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PhilDernerJr
06-21-2006, 09:26 PM
We all know what we go through as aviation photographers. The way we get looked at, have police called on us, and some of us even detained. Well, I've got TWO incidents from the past week that put me on the OTHER side of the situation.

SITUATION #1: I visited my parents house and left one evening last week. As I started to drive away, I noticed a car parked across the street with a lens sticking out....aimed at my parents' house.

I pulled a u-turn and pulled up alongside the car diagonally in front of him so to block him from leaving. I got out and asked him what he was doing taking pictures of the houses. I didn't know if he was casing the joint for a robbery or maybe to make an offer to buy the property and build a mall.

He has an elderly woman in the backseat, and he said it was his mother and that she grew up in "that" house. I informed him that it was my house and he got excited and there was a brief exchange of conversation.

He apologized for any alarm he caused, and I explained that it's weird because I'm usually the one being questioned about "suspicious" photography.


Now, the more serious incident

SITUATION #2:

I was coming home from work a little after 5 today. As I was coming over the Whitestone Bridge, I looked to my left and saw a minivan. I noticed that BOTH the driver (male) and the passenger (female) had video cameras in their hands, filming their bridge crossing.

Now, aside form the fact that signs specifically state no video or photography, and a driver holding a video camera is a danger to other drivers....this freaked me out. Pardon for the stereotype, but they were Middle Eastern as well.

I pulled back, wrote the plate on my hand and came back up to observe them more.

I got off at the first exit and pulled over and called 911. Yes, I called 911. I gave them a description and all the details and they said that they would go and get 'em.

Now, maybe my behavior was drastic with calling 911. But, I have no problem when police approach me. It makes me feel safer, in fact. They check us out, are kind and leave us be (usually). So, in being safe int he same way, I made that call to cover bases.

T-Bird76
06-21-2006, 10:20 PM
Hmm the second incident I'm a bit torn on..... Yes more then likely another attack on our country will come from Middle Eastern terrorists who probably look Middle Eastern so I can understand the cause for concern. However on the other hand regardless of what the PA posts on their bridges you by all means can take pictures and video tape them. They are public property, built and funded with public money. So I don't know how I'd feel if I were Tom from Ohio traveling with my wife to the Big Apple for the first time and I get a visit from NYPD or Homeland security simply because I was documenting my family vacation.

Next time we get together Phil lets talk about this. I have my own theories on what is happening with our country and its very concerning to me. We need to end the fear.

mikephotos
06-21-2006, 10:39 PM
The "No Photography Signs" on bridges (at least the ones near me) are not there to stop/restrict you from taking pictures (or film) of the bridges themselves. It's there because of saftey reasons, from what I'm told. They have a lot of problems with people stopping their cars on bridges to film/take a picture because it's usually a great vantage point to do so. Obviously, stopping your car on the bridge in the middle of traffic to get out or just shoot from the window can cause major problems.

Mike

NIKV69
06-21-2006, 10:43 PM
Interesting stuff Phil I have mixed emotions about calling 9/11. A couple of people videotaping something from their vehicle on a bridge is not an emergency. It is true that it is illegal to photograph or videotape on a bridge but this is a safety and traffic flow issue. As long as you are not on the bridge you are allowed to photograph it or videotape it. It has seemed that post 9/11 a very large percent of photography (not just aviation) is deemed to be suspicious and the "better safe than sorry" approach to someone with a huge lens in public has taken root in society. I thought as time went on this would improve but this clearly is not the case. Hard to say where this will be a few years from now but it sure seems the terrorists won on 9/11. I hope the police that pulled over the vehicle were professional and not like some of the POs I have encountered on routine encounters. I applaud Phil for his vigilence and calling 911 was at the time they only way to contact law enforcement promptly.


Pardon for the stereotype, but they were Middle Eastern as well.

http://nycaviation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2166

Midnight Mike
06-21-2006, 10:48 PM
SITUATION #2:

I was coming home from work a little after 5 today. As I was coming over the Whitestone Bridge, I looked to my left and saw a minivan. I noticed that BOTH the driver (male) and the passenger (female) had video cameras in their hands, filming their bridge crossing.

Now, aside form the fact that signs specifically state no video or photography, and a driver holding a video camera is a danger to other drivers....this freaked me out. Pardon for the stereotype, but they were Middle Eastern as well.

I pulled back, wrote the plate on my hand and came back up to observe them more.

I got off at the first exit and pulled over and called 911. Yes, I called 911. I gave them a description and all the details and they said that they would go and get 'em.

Now, maybe my behavior was drastic with calling 911. But, I have no problem when police approach me. It makes me feel safer, in fact. They check us out, are kind and leave us be (usually). So, in being safe int he same way, I made that call to cover bases.


Well, Phil, you could be called a hypocrite, you saw something that made you feel uncomfortable & you called the Police, perhaps now you know the feeling when people see strange people taking photos of airplanes.

Now, I don't blame you, it is better to err on the side of caution, but, maybe the next time the Police pull over to ask you what you are doing, perhaps somebody called the Police, because it made them feel better.

PhilDernerJr
06-22-2006, 06:30 AM
However on the other hand regardless of what the PA posts on their bridges you by all means can take pictures and video tape them. They are public property, built and funded with public money.

I don't think that's true. Though legal and publicly funded, the organization that runs it can enforce any rules they want. CIA headquartersis publicly funded but you cna't take pictures of that. Same goes for Air Force bases and so forth.


The "No Photography Signs" on bridges (at least the ones near me) are not there to stop/restrict you from taking pictures (or film) of the bridges themselves. It's there because of saftey reasons, from what I'm told. They have a lot of problems with people stopping their cars on bridges to film/take a picture because it's usually a great vantage point to do so. Obviously, stopping your car on the bridge in the middle of traffic to get out or just shoot from the window can cause major problems.

Mike

I disagree. As far as I know, those signs only showed up after 9/11 though.

Same for the rent-a-cops that stand near the bases of bridges chasing peopel away in surrounding parks who hold up cameras to the bridges.


Now, I don't blame you, it is better to err on the side of caution, but, maybe the next time the Police pull over to ask you what you are doing, perhaps somebody called the Police, because it made them feel better.

I've never complained about being stopped by police. I've only complained about my bad incidents with them.

The thign is that I've seen this behavior before. This time, it creeped me out for some reason. These people did not look happy, and were freked out by my staring at them. It just didn't feel right.

Mellyrose
06-22-2006, 09:11 AM
At the very least, it's cause for concern that someone driving a minivan while videotaping...let alone the fact that they were driving over a bridge...let alone the Whitestone Bridge (which has narrow lanes as it is, and with current construction it's VERY tight). How would you feel if you saw a whitebread business man driving on a bridge while videotaping? I'd still be concerned. It's unnecessary and dangerous, and even MORE unnecessary if the other person in your car is filming as well. I think that is that shadiest part about this. I mean, I hate driving over that bridge in my little baby Acura...it's just not safe to be distracted like that while driving. Think about the cell phone law.

Having said that, I have to vouch for Phil that not only is he not an over-reactor, but usually just the opposite. He is very rational and doesn't jump to conclusions (well, in situations like this). When I heard that he was worried about something like that, I knew it must have looked more than suspicious.

mikephotos
06-22-2006, 10:44 AM
[quote="Phil D."]I disagree. As far as I know, those signs only showed up after 9/11 though.[quote]

The bridges by me had those signs long before 9|11, not sure about others.

Mike

NIKV69
06-22-2006, 11:16 AM
Same for the rent-a-cops that stand near the bases of bridges chasing peopel away in surrounding parks who hold up cameras to the bridges.

More ignorance it is perfectly fine to photograph any bridge as long as you are not on it.


How would you feel if you saw a whitebread business man driving on a bridge while videotaping? I'd still be concerned. It's unnecessary and dangerous

So is driving and talking on your cell phone yet millions of people do it all the time, I would not be concerned, I will not live in fear, the second this gets out of control the terrorists win.

Mellyrose
06-22-2006, 01:41 PM
Same for the rent-a-cops that stand near the bases of bridges chasing peopel away in surrounding parks who hold up cameras to the bridges.

More ignorance it is perfectly fine to photograph any bridge as long as you are not on it.


How would you feel if you saw a whitebread business man driving on a bridge while videotaping? I'd still be concerned. It's unnecessary and dangerous

So is driving and talking on your cell phone yet millions of people do it all the time, I would not be concerned, I will not live in fear, the second this gets out of control the terrorists win.

First of all, if you had quoted me entirely, you'd see that I did compare it to the cell phone law...but really, you can't compare the danger of doing something that requires your hands AND eyes, to just talking on the phone.

Also, in response to what you said to Phil, these people WERE on the bridge. They were driving over it.

Matt Molnar
06-22-2006, 02:11 PM
So is driving and talking on your cell phone yet millions of people do it all the time, I would not be concerned, I will not live in fear, the second this gets out of control the terrorists win.

On at least two occasions in the past couple of years, people employed by the Iranian embassy in NYC have been expelled from the United States for "behavior incompatible with their diplomatic status," aka the friendly way of saying they were spying. What did they do? They were caught videotaping sensitive areas of subways and bridges and buildings. There are limited means available for preventing bad people from infiltrating a free society. Responsible racial profiling is a good thing.

USAF Pilot 07
06-22-2006, 03:16 PM
Having said that, I have to vouch for Phil that not only is he not an over-reactor, but usually just the opposite. He is very rational and doesn't jump to conclusions (well, in situations like this). When I heard that he was worried about something like that, I knew it must have looked more than suspicious.

I agree with you. Anyone who knows Phil at least somewhat well should know that he's pretty level headed and rational. Sometimes you just get those "feelings" about certain situations, and having known Phil for almost 6 years, if he had one, I think he made the right decision and would have probably supported him if I was there next to him.

Gotham also brings up a valid point.
Not for nothing either, but it seems somewhat weird that people are filming the Whitestone Bridge. The view isn't spectacular, and the bridge isn't really known for anything.

Mellyrose
06-22-2006, 03:21 PM
Not for nothing either, but it seems somewhat weird that people are filming the Whitestone Bridge. The view isn't spectacular, and the bridge isn't really known for anything.

That's the first thing that my co-workers said when I mentioned yesterday that 2 people in a car were filming the bridge. I think that maybe a Manhattan connecting bridge might even be a little LESS suspicious, since there's more of a view and fame to it.

USAF Pilot 07
06-22-2006, 03:39 PM
I think that maybe a Manhattan connecting bridge might even be a little LESS suspicious, since there's more of a view and fame to it.

Oh for sure. I was actually thinking that when I wrote my post. I could understand them filming maybe the GWB or the Verrazano or anything leading into Manhattan or with a view; but the Whitestone? Nothing really to see there....

Mellyrose
06-22-2006, 03:45 PM
...but the Whitestone? Nothing really to see there....

Just 22 landings! ;)

USAF Pilot 07
06-22-2006, 03:54 PM
...but the Whitestone? Nothing really to see there....

Just 22 landings! ;)

True... or maybe they were "bridge-spotters" filming bridges for bridgelevel005.com or NYCBridges.com... :lol:

PhilDernerJr
06-22-2006, 06:18 PM
bridgelevel005.com

Funniest post of the week!!!

NIKV69
06-22-2006, 07:14 PM
Also, in response to what you said to Phil, these people WERE on the bridge. They were driving over it.


I wasn't speaking about that, I was referring to his remark about rent a cops who chase people away from surrounding parks who are shooting bridges. Which is what I quoted in my post.



Responsible racial profiling

What a concept.

markg
06-23-2006, 12:08 PM
Gotham also brings up a valid point.
Not for nothing either, but it seems somewhat weird that people are filming the Whitestone Bridge. The view isn't spectacular, and the bridge isn't really known for anything.

But think of the traffic chaos if you couldn't get over that bridge. Sure you've got the Throgs Neck bridge, but that would just be a parking lot, as would the GCP.

I go with Phil's concerns, and would probably not have waited to pull over to call 911, I would have just done it while driving.

Fly1346
06-23-2006, 10:51 PM
hmm interesting thread, I know I dont post here often, but this thread caught my eye. I look middle eastern, since I'm indian decent. I dont go spotting much these days purely since I dont want to be pulled over, harassed, etc. etc. because I know I'm guaranteed to get stopped by police, if they see me with my camera and lens pointed towards landing aircraft. Last year at Costco, I got pulled over and the cop said "yea no offense but your name does cause suspicion" (my names Omar) With that said, taking videos of bridges is quite awkward though...

NIKV69
06-24-2006, 09:05 AM
I dont go spotting much these days purely since I dont want to be pulled over, harassed, etc. etc. because I know I'm guaranteed to get stopped by police, if they see me with my camera and lens pointed towards landing aircraft. Last year at Costco, I got pulled over and the cop said "yea no offense but your name does cause suspicion" (my names Omar)

So much for "responsible racial profiling" It's a shame you let this ignorance stop you from spotting.

FlyingColors
06-27-2006, 05:13 PM
"So is driving and talking on your cell phone yet millions of people do it all the time, I would not be concerned, I will not live in fear, the second this gets out of control the terrorists win."

DITTO!

FlyingColors
06-27-2006, 05:15 PM
I dont go spotting much these days purely since I dont want to be pulled over, harassed, etc. etc. because I know I'm guaranteed to get stopped by police, if they see me with my camera and lens pointed towards landing aircraft. Last year at Costco, I got pulled over and the cop said "yea no offense but your name does cause suspicion" (my names Omar)

So much for "responsible racial profiling" It's a shame you let this ignorance stop you from spotting.

Ditto again!
If you look at this from another angle you have an advantage!
"Go ahead and make my day!"

FlyingColors
06-27-2006, 05:21 PM
"Now, aside form the fact that signs specifically state no video or photography"

This reminds me of my early driving days.
With fresh permit in hand I sit in the family station wagon and start to read the owners manual.

In the automatic transmission section a warning catches my eye.
(Never under any circumstances rev the engine in Park or Neutral and engage Drive!)

Such fun, I can still smell the rubber burning!

Mr Smith
06-30-2006, 11:20 PM
"Now, aside form the fact that signs specifically state no video or photography"

This reminds me of my early driving days.
With fresh permit in hand I sit in the family station wagon and start to read the owners manual.

In the automatic transmission section a warning catches my eye.
(Never under any circumstances rev the engine in Park or Neutral and engage Drive!)

Such fun, I can still smell the rubber burning!

wonder if anyone gave the fuzz a buzz when i was taking pics whilst you were driving me about Mike? :lol:


but they were Middle Eastern as well.

define middle eastern for me? i really get sick of this ****, if it's a person with a Hijab or a beard they are middle eastern and warrant suspicion, how do you know they weren't born in the good ol USA? I take it the only thing you know for sure is the fact that they were of the Islamic faith...i take it that the clothing is what you used to "profile" them? :shock: This isn't a swipe at you Phil, it's good you take an interest in your community but you need to be a little less general when you post something like this.

everytime i've been to the USA (5 times in the past 2 years) i've come across spotters who really should have the camera shoved up there ass, i've heard the "fuken towelheads ruined our hobby" "nuke the fuken arabs" and other degrading comments, not from anyone on this board though! but i think it's bloody disgraceful the way some liberally dish out insults like this, it's tainting an entire people due to the actions of a few. I'd consider myself fairly well travelled and i've not come across this kind of blatant discrimination anywhere else but the USA...very disappointing!

Matt Molnar
07-01-2006, 12:57 AM
I'd consider myself fairly well travelled and i've not come across this kind of blatant discrimination anywhere else but the USA...very disappointing!

This is because the USA has been the only country attacked by Middle Eastern men flying airliners, and, as a direct result, we've seen the biggest change in the government's attitude toward spotting. I'm not defending discrimination, but this is why it is more pronounced here.

Mr Smith
07-01-2006, 04:10 AM
I'd consider myself fairly well travelled and i've not come across this kind of blatant discrimination anywhere else but the USA...very disappointing!

This is because the USA has been the only country attacked by Middle Eastern men flying airliners, and, as a direct result, we've seen the biggest change in the government's attitude toward spotting. I'm not defending discrimination, but this is why it is more pronounced here.

yes it's the only country to has been attacked by middle eastern men flying planes but it's not the only country that's been the victim of terrorism. I'm well aware of the situation, we have similar issues down here with police but i've never heard the blatant abuse, discrimination and racial taunts anywhere else and these are coming from fellow spotters.

USA doesn't have a monopoly on suffering at the hands of terror, and it certainly doesn't give people the right to carry on in such an offensive manner, especially in front of people who are visitors to the country. that's probably the worst memory i have of my trips to the USA, a country i enjoy visiting apart from that constant sour note that seems to follow me.

Mellyrose
07-01-2006, 06:12 AM
The original concern was because Phil saw 2 people, in the same car videotaping the bridge while driving over it. Anyone from NY knows that is against the law...in fact, most people even NOT from NY know this isn't allowed. While I am not going to say that Phil said that they people were of Middle Eastern descent ONLY to include all details, that IS a good part of the reason that he mentioned it. He didn't say "oh my god they were Arab, they must be terrorists!"

But really....anyone seen driving over a NY bridge while simultaneously filming it while someone else in the same car is doing the same is 100% shady...if we as Americans see something that already looks threatening and add an element of fear because of a past experience with something related to what we are seeing, that is only natural, no matter how NON racist you are.

This thread has gotten to the point of throwing around words that I don't think are fair to be using in this situation, where people are just merely sharing their opinions and voicing their concerns.

PhilDernerJr
07-01-2006, 08:19 AM
Monty,

I see your point, but I don't feel that what I said was offensive in any way. Seeing two Arab people in that car, both filming a bridge, did look more suspicious to me than if I saw to preppy white kids. It has nothing to do with where they were born. It was what I feel to be a "healthy amount" of stereotyping.

Everyone in this world stereotypes people every day, whether it be for positive or negative reasons.

I see MANY Arab people everywhere I go o a constant basis. I see them when I go through Grand Central, I see them on the subways and so forth, and I never get concerned ONLY because of their nationality. That is not why I became concerned on the bridge. I didn't say 'Hey, look, Arabs! They must be terrorists!". All I was saying was that the entire scene of what I saw that day, including their descent (one of the last observations in my list of them) and their angry faces.....added more to that concern at that moment.

I also want to point out that it doesn't matter if they were born here in the US or not. Being born in the US doesn't make anyone less of where the nation they came from (according to them). People who are actually 3rd generation US, will still say that they are Italian. Although I think it's stupid, it's just how most Americans are. People are also becoming less assimilated to American culture these days as well, regardless of where they are born.

NIKV69
07-01-2006, 10:29 AM
People who are actually 3rd generation US, will still say that they are Italian. Although I think it's stupid, it's just how most Americans are. People are also becoming less assimilated to American culture these days as well, regardless of where they are born.

Let us remember one important fact. The only people that can claim they are "American" is an American Indian. We all immigrated here after this new world was discovered. With that said we can argue racial profiling all day, Phil is right that we all do it to a certain extent but it's more stereotyping than profiling. A law enforcement officer has a touch job when he is sizing up someone he approaches. Some of them are guilty of profiling and it's unfortunate. Monty and Mike both have good points but I still say we can't live in fear. Two people that appear middle eastern filming from a bridge is shady, but so are a million other things. I think Phil overreacted a little but he erred on the side of caution which is always the safe bet. I just hope if the people in the car were harmless tourists that they were treated with the same respect we are trying to get when we enjoy our hobby.

FlyingColors
07-01-2006, 12:32 PM
" I see your point, but I don't feel that what I said was offensive in any way. Seeing two Arab people in that car, both filming a bridge, did look more suspicious to me than if I saw to preppy white kids. It has nothing to do with where they were born. It was what I feel to be a "healthy amount" of stereotyping."

And...

"USA doesn't have a monopoly on suffering at the hands of terror, and it certainly doesn't give people the right to carry on in such an offensive manner, especially in front of people who are visitors to the country. that's probably the worst memory i have of my trips to the USA, a country i enjoy visiting apart from that constant sour note that seems to follow me."

Monty, the comments you heard are completely inappropriate, disgusting, insulting and most of all ignorant. But why would they?

The American attitude is molded and programmed from many years thanks to the American media, especially Hollywood, love to depict Middle Easterners as "the bad guys" repeatedly and reliably. This sort of programming comes face to face on the streets today.

(Face it, ALL walks of life, race, religion, profession have there bad eggs)

And nowadays in the US its considered "OK" to partial, to be racist, be suspicious of all Middle Easterners regardless. And of course is not a written law. Citizens feel its normal. Its common and cool to let out little slurs in public. They feel comfortable with it. After all its totally supported by the present administration. And "they" are to blame for it all (pick something negative, war, gas $, bad weather, whatever--it will fit)

Just try (read-never happen) if Hollywood would produce a movie that would so completely tarnish, threaten and insult another race as a whole and get away with it!

....and justice for all.

( I feel a locked thread coming on)

Matt Molnar
07-01-2006, 12:37 PM
yes it's the only country to has been attacked by middle eastern men flying planes but it's not the only country that's been the victim of terrorism. I'm well aware of the situation, we have similar issues down here with police but i've never heard the blatant abuse, discrimination and racial taunts anywhere else and these are coming from fellow spotters.

Personally I've never seen anything blatantly racist or discriminatory as you seem to be describing either on this board or on anet. Unless of course, you are very offended by what Phil did on the bridge or what I said about racial profiling.

Following Pearl Harbor, the United States locked over 100,000 Japanese away in internment camps to prevent them from helping attack the West Coast, because, as Lt Gen John DeWitt told Congress, "it makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty." When you zoom out and look at Americans' reactions to 9/11 next to what we did after Pearl Harbor, and the reactions of other countries after suffering major attacks, you'll see everything from internment camps to genocide. What did we do after 9/11? Rather than rounding up every Muslim or Saudi or Arab and ejecting them from our economic and government power centers, we told the public "If you see something, say something."

Getting an occasional talking to from a cop because you match a certain profile and are doing something somewhat out of the ordinary (standing under a flight path with a camera for hours at a time is not "ordinary" in any society, two people in a car videotaping a bridge while driving is not "ordinary" in any society) is by far the most favorable option available.

PhilDernerJr
07-01-2006, 12:38 PM
Don't worry about locking. These are all great points. People are attacking posts, not the posters, so there is no problem with that here. Mods will only lock or delete posts if the thread has turned to personal attacks.

FlyingColors is right. There IS a programming that has gone on in the US. On 9/11, footage was shown of Arab people cheering in the streets....using footage that was old. That kind of thing does happen.

Nick said it best. He feels I erred, but on the side of caution. I have no problem with those who disagree with me, but I'm pleased that he can see my side of it and that I did not have racist intentions. Honestly, if I saw two angry while people at the same age, both driver and passenger doing the same thing, I don't believe my reaction would have been any different.

FlyingColors
07-01-2006, 12:53 PM
Phil..with all due respect, THINK! It happnes ...

The media has you all jacked up to be punchy.

Think WHAT they are filming at, and HOW.

WHAT--- the top side of a public bridge.
HOW -- it was done in public (yes anything you do in a car is considered in public)

WHAT IF someone had impure thoughts for the bridge? Where can one make a mark? The underside!
And if your to make a reconnaissance film for a premeditated strike HOW could you do it? If your just a bit crafty on would rig up a camera in a suitcase on the roof, fix a camera through a tinted window. Do something deceptive!

Holding a camera in public is NOT deceptive.
They were certainly not inconspicuous.
Just like us, very conspicuous!

I'd say the chaps are 99.9% likely students of architecture, video photography (that can be a home made/entry level econo panoramic film), or fascinated tourists.

PhilDernerJr
07-01-2006, 01:06 PM
I've shared my views, and at this point there is not much more I can say. I think I'm one of the last people to profile or find photography suspicious, especially considering that I've been detained more than once for it. But here, when I saw what I did, alarms went off in my gut. I use my gut. It wasn't because he was Arab, it wasn't because of the camera. There were several factors that came together to tell my gut that something was not right.

It might look like what I did was racist, wrong, contradicting, hateful, not thought-out, but regardless, I stand by my gut.

Matt Molnar
07-01-2006, 01:07 PM
The American attitude is molded and programmed from many years thanks to the American media, especially Hollywood, love to depict Middle Easterners as "the bad guys" repeatedly and reliably. This sort of programming comes face to face on the streets today.

This is almost the complete opposite of the truth. Hollywood is more terrified of these guys than anyone. They've gone as far as fundamentally changing stories just to avoid even a hint of predjudice. With the exception of the Fox series 24, I cannot think of any recent film or TV show that treats Muslims with anything but kid gloves. For one example, Tom Clancy's fantastic book "The Sum of All Fears", which details a plot of Muslim extremists collaborating with anti-government Native Americans to detonate a nuclear warhead in the United States, was essentially transformed into "Die Hard 4" when Hollywood got its hands on it...changing the villains into Germans! (Perhaps not coincidentally, the internet's hottest 9/11 conspiracy theory more or less mirrors the plot of Die Hard 3, but I digress).


WHAT IF someone had impure thoughts for the bridge? Where can one make a mark? The underside!

Many of our victories in the War on Terror can be traced directly to the stupidity of the plotters.

NIKV69
07-01-2006, 03:12 PM
It might look like what I did was racist, wrong, contradicting, hateful, not thought-out, but regardless, I stand by my gut.

I don't think anyone is implying that Phil. Those who know you will never think that. 9/11 did more than bring two buildings down, and in fact I think the point that Mike touched on about the media is also a good one. It has made some people absolutely paranoid with fear. This is why we get the treatment we do. It's a fine line, but what I think we are all trying to accomplish is fair treatment and no ignorance when we have to be approached and checked out by the authorities. If someone sees us and deems us suspicious.

Mr Smith
07-01-2006, 07:58 PM
Monty,

I see your point, but I don't feel that what I said was offensive in any way. Seeing two Arab people in that car, both filming a bridge, did look more suspicious to me than if I saw to preppy white kids. It has nothing to do with where they were born. It was what I feel to be a "healthy amount" of stereotyping.


you didn't say anything offensive from where i sit, maybe a little naive but nothing offensive...i've heard worse then that mate, i'm just saying throwing the "middle eastern" tag is a little inappropriate when you have no idea who those people are. But you've done it again in this post. Why not just 2 people looking suspect?




Personally I've never seen anything blatantly racist or discriminatory as you seem to be describing either on this board or on anet. Unless of course, you are very offended by what Phil did on the bridge or what I said about racial profiling.

not offensive or offended by what Phil said or did...just frustrated by that type of attitude, was there really a need to mention "they were middle eastern" at all? you, me and Phil know full well that this may not be the case, Islamic yes, Middle Eastern, who knows, they could well have been born in the USA.

i kinda have my own theory as to why i've heard the remarks on spotting trips, I think it's due to the fact that some of the spotters i've met are annoyed with the situation in there area, they feel the need to vent and think that it maybe deemed acceptable if they say in front of a fellow spotter from overseas, or that i may share the same view. To me it's not acceptable...but that's just me and it probably stems from the fact that being a wog in school we copped alot of racial abuse.


The American attitude is molded and programmed from many years thanks to the American media, especially Hollywood, love to depict Middle Easterners as "the bad guys" repeatedly and reliably. This sort of programming comes face to face on the streets today.

pretty sure we had this conversation in the car!? :o you know i 110% agree with you.


Just try (read-never happen) if Hollywood would produce a movie that would so completely tarnish, threaten and insult another race as a whole and get away with it!

maybe a movie about Tim McVeigh is in order then? It's frustrating mate, but what can you do? you have to educate people that it's not ok to taint 1.9blillion due to the actions of 19. But you just have to go to the local video store and look in the action releases...find a terror plot film from the 80's-90's or around that time and see who's cast as the terrorists. It stems back long before 9/11.


It might look like what I did was racist, wrong, contradicting, hateful, not thought-out, but regardless, I stand by my gut.

If you don't want it to look like that then don't make the assertion about somebodies ethnicity until you know for sure. I think when you said "they were middle eastern" to me it comes off as a round-about way of saying they are muslim. With that thinking it suggests to me that because they are muslims, who are filming a public bridge, they need further investigating. what would you've done if it was me you drove past filming the same brdige? What are repurcussions of your actions Phil? Your actions could have saved a bridge, they could also have set an innocent family up for unwarranted abuse, survaillence and god knows what else...

I'm not having a crack at you mate...you knw me and when i do have a crack i'll make sure everyone knows, just think you need to leave certain parts of the puzzle out.

Mellyrose
07-01-2006, 08:15 PM
What are repurcussions of your actions Phil? Your actions could have saved a bridge, they could also have set an innocent family up for unwarranted abuse, survaillance and god knows what else...

Whether or not they were innocent, surveillance would have been warranted since they were clearly breaking a law which is posted on signs on these bridges. "Bridge photography is strictly prohibited" is clear enough, in my opinion. They're not breaking the law any less if they didn't SEE the sign...just as someone who didn't see the "No handheld phones in NY" sign is still going to get pulled over if they're on their phone.

Whatever the skin color, they were still breaking the rules.

Mr Smith
07-01-2006, 08:50 PM
What are repurcussions of your actions Phil? Your actions could have saved a bridge, they could also have set an innocent family up for unwarranted abuse, survaillance and god knows what else...

Whether or not they were innocent, surveillance would have been warranted since they were clearly breaking a law which is posted on signs on these bridges. "Bridge photography is strictly prohibited" is clear enough, in my opinion. They're not breaking the law any less if they didn't SEE the sign...just as someone who didn't see the "No handheld phones in NY" sign is still going to get pulled over if they're on their phone.



Whatever the skin color, they were still breaking the rules.

so was i when i did it...i guess it depends on how you interpret the word "suspiscious" and what you look for when it comes to "suspect" individuals..in other words, profiling.

PhilDernerJr
07-01-2006, 09:28 PM
I think I see what you're saying, Monty, that if I felt that these people were suspicious, then they are just suspicious and I shouldn't even have to mention the fact that these people were Middle Eastern because it's not necessary and shouldn’t be a factor.

But honestly, it IS a factor. Now I'm not saying that the US is the big victim in the world, far from it. I'm certainly not saying that all Middle Easterners, or even a majority of them, are terrorists, pro-terrorist, or even anti-American.

Though Australia has some troops deployed as well, the fact remains that the US is at war with two countries right now, and also at war against a terror group with worldwide range that does not wear a uniform and is not clearly identifiable. What are we left to do but profile in SOME way?

A couple weeks ago, a man with Al Qaeda connections was arrested less than one mile from me on Ash Avenue in Flushing. Right here in my town.

A close friend of my sister came home from Iraq last week...riddled with scars from a roadside bomb. I'm shocked he's alive.

Again, not playing the victim, but the war is a lot closer to home here in NY than you think, even long after 9/11. Because of this, what was already a very suspicious act to me on that bridge regardless of that couple's race, WAS in fact heightened by the fact that they were Middle Eastern. NOT because of Hollywood's or the media's influence, but because I had a neighbor in my town that was working towards killing Americans (not the first time in my town either by any means), and because the guy that taught me how to take a jump shot a when I was younger now has a silver-dollars sized section of scar tissue on his neck, an inch off his jugular.

I have NO beef with Middle Easterners. But when I see something like what these people were doing, with their angry faces and my gut not allowing me to let my concern pass, I WILL profile.

Mr Smith
07-01-2006, 10:13 PM
I think I see what you're saying, Monty, that if I felt that these people were suspicious, then they are just suspicious and I shouldn't even have to mention the fact that these people were Middle Eastern because it's not necessary and shouldn’t be a factor.

correct...at the end of the day you don't know for sure they were middle eastern, that's what i'm getting at, they could have been Italian Muslims, Greek Muslims, Spanish, North African...you can't cast the assertion of someones ethnicity by a cursory glance.




Though Australia has some troops deployed as well, the fact remains that the US is at war with two countries right now, and also at war against a terror group with worldwide range that does not wear a uniform and is not clearly identifiable. What are we left to do but profile in SOME way?

the US is more at war with Iraq then it is with Al Qaida...5 years and the mastermind behind 9/11 still roams around and doesn't seem to be a concern to the administration...in a bizarre way i think the US govt prefers to have him on the loose, it's there way of using him to instill fear into the people and hold power over them. I have no beef with the war in Afghanistan or the against the Al Qaida, unfortunately it seems to have taken second place to a mess in Iraq. Australia lost people at the hands of Al Qaida in WTC attacks, Bali, London and Madrid and i'm all for the destruction of Al Qaida...it just seems it's getting further away then ever before.


WAS in fact heightened by the fact that they were Middle Eastern.

and that's where you set yourself up for criticism, you've got no evidence that they were middle eastern, Islam isn't confined to just one region of the world! I take it you identified them as being of the Islamic faith by there clothing etc? that's fair enough and maybe self evident, i wasn't there...but your make a bad call saying they are from a region when you have NO proof of that.




I have NO beef with Middle Easterners. But when I see something like what these people were doing, with their angry faces and my gut not allowing me to let my concern pass, I WILL profile.

you've allowed the actions of a few to cloud your judgement. you may not have a beef with moslems but you are inclined to think the worst. That's pretty scarey mate, everyone deserves to be judged equally, are you going to judge me because i look like the guy down the road who killed an 8 y/o girl without reason, not everyone has bad intetions.

PhilDernerJr
07-01-2006, 10:44 PM
you don't know for sure they were middle eastern

I live all around Midlde Easterners. I know the cultural clothing and I can tell. It's not racist to look at someone wearing the known cultural clothing on a Middle Eastern Muslim and think that they are a Middle Eastern Muslim.


you've got no evidence that they were middle eastern, Islam isn't confined to just one region of the world

I do have evidence that they were Middle Eastern. As I said earlier in this post, I know what Middle Easterners look like and dress like and all that. I live in the most diverse town in the entire world, literally. I can tell the difference between people, and whether or not someone is Middle Eastern or Italian.

What does an Italian muslim have to do with anything though? Wherever they are from, that doesn't change the fact that they were of Middle Eastenr ancestry and were wearing Muslim clothing.


the US is more at war with Iraq then it is with Al Qaida...5 years and the mastermind behind 9/11 still roams around

That's a political topic that has nothing to do with what I said or this thread.


you may not have a beef with moslems but you are inclined to think the worst.

"The worst", in regards to me suspicions, had nothing to do with his ethnicity. I was concerned enough without that being a factor.

If someone is doing what they were doing, the way they were dong it, and my gut insisting that something was a little off, then I'd call the cops anyway...white, black, green, whatever. If they happen to fit the cultural category of a people that has a measurable following in the world that hates the US and our Western culture, then that WILL add a bit to my suspicion as well, albeit a small factor.

emshighway
09-17-2006, 05:25 PM
Phil, you did the right thing. If they are legit then they have nothing to worry about. If not then maybe your call could lead to a cell working in NYC.

Something as simple as this as already lead to breaking up cells.

Thanks Phil.