The Transportation Security Administration wants to see you naked! That's right, the TSA wants to see your T and A -- in fact, I think that's what the "T" and "A" now stands for in TSA.
As I'm sure you have heard, many people are upset with the new full body scanners at the airport which will enable security to see you naked -- yep, they can see all your "junk" on the monitor. And if you say "no" to the naked body scan, you will be subjected to a very thorough pat down by TSA.
Well, all I can say to the people upset with being subjected to extra screening at the airport is: Welcome to my world of being Arab-American. For years, Middle Eastern-Americans have complained about being subjected to extra screening at the airport -- "random selection," intrusive pat downs, detainments, etc. - and how did the rest of America respond: "Too bad; get over it; it makes us safer, so suck it up, etc." But now it appears when non-Brown people complain about invasive airport security procedures, people are all up in arms. Let's be brutally honest- if it was just Arab or Muslim-Americans complaining about this new airport security, Fox News would be calling for body cavity searches of all of us-it's only because white Americans are complaining that has made this an issue.
So please forgive me when I'm less than sympathetic when I hear John Tyner - the "Joe the Plumber" of the anti-screening movement -- go on TV and complain about the scanners because they invade his privacy.
I just went through the full body scanner last week in the Amsterdam airport. There, you have no choice - everyone goes through it -- at least on the direct flight to the US. I'll be honest-I did feel a little uncomfortable as I stood there with my hands over my head and the airport security guard looked at my naked image on the monitor. My only thought as he studied my body was: Please don't laugh. For the record, he didn't laugh (thankfully) -- instead, he had the cold look of a Doctor who had seen tons of naked bodies. Plus the scan located a Tylenol sinus wrapper that the old x-rays would never had detected - who knows what else this new technology will detect and protect us all from?
By the way, after going through security in Amsterdam, I could look back and observe the naked images of the other passengers on line behind me as they went through the scanner. Consequently, my advice is to position yourself on line near people you want to see naked. Okay, back to the real issue.
I have been thinking that maybe John Tyner -- who appears to be a typical white guy -- isn't as concerned with privacy as he is with revealing the embarrassment of being less than well endowed. That could be the real issue. And to be honest, I haven't seen any African-American men on TV complaining about these new body scanners. In fact, knowing the male ego, I would imagine there will be some "larger" men who will insist on going through the screener just to show off their "junk" -some of these men may even offer to pose for photos with other passengers, similar to those photos of people holding up a huge fish they caught fishing.
Perhaps this will even spur a new boutique industry of a clip on prosthetic of some sort that men can wear when going through the body scanner to avoid feelings of inadequacies.
But overall my response to the John Tyner's of this world is: "Man up." You want to fly on a plane, then you go through the screening or be subjected to the pat down. The safety of all passengers outweighs the issues some have with being touched by strangers for 30 seconds or having their junk seen on a monitor.
In fact, I love the idea that every passenger has to go through this new security procedure because this will finally end the discriminatory practice of just picking out "brown" people for extra screening. Now, we all go through the same screening together.
However, I must warn my fellow Middle Eastern-Americans that since many of us are hairy, TSA security may look at your naked body scan image and ask: "Excuse me, are you wearing a full body cashmere sweater under your clothes?" Don't take it personally, at least I didn't.
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