Safety vs. Prejudice

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Yesterday afternoon, a Muslim family with nine members including three children was ordered off an AirTran flight from Reagan National to Orlando. Passengers claimed members of the family had made suspicious remarks. The family claims they were just discussing the safest place to sit on the plane.

The FBI cleared the family and helped them secure another flight after AirTran declined to rebook them. AirTran claims they acted in accordance with federal safety guidelines.

Here are some questions: was this a case of blatant prejudice or an unfortunate misunderstanding? And did AirTran overact or, once they received reports of suspicious comments, did they have little choice but take the necessary precautions?

Then there’s the big question: do the advantages of racial profiling outweigh the negative consequences of holding different Americans to separate standards?