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Nice ’n’ Equal



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In the months following 9/11, a lot of us wrote about the insistent egalitarianism of security procedures at airports. What I mean is, veiled ladies at Charles de Gaulle would scrutinize the undies of nuns returning to Boston. I suppose this is just. For one thing, someone could plant bombs among the nuns’ undies. But it still seemed: funny.

I thought of this yesterday, when I was at Heathrow, preparing to return to New York. A young Hasidic man — curls and all — was given the most thorough and painstaking going-over. He took it all stoically, impassively, of course. I must say, I burned a little.

Is that hate speech? Prosecutable? Something that would get you fired from NPR? (I don’t have that worry, strangely enough.)



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