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Airport body searches much fairer process than law enforcement asking only Latinos for their papers

LatinaLista — Over the last three months, I’ve traveled by air more often at any other time this year. Of those times, I’ve been asked to step aside for body patdowns a couple of times when something I was wearing would set the alarm off.

pat-down.jpgI wasn’t the only one.

And that’s what made undergoing the process OK with me. Knowing that it was happening to my fellow air travelers, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, made it a bearable inconvenience because it was a fair process.

A TSA agent waits for passengers to pass through a magnetometer at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on November 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.
(Credit: Getty Images)

The recent outcry from some air travelers who say their privacy is being violated because of these more thorough searches, whether it’s via the body scanner or patdowns, and their plans to boycott the body scanners has attracted a lot of media attention.

There are even plans by PBS’ NewsHour to have people tweet their experiences going through airport security.

Yet, all this outcry and media attention seems horribly hypocritical in light of the fact that Arizona and other states want to invade the privacy of Latinos — and only Latinos.

The people who are offended about undergoing a body search for the greater good and safety of the American people are probably among the same ones who think it is just fine for law enforcement to stop Latino or Latino-looking people and demand their birth certificates or proof of residence other than a driver’s license.

It’s known that if a person can’t produce what is demanded, the police take them into custody until someone can come down to the jail with the proper paperwork. The inconvenience, humiliation and total disregard for citizen rights is much, much worse than being subjected to a body scan or patdown.

Yet, the media and pundits have wasted no time bringing attention to a procedure that is meant to keep ALL people safe while flying, as opposed to targeting one specific group and deeming them ALL undesirable until shown proof they belong here.



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