Hunter Todd‘s Worldfest, an annual Houston event for the last 50-odd years, is no one’s idea of a major-league, must-attend film festival. But at least it’s getting some press over an alleged racial profiling incident last Saturday in which Todd asked a woman dressed in Muslim attire to allow him to check her backpack.
Is it really that crazy for a nice-enough guy like Todd (whom I’ve met) to ask a female University of Houston student who was dressed “in a full Muslim hijab” to let him please check her backpack to make double-sure that festival attendess aren’t about to be blown up? This was five days after the Boston bombing, remember. Then again this woman may have been (and may still be) an idiot. If I was wearing Muslim garb I sure as hell wouldn’t walk around with a backpack, for Chrissake. Would anyone with a shred of common sense? You can bet she would have been questioned if Worldfest was based in Tel Aviv.
The Houston Chronicle‘s Robert Stanton reports today that University of Houston student Mike Rudd “confronted Todd [after Saturday’s incident] and accused him of racially profiling the UH student.” Seriously?
“Todd acknowledges that he singled out the woman because of the Muslim attire she was wearing,” Stanton writes. “He said he initially did not know if the person was a man or woman. ‘She’s dressed in a full Muslim hijab and was carrying a heavy backpack, and I was concerned about the safety of my guests,” Todd said. Todd denied racially profiling the woman. He said he was on guard because of the explosion that rocked the Boston Marathon just days earlier, killing three people and injuring at least 140.
“‘What am I supposed to do?,’ he asked. ‘Allow a terrorist to blow up 200 people?'”