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daemonburrito's Journal: Sideshow 1

Journal by daemonburrito

Just so y'all know, the TSA "controversy" is madly successful astroturf.

There are many, many things to be worried about at the moment; the TSA procedures are so low on the list as to be a non-issue. And on top of that, I am supposed to believe that this generation, who are likely to have sent high-quality pictures of their junk in all its glory to dozens of people with their cellphones, and run around nekkid at Burning Man, are actually prudish enough to have a reason to care.

I am sad to see that people that I had some respect for have joined the party: Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, and most painfully, the EFF. This is the first occasion that I, a t-shirt-wearing supporter, have been disappointed with the EFF's activities (not the first time that I have been disappointed with Doctorow or Schneier being glib outside of their domain knowledge, though).

Though I believe the controversy's roots are astroturf, the genuine, organic growth on top is fed by an amusing exploit: The mostly white, middle and upper-middle classes are getting the tiniest sample of a taste of what everyday life is like for non-privileged classes, and they are livid.

Even just being young and lower-middle-class (I'm white, if it must be known), and living in a wealthy suburb, got me pat down (very thorough) and detained on dozens of occasions during my teenage years.

And my experiences were nothing compared to the everyday reality of tens of millions of Americans.

For example:

Being hispanic in the Southwest can be a serious hazard: in many locales, you can be detained for months without trial, in a privately-run facility (it's a growth industry) where you're lucky to get a maxipad (google it) when you need it.

If you're black, police will look for any reason at all to perform an invasive search in any region of the states. Expect a felony charge for that joint that you're carrying, while privileged white kids get diversion. Coincidentally, that felony will get you struck from the voter rolls forever in some states.

The poor in general are familiar with realities a million times more ghastly than TSA searches. Sheriffs, police departments, DAs, and judges (especially in states where they are elected) fight efforts to adequately fund public defenders, which they see as waste. They collude and will arrest innocent people for political gain. You can be tried, convicted, and executed. As in dead.

So tell me again why I am supposed to be outraged about the chance that I will be asked to walk through a scanner at an airport.

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