Everyone is discussing the “..touch my junk and I’ll have you arrested” comment by a California man while going through airport security in San Diego, but it is just the latest in a string of disturbing cases that haven’t broken into mainstream consciousness/media.
While we could discuss why no one seemed to care about the issue until it is some guy making “a funny” on the issue, it is something that needs to be addressed.
National security or not, this mock-up of a book cover for the new TSA policy is just plain wrong. Completely and utterly wrong.
Even more wrong: that picture was a wallpaper on a computer at a TSA security booth in Indianapolis International. I understand that this is a “joke” image, (even though there is nothing funny about it), but when TSA employees make it wallpaper on their work computer, one must wonder how much of a joke it is.
In the picture you have a terrified young boy facing two men with smiles on their faces. The style in which the boy is drawn seems both innocent, but scared. One only has to see the boy’s mouth in an oval clearly depicting an “oh no”.
One man is coming at the boy with a flashlight and a baton, both of which are threatening. He is also slightly flushed giving us the impression of him being excited. The second man, also smiling, pulls up his plastic gloves — you can almost hear the snap of it on his wrist.
All the while a third man, out of frame, holds the boy so he can’t run away. This is probably one of the most disturbing aspects of the picture. This man is not to the side in a reassuring stance, but rather behind the kid, both hands on the child’s shoulders, keeping the child still while the two men approach. And he is clearly keeping the child at arm’s length, keeping a distance, making sure there is no “connection” with the child — this is just business.
All three men wear white uniforms and blue gloves which could easily be seen as representing a white doctor’s coat and gloves.
Just describing the scene is like something out a horror story and it turns your stomach.
The coloring book lettering is creepy in the context of the words “My First Cavity Search”. Even though TSA denies any groping, fondling, or cavity searches taking place (unless in severe cases), the text begs the question: really?
USA Today said we need to prepare ourselves for new procedures, who knew they meant it was children.
Lastly, the jet lifting off proudly sports the American flag on its tail. Home of the free.
So after all of that very brief, very simple analysis that any moron could do, a TSA employee thought it was so funny, that (s)he put it on his work computer. Let me restate, a TSA employee thought this picture was funny. It was so funny that he/she put it on his work computer. I don’t find anything concerning pedophilia remotely funny, especially when we see kids actually going through “pat-downs”.
Here a news reporter shows his 3-year-old girl getting “searched”. Just in case it is pulled, here it is as well. What’s most disturbing is the wailing “Stop touching me!” As tears fall, she tries to climb up her parent’s legs. This is clearly traumatic for the girl, and is heartbreaking.
Further, it goes against everything we teach our kids. As parents we tell our kids to scream. We tell our kids to say, “don’t touch me.” We tell our kids to get away and get to someone you know and trust. Yet parents must put their child through this. How devastatingly awful.
And TSA seems to do it to boys too.
And who is hired at TSA? Let’s hope there are not more men like this who was arrested on molestation charges. He fondled a 12-year-old girl then asked her to be his “sex slave”. I can see it now, perverts and pedophiles trying to get hired at TSA so they can fondle because it’s their “job” — let the good times roll.
When it comes to children, why can’t the TSA let the parent do it while watching from outside? Or have two TSA employees witness the parent strip the kid down to his/her skivvies? While that action is demeaning, it seems much less traumatizing than having some stranger grope your kid.
Bottom line: someone tried to pat down my kid and she was screaming bloody murder, scared out of her wits, I would be arrested. I believe most parents feel the same way.
Women are being groped and humiliated as well, and unfortunately I imagine it often becomes just another blame the victim scenario. The “you know, she is overreacting, because, you know, women do that.” Disregarding the fact that most women do not overreact, disregarding the fact that it doesn’t matter if she was overreacting or not because no one should be subjected to being touched if (s)he doesn’t want to be touched, the simple matter is we as a society have become so afraid that we have lost our common human decency.
If a woman was raped or abused she shouldn’t be subjected to such a “procedure”. She should not have to consent to go through another horrifying experience just to go home for Christmas or go on vacation. Why isn’t there something else set up so she won’t be subjected to possibly reopening psychological wounds? What a sad society.
I wonder how many TSA agents are put through this procedure. How many of their 3, 4, 8 year olds are being pulled out of line for the pat down. I wonder how many cops watch their spouses having the breasts fondled or how many airport security personell watch their parents groped.
TSA claims they are professional, but the government doesn’t have the best track record for speaking the truth — if they can lie and get away with things like Iraq and WMD, Hechava job and Katrina, we couldn’t get OBL in Afganistan, we don’t torture. TSA tells us they do not keep body scanner images. TSA tells us that they take things seriously and are professionals, but I know you remember the guy who was arrested for beating his supervisor for making fun of his “junk”? Yes, they are truly professional.
Unfortunately there are many good people just making a living, following “policy”, and “protecting” us here in the States. They are professionals doing their jobs who are painted with this broad brush. To protect their reputations and the public, there has to be a better way to balance security and privacy.
We are so damn afraid of “terrorists” that we have to have our 3 year old children scream “stop touching me” to get what children understand: this policy is just plain wrong.
Update: USA Today reports no children under 12 will be subject to “enhanced” pat downs.