Thursday, August 25, 2005

`Mr. Bomber, what can we do for you?'

I wonder if your name was really Palestinian Bomber if you'd get harassed at the airport or not. I suppose it would depend on your complexion.
I know this must have been really awful for the guy, being that it was racist and all, but if you worked for one of those agencies that collects all that information and you were making minimum wage to compile those lists, wouldn't you change the names to funny stuff like Seymour Butts and Hugh Jass? I think doing that would be pretty funny. In the Enron Documentary I watched the other night (very good by the way) they had one bank account where they stored money they were skimming and it was registered to a Mr. M. Yass - yep - My Ass! Grown men did this.

CORONA, Calif.—The address was his, but the name on the credit-card offer took Sami Habbas by surprise: "Palestinian Bomber."
"I thought it was a joke or something," said Habbas, 54, a Palestinian American who served in the U.S. Army.
Habbas opened the letter, and the salutation read "Dear Palestinian Bomber."
When he called the company, JPMorgan Chase & Co., provided his ZIP code and invitation number, two operators said to him: "Yes, Mr. Bomber, what can we do for you?"
"It's very upsetting," Habbas said. "I'm not what they are saying, a Palestinian bomber. That's uncalled for. I have a name.
"My name is Sami Habbas."
The information came from a list Chase purchased from a vendor, said Kelly Presta, an executive vice president of Chase Card Services, the credit card line of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which is investigating the incident.
"Although no Chase employee was involved in creating this information, we are embarrassed by this incident and regret that our automatic screening procedures did not catch this erroneous information," Presta said.
Habbas, a grocer who's lived in the U.S. since age 3, doesn't know why he would be singled out or how anyone would even know he has Palestinian heritage. "It just hurt me to think I am discriminated against in my own back yard," he said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, D.C., has asked Chase for a formal apology.
"The most important thing is to make sure this doesn't happen again, to any American, regardless of their race or religion," said spokeswoman Sabiha Khan.

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