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Serve and Protect

February 1, 2010

It just so happens that my girly little queer self often isn’t the unspoken direct object of said phrase.

A few more observations:

Plenty of folks in my neighborhood (roughly half of whom are women, and a very large percentage of whom are queer and/or poor and/or of color) have the direct line to that one police officer who knows a bunch of us and seems like a nice guy.

Sometimes, in some neighborhoods, people don’t snitch.

Anyhow, when the federal government decided to greatly expand and reorganize the air marshal program to keep those guys from those countries where folks have that one complexion (or so it thinks) and practice that one religion that isn’t the right one from doing really bad things, I took notice.  “Wow!” I exclaimed, “I should totally grab my inaccurate government-issued identification documents and the woman I’m sleeping with and fly somewhere!”

So…. tonight CBS News broke the stunning news that bigotry is rampant in the Federal Air Marshall Service, and I’ve got a few observations:

1) Good on CBS for making this the lead story on tonight’s newscast.

2) Good on them for pointing out that aside from being shitty in-and-of itself, these instances of bigotry undercut the stated mission of the air marshall service, which intentionally or inadvertently involves protecting all of us.

3) I really appreciate the bravery of that one true American hero guy for speaking out about this on camera.  Seriously, no sarcasm intended.  That said, do we really need hero guy to make this story credible?  I understand that there may or may not have been a whistleblower(s), but, uh, a hateful boys-club culture of dudes who ostracize anyone and everyone the least bit different than them?  In a law enforcement agency?  In this law enforcement agency?  It doesn’t exactly strike me as a super secret underground phenomenon.

4) and this is the big one….  If nobody in power is going to be proactive about this, could someone in the totally-not-a-boys-club that passes for the media these days look out for us the next time the guys with all that power start handing out weapons?  I’m not holding my breath, given that they didn’t learn from that one time something particularly egregious happened and there was that one inconvenient disturbance-thingy.  Still, uh, please?

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