Rebel of the Week: Silver Circle’s own Davi Barker and his friend TeresaFebruary 29th, 2012
While this may be a little incestuous, as Davi Barker is one of my own colleagues, another blogger here at The Silver Underground, I just have to take the lead on Rebel of the Week for this week and award it to Davi and his friend Teresa for how they handled the TSA during their recent trip through an airport security checkpoint. Davi doesn’t know I’m doing this and will be surprised when he reads this on the blog. I just had to after reading his account of what happened in his Monday blog post entitled, “TSA Today: Davi’s First Opt Out.”
As I read it I couldn’t help but nod vigorously and even vocally exclaim my enthusiastic approval for what they did– but more importantly how they did it. If you haven’t read Davi’s story, you absolutely should! Davi’s friend Teresa opted out of the body scanner and for the pat down. As Davi explains, the purpose of this is to hold up the line, inconvenience the TSA, and make a cumbersome process even more cumbersome. Maybe if enough of us did it, plenty more Americans would grow frustrated with their extended wait times and take action against the TSA like calling their congressman. Then when Davi opted out, he did something awesome…
Here’s his account of it:
When the male agent arrived he instructed me to pass through the X-ray machine to the enhanced pat down area. I like to call it the “molestation station.” When he asked me to spread my legs and raise my arms I said, “Before I comply I feel it’s incumbent upon me to state outright that I do not consent to what’s happening here.” He stepped backed looking confused and asked, “What do you mean ‘consent’?” as if he was unfamiliar with the concept. I replied, “I mean I am only complying with this search because I feel I am being coerced.” He asked again, “Coerced how?” and I again replied, “You are not going to let me go home unless I let you touch me against my will.” He then informed me that “everyone has to go through the security procedures” and I informed him that “Everyone is being coerced, and I feel like I have to say so for my own conscience.”
Way to go, Davi! Opting out, while disrupting the security process, is something fairly routine and expected, something that passengers may do for health reasons or some other non-political reason. By telling them that he was opting out and disrupting the security process for political reasons, or really more fundamentally, for moral reasons because he feels passengers are being coerced by the TSA– Davi disrupted the TSA agent’s mental process. And based off of what happened next, I’m going to say the disruption was quite jarring for the agent! Davi continues:
He seemed troubled by this for a moment, but then continued, with a softer tone than before. He offered to conduct the pat down in private, but I declined. He proceeded to describe everything he was going to do. He formed his descriptions as statements, but his voice raised at the end of each sentence like a question, as if seeking approval. I offered no verbal or facial sign of acceptance or recognition. As he conducted his procedure two elderly women who did not opt out came out of the porno scanner and lined up next to me as if waiting their turn. The first woman looked shocked as she saw him molesting my inner thigh, which he called “moving up until I experience resistance from your torso.” She asked, “Do we have to do that?” and he replied “no” and ushered them on.
Obviously taken aback by what Davi had said, the agent approached him to discuss it further, and that’s where my colleague, Davi, cut right to the heart of the matter:
After he had finished and I was assembling my possessions he came to me and asked what my objection to the screening was and I said, “if anyone but you had touched me like you just did I would be calling the police.” He asked if I was against security screenings in general and I said, “No, but I think these procedures are invasive and ineffective and that security is the jurisdiction of the airlines.” He replied, “But we’re the ones granted the authority?” and I concluded “I understand, but that doesn’t make it right. Have a nice day” and walked away.
Notice how the government agent was the one who wanted to continue the conversation. Protesters are often seen as annoyingly persistent and inappropriately disruptive, but Davi didn’t go there. He said his piece and moved on. That kind of quiet confidence and incisive truth-telling obviously spoke to some human part of this man’s heart, who suddenly became– maybe for the first time in his career as a TSO– self-aware. He suddenly started to contemplate his own actions and realize they are kind of intrusive after all, aren’t they? He started to act guilty even. He approached Davi again seeking absolution, or some kind of resolution that he could deal with, some kind of answer that didn’t leave him feeling like a creep.
Maybe for just that one moment– or maybe for the rest of his life– that man was “unplugged from the Matrix” because of what Davi told him. For that kind of resolved and firm, but respectful and polite truth-telling, Davi, you and your traveling companion, Teresa, are this week’s Silver Circle Rebel!
And don’t forget to visit our official website to learn more about the Silver Circle Movie:http://SilverCircleMovie.com