Rev. Barber: Airports Are Disenflightizing Minorities


The Rev. Barber holds an all-you-can-eat conference at the RDU Marriott yesterday.

The Rev. Barber holds an all-you-can-eat conference at the RDU Marriott yesterday.


By CRAIG MILLAR        OCT. 23, 2014

RALEIGH, NC — The Rev. William Barber II announced at a press buffet yesterday that parts of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport are systematically disenflightizing minorities, who are routinely asked to provide photo identification for the “sole purposes of intimidation, harassment, and flier suppression.” The Rev. Barber said that under the new RDU administration, black travelers, who according to an unnamed study are 89 percent more likely to lack photo identification, have been turned back at the gates at a rate much higher than white travelers and have been denied their right to fly.

“Pretzel packages and Bloody Marys out of a can should not be the privilege of the few,” thundered The Rev. Barber. “White flight? No! Overbooked flights and checked bags are for us the people, not for us the one percent!” He pounded the table repeatedly, but it was not clear whether that was out of emphasis or to get the waffle iron to unstick.

RDU officials countered that without photo id, TSA screeners might not know whether the traveler whose name was on the ticket was the one at the gate. “Ever since 9/11, we’ve had to step up security,” one official said meekly and on the condition of anonymity, terrified The Rev. Barber would harass him for the next 12 months. “I mean, someone is stealing someone else’s seat if they use their name and address,” he said.

“Oh, all I hear about when the powers that be are trying to take away rights from the powerless is 9/11 this and 9/11 that,” countered Barber. “9/11 was an inside job, and now you see the rats coming home to roost, or the chickens hatching, or some barnyard metaphor.” Barber paused to polish off a charger of popcorn shrimp, than continued, “RDU must stand for Republicans Don’t want U to fly. I know that’s a lame acronym, but it’s the best I could come up with.”

When it came time to turn the conference room over to the Amran Shriners’ FUNraiser Disco Extravaganza For Kids With Macular Degeneration, a scuffle ensued as The Rev. Barber refused to yield the floor, the mike, or the hot wings. “I shall not be moved,” yelled The Rev. Barber when four hotel security guards tried to do just that. He turned out to be correct, as two hours later he was still in place among the Shriners, refusing to leave until justice was served along with more wafers for the chocolate fountain.

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