The story of Nicole White, a woman who blogged that her 18 month year old son was taken out of her sight to be patted down by a TSA agent after they set off the airport metal detector, has been traveling around the internet (http://www.mybottlesup.com/tsa-agents-took-my-son/). The TSA refutes her claims and has posted a video that shows she and her son were never separated (http://www.tsa.gov/blog/2009/10/response-to-tsa-agents-took-my-son.html). Nic claims the video has been altered or has parts missing. Those who believe the TSA, are angry that Nic lied in her blog. Those who believe Nic are terrified that they too could be separated from their children.
I don't know how much of Nic's story is true but after watching the TSA video, I didn't really care. I just wondered why the woman on the video and her child were being confined in a clear, closed box while busy travelers went through metal detectors and collected their belongings off the conveyor belts on either side of them. There is little dignity in being publicly confined against your will in a busy airport. If you cannot protect your child from this experience, then not only have you lost your dignity, you have lost a great deal of power as well.
It's a great stretch to compare Nic's experience to the funding of TARP but I'll make it anyway. Both events disregard the feelings and needs of the individual in favor of the greater good. Nic's feelings of disgrace and helplessness, many would argue, are miniscule compared to the need for airport security. Similarly taxpayers' feelings about funding and saving corporations whose actions have ground down the quality of American life, are seen as trivial compared to propping up the companies and therefore, supposedly, the economy. America, at one time, honored the individual spirit. These days, it seems, the individual spirit is ignored or sacrificed for a greater good. I'd like to know who is defining the greater good. It's not Nic and I don't think it's most people in America. Still, somehow, we're in a situation where the dignity and power of the individual have been greatly reduced. I don't like it and I hope my son and I are never confined in a clear, closed box in a public space waiting for our turn to be patted down.
Spend Wisely Texas is a blog about spending and living wisely in Texas.
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