Many, perhaps most, definitions do mention race at some point - and I still maintain that this is in practice the most common usage. This applies particularly in the UK in relation to those who complain about immigrants - as in the Gordon Brown/Gillian Duffy incident.
Dictionaries often don't capture the most common current usage of a word - because part of their mission is to educate. As I'm usually on the side of the dictionary in these debates I feel a bit odd arguing the other way on this one.
btw - I am not the AC above - just trying to explain why he said what he said.
Objectively the US is just as bad but in different ways. We don't have the aggressive plea bargaining culture that you have. We don't have the executions that you have. We don't have to be in fear of our lives if a traffic policeman stops us like you do - because our policemen are not armed. (I would say that this forces them to do the job better).
So NO the UK is no worse than the US - and in any ways better.
If the US was better for freedom and justice then there would never have been the high profile cases where people tried to avoid being extradited there from the UK or other european countries.
I don't think that the stupidity of some of the suggestions made should blind us to the fact that there are things we can do about this. We need to remember two things.
1: The vast majority of passengers are NOT any kind of threat even if they happen to be carrying liquids or Victorinox Knives- so maybe subjecting everyone to time consuming searches is simply creating an extra target for attack.
2: There is no security system that is 100% watertight so if an attack succeeds it doesn't necessarily mean that security was inadequate - it may just mean that we were unlucky. Sometime the correct response might be no response.
There are other agencies at work around airports who understand these two principles very well. I am referring to customs (Who seem to be able to operate happily while most people simply walk through the green channel) and the air-accident investigators (CAA/FAA) who know well that effective safety is always a compromise between conflicting pressures.
I seem to remember seeing somewhere an experiment in airport security where randomised checking was used - and proved to be more effective, cheaper and less disruptive than the previous systems.
Or do you REALLY think that I, as the author, only get my druthers up in a twist when members of the Islamic faith are treated poorly?
No - you responded to the story that was available via the BBC and other places.
However my point was that - given the large number of nominally similar incidents that don't get reported we don't know the criteria by which such things reach the level of coverage where you would even be aware of them.
Now it may be that the simple stupidity of it is enough but we have no evidence that that is true and victimhood is such a big prize in the modern world that there must always be some doubt.
the precedent will be there whether the engineers refuse to do it or not.
But the engineers' refusal to do the work - and whatever happens next - is also - de facto - part of the precedent. In the end the courts can huff and puff all they like but they cannot compel an uninvolved 3rd party to do something against their will.