As posted on PolicyMic
This week, Nashville, Tennessee, “The Athens of the South,” nearly transformed into an ordinary day on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. After the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) detained Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at the Nashville International Airport when he refused to partake in an invasive pat down, the Senator and his supporters had every right to cry foul. However, Monday’s narrative is all too similar to the oft-downplayed reality that many innocent black males face when confronted by the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk. It would be quite a powerful statement if Sen. Paul uses his situation to link the two and confront the misguided supporters of the so-called “security” practices.
The TSA’s paranoia-masked safety measures are hardly different than the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies — both are over-the-top practices that hardly protect the public as much as they create a dichotomy between the innocent and “the system.” Unfortunately, the biggest difference between Paul’s scenario and a black male in Brooklyn are the collateral consequences. For the man in Brooklyn, he will either be issued a trumped-up ticket or held in the stationhouse so that officers can take his information and improve their precinct’s push to meet 250s and C-Summonses quotas while the detainee accepts it as another day in the neighborhood. On the contrary, Paul and his father, Congressman and presidential hopeful Ron Paul (R-Texas), can use this situation to magnify how our “police nation” is violating our civil liberties — and make a few dollars for their campaign war chests while they’re at it.