"Oh, we're going down *that* road, are we? You have a chip on your shoulder, huh?"
- "A chip on my shoulder? No. I just study & research this as an academic. So, no, I don't find it surprising."
- "No, mate, it's troubling that you find that troubling. You want to take a look in the bag, be my guest."
"It's not mate, it's officer."
- "oh? It's Dr Hellyer, FYI."
"OK. Show me your passport, please sir."
- "Here you go."
- "I am a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, and (among other things) I research counterterrorism. Which is why I don't find this surprising."
(At this point, I didn't even notice he was assuming all sorts about Egypt.)
- "It is called racial profiling."
At this point I am not sure if he was just trying to get past me, or if he had finished up, but he went on to say:
- "No, I'm not calling you racist personally. But let's imagine, just for argument's sake: I am not looking at you. I am looking at the system you operate within."
- "I appreciate your perspective. I didn't mean to offend you. I will consider your perspective. But please: consider mine."
Now, I didn't write all of this to complain. On the contrary, I consider myself privileged. I am in authoritarian countries a lot, and this treatment is like being in a 5 star hotel in comparison. But there is a lot to take away from this.