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Racial Profiling at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

Racism is over, right guys? Except for when security guards racially profile Islamic women at the White House.

Seema Jilani attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner (more precisely, the cocktail hour) with her husband, a high-ranking journalist, and their guest, Benh Zeitlin (director of Beasts of the Southern Wild). As she writes in the Huffington Post article, all went well until the dinner started and she realized that she left her keys with her husband, and was barred from going back in without a ticket as she watched other white women allowed in without even being checked for one. The men jeering at her as she desperately called her husband even escorted a woman that "lost her ticket" into the dinner.

When I asked why the security representatives offered to personally escort white women without tickets downstairs while they watched me flounder, why they threatened to call the Secret Service on me, I was told, "We have to be extra careful with you all after the Boston bombings."


It's especially sad considering the racial undertones of our elections, with all the "He just doesn't look like a President" nonsense, that this would happen as the White House Correspondents' Dinner. What's even sadder is that this happens every day to people that are not married to journalists, that do not have an outlet in the public media, and that are subjected to microaggressions in a far less high-profile places. I'm betting after this article, Mrs. Jilani will get her justice at the least in the form of some kind of public apology from the security firm. None of those other, less connected people will receive anything even so small. And then people will scream that racism is over and we should all pretend that the color of your skin doesn't affect how people treat you.

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