Archive for October, 2009
“Do I have the right to refuse this search?”
Within the last few months, I have been singled out for “additional screening” roughly half the time I step into an airport security line. On Friday, October 9, as I stepped out of the full-body scanning device at BWI, I decided I needed more information to identify why it is that I have become such an appealing candidate for secondary screening.
Little did I know this would be only the first of many questions I now have regarding my airport experiences.
Over these last few months, I have grown increasingly frustrated with what I view as an unjustifiable intrusion on my privacy. It was not so much the search (then) as it was the embarrassment of being singled out, effectively being told “You are different,” but getting no explanation as to why.
That frustration has been tempered by a combination of my desire to be a good citizen, and my empathy for the TSA screeners. These folks, after all, are merely doing what we, the American traveling public, have permitted and now expect them to do.
I am left to wonder whether my own passive acceptance of these evolving search procedures has contributed to a potentially fatal dichotomy: what we allow TSA screeners to do in order to maximize efficiency and enhance our perception of safety, or what we really need them to do in order to preserve our rights and dignity and enhance our actual safety.
This sounds insane.
It is insane.
It is also very common in my experience.
I would like to work for a sane place. I don’t think there are any.
A beat up yellow pickup truck is parked in front of a closed yellow storefront with red awning, in the town of Makawao, Maui.