue lawsuit was such an example.In 2007, plaintiff Raed Jarrar, a U.S. resident filed a lawsuit against JetBlue Airways and Transportation Security Administration inspectors. He was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. His lawsuit complains that the defendants allegedly violated his civil rights by not letting him board a plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport on August 12, 2006 because he’s of Arab descent and his shirt said, in English and Arabic, “We Will Not Be Silent.” Allegedly, the inspectors wanted Mr. Jarrar to cover up the t-shirt before he would be allowed to board the airplane, and even purchased a t-shirt for him to wear. When he finally complied because he had no choice if he wanted to board his flight, his seat had been changed without his consult, and he was forced to sit where flight attendants could watch him.
The lawsuit was settled this year for the Plaintiff against not only the airline, but the screeners, Garfield Harris and Franco Trotta who started the trouble. JetBlue Airways and the TSA screeners have settled the case for $240,000. As is typical in settlements, JetBlue and the screeners deny any wrongdoing, saying they only wanted to resolve the 2½-year-old federal lawsuit.
Evidently, Mr. Jarrar reported that the slogan on the t-shirt was originally intended as a campaign against the Nazi repression and that it has been printed in several languages, but this one is really a win for the United States Constitution.