Security and Class
I don’t think I’ve ever read anyone talking about class issues as they relate to security before:
On July 23, 2003, New York City Council candidate Othniel Boaz Askew was able to shoot and kill council member and rival James Davis with a gun in school headquarters at City Hall, even though entrance to the building required a trip through a magnetometer. How? Askew used his politicians’ privilege—a courtesy wave around from security guards at the magnetometer.
An isolated incident? Hardly. In 2002, undercover investigators from Congress’ auditing arm, the General Accounting Office, used fake law enforcement credentials to get the free pass around the magnetometers at various federal office buildings around the country.
What we see here is class warfare on the security battleground. The reaction to Sept. 11 has led to harassment, busywork, and inconvenience for us all well, almost all. A select few who know the right people, hold the right office or own the right equipment don’t suffer the ordeals. They are waved around security checkpoints or given broad exceptions to security lockdowns.
If you want to know why America’s security is so heavy on busywork and inconvenience and light on practicality, consider this: The people who make the rules don’t have to live with them. Public officials, some law enforcement officers and those who can afford expensive hobbies are often able to pull rank.