Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Footnote to something earlier

Two days after the Boston Globe editorially endorsed the new T&A procedures, my reply to which I posted here, columnist Derrick Jackson also defended the T&A searches with the same lame "If you don't like it, don't fly" argument - in addition to suggesting that those who opposed the strip-or-grope were advocates of racial profiling.

My reply, in addition to calling that latter suggestion "vile," was similar to the one about the editorial, asking:
Where else [in addition to airports] should we be expected to passively accept being stopped, searched, technologically stripped, and groped so that you don't have to quiver in fear of The Terrorists every time you leave your house?
I did make one addition to the earlier list of trains, subways, our own cars, and the streets: I added the (non-)option of taking the bus, noting that buses and bus stations had been major targets of bombings in Israel. It ended with this:
Albert Einstein once said that the atomic bomb "changed everything but our way of thinking." Considering that terrorism has existed long before 9/11, it seems it should be said of that event that it changed nothing but our way of thinking. And for the worse.
I'm reminded now that the back cover of Phil Ochs' album "Rehearsals for Retirement" has a poem he wrote that begins with the lines
This then is the death of the American
imprisoned by his paranoia
and all diseases of his innocent inventions
So as I said the other day,
[H]ave we established a police state? No, of course not. But have we established the conditions for one...? Yes. Without question.
Our republic will not fall because you have to go through a strip-scan. But it can fall as a result of the attitudes being increasingly demanded of us and, sadly and potentially tragically, adopted and even eagerly embraced by many among us, attitudes of passive acceptance of the increasing intrusions of government into areas previously held private. Demands, that is, that we surrender to the judgment - which means in essence the power and control - of "the authorities" in a desperate (and ultimately freedom-destroying) search for the chimera of perfect safety from "The Other," whoever that Other may be.

As I've mentioned before, Erich Fromm had something to say about that.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');