Saturday, March 12, 2011

Racial profiling and bus security

As I was getting on the bus to leave Gisenyi, I noticed a uniformed secuirty guard with a metal detector wand. He was sticking the wand in passengers' bags before they could enter the bus. The bags, being full of keys and cell phones and other assorted non-bomb metal goods, made the metal detector beep like crazy, and then the security guard would wave the passenger onto the bus. At no point did he look into the bags to investigate the source of the beeping. Just another example of someone here doing something that looks good but is actually entirely pointless or ineffective! However, I'd bet most Rwandans don't know what the wand is or how it works; maybe they think it would do something other than beep frantically if there were a bomb. So perhaps it is effective deterence.

I was waved on without being subjected to the frantically beeping metal detector. Racial profiling at work!

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