Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm White, How Dare You Do This to Me!

So, the TSA has some new procedures, procedures we Americans shouted and screamed for. After all, brown people were somehow managing to get on planes. Clearly something needed to be done.

Well, it's done, and the same people who kicked and screamed for heightened airport security are more than a little put out that heightened airport security applies to them, too.

Another passenger, David, told WND he traveled to attend a sister's funeral in Los Angeles and found the security procedures at LAX "like a racist homosexual grope fest."

"This screener made me turn all my pockets inside out, patted me down four times, being particularly attentive to my crotch and butt. I asked him if he just wanted me to strip down naked and he said go ahead. My wife then approached a nearby sheriff, who brought these violations of my privacy, and person, to a halt," said the passenger, who described himself as a "middle class white guy." [emphasis mine]

What, exactly, is he upset about, do you think? That he was "groped", or that he, a middle class white got groped? Groping is for brown people, not good white people. White people are never terrorists. White people never fly planes into IRS buildings . . . no, wait . . . white people never blow up federal buildings . . . no, wait . . . white people never concoct elaborate plans to kill law enforcement official en masse . . . no, wait . . .

Poor David, he lost his privilege for a moment. He got to spend 5 minutes in the life of a brown person, and he really didn't like it.

Boo-fucking-hoo, David. You get to live in the world you helped create. Deal with it.


  1. The trick is, lean into the groping and moan, then whisper under your breath, "Yeah, that's it, now pull my hair and call me a 'filthy whore.'" They usually wave you through at that point... and if not, at least you made a friend for life.

  2. I agree that Americans (generally speaking) pretty much brought this debacle upon themselves – though I would specifically point the finger at politicians and law enforcement, who worked hand-in-hand to monger this current climate of near-hysterical fear over an evil that’s less likely to affect you than being struck by lightning whilst getting chomped on by a shark.

    But on the other hand, I do take exception with the angle of your post. I disagree that this has anything to do with White privilege, in the sense that I’m pretty certain that everyone who’s subjected to that unmerited grope-fest would feel and probably react similarly, regardless of their gender, age, socio-economic status, etc. Of course, I don’t know anything about “David”, so for all we know, he might be a pompous White supremacist or whatever. But I feel you attacked a strawman, here, in lashing out at an issue of privilege where all there probably is, is a guy complaining about being groped in the TSA’s ineffective security theater.

    Just my 2¢.

  3. I'd agree with you, Joe-ay, except that he specifically mentioned that he is a white guy. If his issue is simply with the "groping", why specify your race? I can see specifying gender if you were patted down by the opposite sex and uncomfortable with that, but what does race have to do with it, unless you see this as something only brown people should have to deal with.

  4. Well, I spent my 21 years in the military as a cop, so let me give you a little perspective on this.

    The average person conducting a search, with the usual societally-induced biases and sexual hangups, tends to avoid groping the crotch in a search. This is one of the hardest habits to break young cops of, too. So guess where the knowledgeable criminal puts stuff?

    If they stick it up their butt, you've only got one way to find it - fortunately, storage space is at a premium in there, and it isn't easy to get at. But you'd be amazed what you can attach to your crotch (particularly with baggy pants).

    So if the TSA is actually going to be serious about this, expect it to keep up.

    Just thought I'd share that with you.

  5. It makes total sense, NC. I have smuggled things into rock concerts in my padded bras (like medications and such), because no screener is going to grope my breasts hard enough to feel something hidden under a layer of foam and gel. Most not really professional screeners just give sexual areas a brief pat and move on, if that.

  6. @PF —

    The article doesn’t disclose how David came about to describing himself that way, so I take it he was asked by the journalist to “describe himself”, I think. I would’ve called myself a “lower-middle-class White young adult”, myself. Some may mention their ethnicity, some may not. Unless he made his White-ness extra obvious in some way, then I don’t think it’s really relevant that he mentioned it.

    Also, I really need to learn to subscribe to comment threads already.

  7. Having been flying a lot recently I am not sure why the guy is so put out. On my last dozen flights I was only patted down once and the guy was pretty considerate. My co workers also had few complaints, one time the TSA folks were a bit slow, another time a friend had someone insist on going through his playing cards but for the most part security seemed pretty simple for all, including the brown people. Apparently this dude thinks that he being personally inconvenienced means there is a huge widespread problem. If there is I haven't seen it.

  8. Thought I'd check to see if the "white male" comment was apropos to the discussion, and hit a snag.

    If you follow the link, it's a reprint of a World Net Daily story, so right off the bat, you know it's only 20% likely to be true - they have a long history of just making stuff up. Since they also have a history of plagiarism, I googled his comment, and all it got was a bunch of people reprinting the column (the link to this site was the only one that didn't parrot it as fact), so there's really no way to tell.

    There is no more info out there.

    Of course, WND also flirts with racism at times, so it's not outside the pale (so to speak).

  9. On the one hand, I agree with Joe, sort of. David might not have specified his whiteness in a way that made it sound like he moonlights in pillow sacks.

    Buuuutt... that's not the only instance of implicit racism in the article, either. Here's the others:

    "Shameful and inconsiderate behavior, totally inexcusable! I am an 84-year-old white female, 4'10", 110 lbs. and don't look like a terrorist or a terrorist's companion !!!!!! What happened to common sense???"
    If we go by the opposite of her description: young, male, brown people look like "terrorists" and "terrorists companions". No racism here!

    "A big stern-looking African American woman stopped him and said that she needed to pat me down, wan[d] me, go through my luggage, etc."
    Okay, I'll forgive her mentioning the searchers race specifically, it might have merely been...

    "I was wearing open flip-flops, a cotton skirt and a t-shirt. I am as American looking as apple-pie!"
    ... or not. Apparently if you look like an American you're not a terrorist. I wonder what her definition of "American looking" is? (something tells me your current president isn't "American looking")

  10. i have to be wanded. i'm disabled, i can NOT walk thru metal detectors without a cane. my cane is metal [Sacramento airport has my undying love, for having a LARGE number of wooden canes, for customers to use]

    in fact, last time i was wanded, some guy wanted to hear all about my "outrage" because "it's obvious [I'm] not a terrorist!"

    he didn't like what he got - that a SMART terrorist WOULD pretend to be disabled, to use their wheelchair and/or cane to smuggle stuff, and to lower peoples' guard [bcuz NO ONE expects the "feeble crip" or whatever of REALLY being a terrorist. or even expects us to have BRAINS. sigh]

    Pete? my 6'3" tall BLACK b/f? NOTHING!

  11. The guy who flew a plane into an IRS building was not a terrorist, and since he was flying the plane, airport security was not an issue. Having read his manifesto, I admire him a lot. He was a good person driven to desperation by the IRS. They do it to people all the time, and there is no good justification for it. It's blatant thievery by the government, and nobody who is involved in it is innocent.


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