WaPo columnist Charles Krauthammer connects objections to new TSA security procedures to the national political mood:
John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security’s newest brainstorm — the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett’s, warning the agent not to “touch my junk.” * * *
Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the tea party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don’t touch my junk, Obamacare — get out of my doctor’s examining room, I’m wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don’t touch my junk, Google — Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don’t touch my junk, you airport security goon — my package belongs to no one but me….
Krauthammer’s full column is here. George Will makes a similar point in his column:
When TSA personnel began looking for weapons of mass destruction in Tyner’s underpants, he objected to having his groin patted. A TSA functionary, determined to do his duty pitilessly — his duty is to administer the latest (but surely not the last) wrinkle in the government’s ever-intensifying protection of us — said: “If you’re not comfortable with that, we can escort you back out and you don’t have to fly today.”
Tyner: “I don’t understand how a sexual assault can be made a condition of my flying.”
TSA: “This is not considered a sexual assault.”
Tyner: “It would be if you weren’t the government. …”
TSA: “Upon buying your ticket you gave up a lot of rights.”
Oh? John Locke, call your office.
See Will’s column here.
Krauthammer and Will both overlook the fact that men are now experiencing what women have experienced for years. Most women have suffered a pat-down that went down (or up) too far. Imagine what would happen if every woman who has experienced an invasive body search by a so-called security or law enforcement professional posted a video of it on YouTube. The server would crash.
“Don’t touch my junk” might be the “anthem of the modern man,” as Krauthammer says, but the emphasis is on man. And white man at that. Black and brown men have been experiencing involuntary body-checks by police officers for years.