Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Lichtblau report charges by 32 security officers at Logan who say African-Americans and Latinos are routinely detained and referred to police by over 20 other officers, whom they named. The reason is to meet quotas under a new "behavior detection" program that is being tried out at the Boston airport. Among the behaviors detected is "standing while black." It helps to wear a suit and hurts to wear a baseball cap backward. [ Racial profiling rife at Boston airport, U.S. officers say, New York Times, August 12, 2012, at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/us/racial-profiling-at-boston-airport-officials-say.html ]
No one who saw New England's racial prejudice in action during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s will be much surprised. One of the little signs, often seen on streets in low-income but still mostly white neighborhoods, was "American Reader & Adviser"--meaning "Negro palms not read here." Redlining was ordinary, and New England had its own terms of derision, heavily sprinkled through the novel, Peyton Place. While legal tolerance for those practices has evaporated, social customs have not.
The Government Accountability Office evaluated the "behavior detection" program in 2010 and found it had no reliably known value for improving security.
[ Efforts to Validate TSA’s Passenger Screening Behavior Detection Program, U.S. GAO, May, 2010, at http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/304510.pdf ] "TSA...lacks outcome-oriented measures to evaluate the program's progress toward reaching its goals."
[ TSA Is Taking Steps to Validate the Science Underlying Its Passenger Behavior Detection, U.S. GAO, April, 2011, at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11461t.pdf ] "...a scientific consensus does not exist on whether behavior detection principles can be reliably used for counterterrorism purposes...."