‘Out of Sight’

Another day, another case of foolish racial profiling. This time, it’s John Sinno, the director of Seattle’s Arab and Iranian Film Festival, who was stopped and questioned for nine hours in Vancouver because he had a box of DVDs in the trunk of his car.

“I felt like I was in a military zone,” Sinno says. “They followed me to the bathroom and stood right behind me when I was at the urinal. It was unbelievably harsh for having a small box of DVDs.” That the box included titles such as Fahrenheit 9/11 and The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm was the least of his problems, says Sinno, who was travelling with a white American colleague. The colleague was waved on his way, while Sinno was held for nine hours. “They asked me where I got the DVDs from, and when I told them they didn’t believe me,” he says. “It was pretty scary. I said to them, look, I’m being racially profiled. Let’s admit it and move on.” He hesitates. “I don’t know if it’s a good idea to talk about it. We live in touchy times.”

More at the Guardian.