Sunday, November 28, 2010

Airport Security? Yeah, Right!

Seems like the story du jour in the news lately, especially over this Thanksgiving break, is about how airport security has taken to either groping passengers or subjecting them to an x-ray device which renders them more-or-less stark naked. Faced with such humiliation (that is, for those of us who are insecure and/or still childishly uncomfortable with the realities of the human body) many people have taken to asking if all of it is really necessary.

What's really entertaining, as usual is the spin taken by the conservative talk show hosts. Everyone from Beck, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity to all of their satellites, is screaming for airport security to start "profiling." In other words, instead of groping, stripping, and x-raying white people, start groping and scanning brown people with towels on their heads, or wearing black robes, with names like "Ahmed" or "Haji."

Because, apparently, there are no white Muslims, are there?

What makes me laugh about this (well, almost laugh, as this really isn't funny) is that the T.V. and radio cons are bluntly admitting themselves to be what we've always suspected: A bunch of racists. And they want our airport security to be racist so that suburban Aryans aren't inconvenienced, those poor bastards.

Speaking as a white suburbanite, I'm more than a little pissed off at these hacks making themselves into a bunch of fucking crybabies on my behalf. Shit, go be a crybaby on behalf of someone else! You bastards don't speak for me!

I'm growing tired of using this introductory phrase, but... I shouldn't have to say this: Airport security is not checking everybody out of some politically correct sense of treating everyone equally. They are checking everybody because it's tactically the right thing to do!

Let's say that the conservative racists had their way, and Airport security was only checking people of Arab appearance or with Arab names. This would create a hole in airport security which any terrorist with even two beans in his skull would immediately exploit. Inevitably as the blond-haired and blue-eyed white people get through the security, one of them would turn around and, at 1,300 feet, scream "Allahu akbahr!" as he blows himself, and his fellow travelers, right out of the sky!

Look, I can only assume that conservatives distinguish themselves by being in favor of tough security measures in order to win the war on terror. So creating a very obvious hole in our line of defense, and doing so for purely racist profiling reasons, is a move I simply don't understand.

We grope and scan travelers equally because we aren't racists. We grope them because we don't judge based on appearance alone. We grope them because we can't establish Orwell's 1984 and put spy cameras in everyone's bedroom.

And, frankly, we grope them to remind them of why a few religious assholes ruin things for everybody, which reminds us why none of us should be like them.

But, of course, screaming for "profiling" will continue anyway. And it will remain popular fodder for talk-show hosts because xenophobia runs deep. Nevertheless, even without racial or ethnic profiling of passengers, security lapses can and will occur. For the enlightenment of all, I've included a list of ideas on where such lapses could take place. Please remember, I am doing this for the benefit of airport security, and not for those trying to thwart it.

1. Explosive device in the luggage. This has to be the biggest lapse in security there is. We're scanning the people like there's no tomorrow, but the bags? Eh, who cares, right? Hey, WE care. If we have to take off our shoes then turn our heads and cough, the least we could do is scan the shit out of the bags, which won't, after all, get cancer!

2. Explosive substance in the old man's colostomy bag. Yeah, that's right, the poster-child of airport security run amok becomes the vehicle for the next attack. Brilliant!

3. Explosive substance in a woman's artificial breasts. Seriously, airport security cannot cut the skin of a woman with fake titties to make sure that stuff inside isn't saline! It's the perfect hiding place. She's a bombshell, in more ways than one!

4. Fake wand. Yes, some people still do make themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of God, a la Origen. For such as these who happen to be Muslim, we can go one better than the underwear bomber, and have the C-4 plastic shaped like... well... like a man's normal outward-showing plumbing! If it looks like a dick... Er,I mean, duck... it might not necessarily be a duck... I mean, dick.

5. Wanna check the Huggies? No, that might not necessarily be shit in the baby's diaper! That's right, you're never too young to be a martyr for the cause of Allah.

So what is one to do? There are holes in security to be exploited no matter what. Granted, these holes aren't as gaping as they would be if the Glenn Becks of the world had their way, and only non-white people were screened, but they're still there.

Israeli security provides a good model. In Tel-Aviv, police actually (gasp!) talk to the people who are traveling! Yes, they strike up friendly conversation. Those who give evasive answers or who seem slightly nervous are singled out. This is a kind of profiling, but not racially based, and it's meant to focus in on those who might be nervous for obvious reasons. This, plus improved security among baggage handling, plus our current security measures, would do the trick, as I see it.

And we didn't even need to tap their phones.


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