Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Privilege of Pre-check


I approached the woman checking ID’s at Airport Security. She looked at my ticket and started shouting, “Preacher! Preacher!” Well, it was Sunday morning and maybe she had heard about my reputation to stand up on soapboxes, but I soon figured out that she was shouting “Pre-check!” and motioned me over to another line. The person there said, “Don’t take anything out of your bag or pockets, leave your shoes and jacket on and walk through.”

Really? This was a First-World Heaven, the kind of stupid thing that sent me into spirals of ecstatic disbelief. I hate taking off my shoes, am tired of emptying my pockets and taking the computer out of the bag and particularly despise the hands-above-my-head-legs-spread booth. To just put my bag on the belt, walk through the simple doorway, pick it up on the other side and good-to-go— what a sensation! What had I done to earn it? Why was I suddenly considered trustworthy?

Or might it be that such security scanning is as safe as is necessary and the whole shoes off/ computer out/ pockets emptied is simply to keep us all afraid and humiliated and to keep the new scanning machine companies making profits? It really makes no sense whatsoever.

But hey, we all love being in the carpool lane whizzing by others stuck in traffic, enjoy getting waived to the front of the line just because, feel like the world owes us something for all the indignities it heaps upon us and any scrap of privilege is to be happily accepted. Take a look at my monthly paycheck and the deep respect our culture holds for teachers (not!) and you can see why walking through the pre-check security is probably going to be the pinnacle of privilege I’ll enjoy in this lfe. See you at the gate!


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