Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Security Czech

Several months ago, I  turned off my media outlet: NPR.  I don't have a television, and I only try to read global news pertaining to music or movies.  I guess I don't even consider it 'news'.  When my favorite actors are in a new movie it's not news, but I love movies.

I was driving to wait my turn in the elementary school pick-up line when a story came on about sea turtles swallowing crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  The turtles can't taste that the floaties are not jellyfish, and swallow the oil to their detriment.  I switched off the radio imagining the carnage, and haven't turned it on since.  I realized that I am not impervious to media, but I am significantly more sheltered from it than before.  That's why when I heard a group talking about the TSA being a bit too personal in the security line at airports, I knew there must be some news hype about it.

It also sparked my curiosity enough to Google it, and endure the media-induced frenzy on the subject.   I have had and intimate pat down while traveling last summer.  It did not insight a frenzy in me.  It did make me think about why it was okay for a total stranger touched every square inch (or centimeter.  I was in Europe.) of my body through my clothes.  Up to that point in my life the folks who had touched me like that have M.D. after their name, shared an umbilical cord with me, or are currently married to me.  I can now add a female Czech airport security guard to the list.

What was offensive about the encounter was not the woman's hands (okay maybe a little).  It is a concession to travel.  Couldn't the woman see what a good person I am?  Didn't she know that I'm positively more good just by looking at me?  I was offended that she couldn't judge by my appearance that I am an upstanding, contributing member of society.

A bad person is bad.  They will stand in the security check line at the airport and let the guard pat them down with malice in their heart, and the confidence that they are circumventing the security.  If everyone knows they will be strip-searched, x-rayed and hung by their ankles before air travel, the bad guys will do that, and then do the bad thing they intended, despite the safeguards.

Despite my goodness, doesn't the woman running her latex gloved hands all over me know that?  It is nearly too simple to understand.  Bad people will find ways to do bad things, despite our best efforts, that's what makes them bad.

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