A Nation of Cowards

It is my contention that the United States has turned into a nation of cowards. You can see the signs everywhere from Helicopter Parents to Whites who think street crime is rampant (especially from those people, you know the ones I’m talking about) when in fact it’s been in precipitous decline ever since we stopped putting Lead in Gasoline (and therefore everyone’s lungs).

I’m especially talking about the irrational fear of “Terrorism” and the near universal Islamophobic discrimination that comes from a populace pissing it’s pants any time someone with brown skin or a vaguely Arabic sounding name passes by. Look you craven idiots- you are orders of magnitude more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a “Terrorist” even if you count the insane right wing gun nuts running around with assault rifles looking for someone they’re bigoted against to shoot (whom, by the way, are about 200 times more numerous than the Islamic type). You want be safe? Stop driving your car and taking showers and baths (the number one and two causes of violent death in the United States).

What It Looks Like When The Terrorists Win: The JFK Stampede Over Fans Cheering For Usain Bolt
by Timothy Geigner, Tech Dirt
Tue, Aug 23rd 2016 3:25am

We’ve talked a great deal here about what a theater of security our national airports have become. Far from accomplishing anything having to do with actually keeping anyone safe, those in charge of our airports have instead decided to engage in the warm fuzzies, attempting to calm an easily-spooked traveling public through bureaucracy and privacy invasion. The hope is that if everyone suffers the right level of inconvenience and humiliation, we’ll all feel safe enough traveling.

But it’s quite easy for the 4th wall in this security theater to be broken by the right sort of circumstance. In case you missed it, one such circumstance happened recently at JFK Airport. The fallout was described in a first-person account in New York Magazine by David Wallace-Wells. Following a long plane ride after a delayed departure, Wallace-Wells describes the start of the ensuing chaos as he and his wife waited to get to passport control.

He goes on to describe being in the middle of one of several literal stampedes that had broken out throughout the airport, with travelers scattering in many directions and trampling one another. Members of the public were escorted out onto the tarmac, then back inside, then back out onto the tarmac again. Airport security alternatively either bolted for the exits when the scare began, or else were ineptly ushering the public in one direction or another. NYPD officers were inside the airport terminals, clearing them, but nobody seemed to be informing or instructing the public as to what to do. It was, in simple terms, chaos. A woman in a hijab called to her family, and everyone around her panicked. Even the set-pieces of the security theater contributed to the bedlam.

I can only imagine the terror one must feel being caught within a panic inside an airport under these circumstances. As the author notes, it was clear to anyone in the airport that day just how silly the idea is that authorities could respond to a threat at an airport in a methodical and organized way. Part of the lesson of this story is just how useless the security theater we’ve allowed to be propped up before us actually is. Useless as a system for when a terror event actually occurs, but more useless at keeping travelers calm and feeling safe.

Because the cause of this chaos would be laughable if it weren’t so terrifyingly frustrating.

A spooked public whose fear is unassuaged by the pretend security the government has set up at the airport, mixed with applause for an Olympic athlete, gets you bedlam. This is everyone’s fault, from a public that can’t bother to keep the threat of terrorism in perspective, to politicians that decided on a feel-good show at airports that couldn’t even achieve that goal, to federal agencies keeping everyone so on edge that simple applause rang as gunfire in the minds of some.

It’s hard to think of a more powerful example of how terrorism works than that.

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