Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The TSA as a microcosm

Let's see....

So women, people of color, people with disabilities, people who are not Christian, or who are not USian, or who don't look USian enough, or who stand out in some way that doesn't read het, cis, white, TAB, middle class (or better) and male have been complaining about the TSA since it's inception. Shut up and deal, it's for your protection that the government 1) treats you like a criminal 2)violates the constitution 3)if you don't do anything wrong there is no reason for you to be singled out.

And for a very long time, those of us at the bottom of the kyriarchy have been told pretty much the same things about everyday life here in the US. Shut up, you feminists ruin all our fun. If you (POC) don't want to be harassed by the police then don't act suspicious. If bad shit happens it's because you deserved it.

So it isn't much of a surprise that mass public outrage only occurs when it's a white dude and his junk at the airport. Same is true for our country, outrage only occurs (or is noticed) when tea partiers pout. Oh you poor het, cis, white, TAB, middle class (or better) dudes.

And our government (or the lackeys that shill for it on the teevee) responds with the usual shit, "let's make things worse by going the corporatist route! Privatize!" Which might actually make things better for the het, cis, white, TAB, middle class (or better) dudes, but the rest of us will probably have it worse. We all know how well private security firms treat women and brown people (coughKBRcough). But the het white dudes will get passed through by other het white dudes without much of a problem. And then the whole country can go back to feeling secure that only people who deserve it will have a stranger reach in their underwear.

But the underlying problem still exists. Less security (if you include the freedom from groping and peeping toms as security) and less freedom (now that getting on a plane makes for enough reasonable suspicion of criminal activity that the government can search your person).

And none of this security theater has ever caught a terrorist. It's missed at least 2 that we know of. What keeps us safe is good old fashioned intelligence and police work. Catch them before they ever get to the airport. The only reason to have security theater is to test just how much the American people are willing to put up with before they notice the boot on their neck. Keep scared, keep patriotic, keep the war on terror dollars flowing. No money for schools or medicine or roads, we've got scary brown people to kill and security theater to pay for.

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