Moments when I lose my strength and act like “field negro”

Posted: March 3, 2012 in Thinking aloud
Tags: , , ,

Every time I travel I lose my strength!

Needless to say traveling post-9/11 is no longer fun at the very best you just hope to get to your actual destination and safely and with your luggage.  Whenever I travel and have to contend with immigration officials at border crossings or ports I switch gears and my inner field negro emerges.  I am filled with manners–No Sirs, yes Mams, okays and varied nervousness that I hope a secret sensor won’t detect.  The funny thing is I am not-guilty of anything, in-fact as far as threats go I am a fly!  But I am uniquely aware of my powerlessness!

In my mind I call the immigration folks ‘toy cops” but in my deeds I call em Massa!  and in these instances the colour of the agent does not matter (they are all perpetrators of the system).  They have ultimate power to determine if I even get to my destination more so than even the pilots.  Recently it occurred to me that even the flight crew which I tended to give respect/awe where also potentially a part of the Massa class.  A friend of mine was removed from his flight for ‘attitude” recently, and just hearing about it I feel I broke out in hives (I did itch).  Now the flight crew is officially going to be getting some more yes sirs and mams from me.

You may be wondering like me why have I seemingly yielded to this passive persona in travel?  The quick response is, what choice do I have?  After all I neither have the priviledge nor the power to overcome being put on a no fly list.  I do not have an interest in being further separated from bonding moments with family and friends who live nowhere near me.  I have not heard anybody contesting this power dynamic, which has led me to feel I am the only one having a problem with it so I better “hold my lane”.  If anybody were willing to join me in impressing upon the powers that be that like the Patriot Act (and other similar docs) there is something inherently wrong with infringing on “freedoms”.  If we were to argue that our supposed safety has come at the expense of common sense and general freedoms, who would listen?

So as I look forward to another horrific trip where I am scanned, poked, prodded and interrogated I will try to be greatful that the few “massas” I will encounter don’t have physical whips…cause I really couldn’t handle that Noo Sirr!


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