Naomi Wolf Makes Me Sad
In her article about the new 5-4 conservatives only Supreme Court ruling that the police can strip search you if you’ve been arrested for any reason at all, Wolf paints a dreary and all-too-plausible picture of our budding police state:
Remember, you don’t need to have done anything wrong to be arrested in America any longer. You can be arrested for walking your dog without a leash. The man who was forced to spread his buttocks was stopped for a driving infraction. I was told by an NYPD sergeant that “safety” issues allow the NYPD to make arrests at will. So nothing prevents thousands of Occupy protesters – if there will be any left after these laws start to bite – from being rounded up and stripped naked under intimidating conditions.
Why is this happening? I used to think the push was just led by those who profited from endless war and surveillance – but now I see the struggle as larger. As one internet advocate said to me: “There is a race against time: they realise the internet is a tool of empowerment that will work against their interests, and they need to race to turn it into a tool of control.”
This ruling will rapidly percolate throughout the country and who’s going to get the brunt of it? Minorities and liberal protesters. This will almost definitely end up being litigated again as the statistics pile up and incidences of women being sexually assaulted by male cops become wide spread. Wolf alludes to this as well:
I have watched male police and TSA members standing by side by side salaciously observing women as they have been “patted down” in airports. I have experienced the weirdly phrased, sexually perverse intrusiveness of the state during an airport “pat-down”, which is always phrased in the words of a steamy paperback (“do you have any sensitive areas? … I will use the back of my hands under your breasts …”). One of my Facebook commentators suggested, I think plausibly, that more women are about to be found liable for arrest for petty reasons (scarily enough, the TSA is advertising for more female officers).
Until we tilt the SCOTUS back towards the left, this is the kind of America we will have: a police state that can observe everything you do, have thousands of laws you can break without even knowing it and the power to humiliate and terrorize you with the blessing of the highest court in the land that will never be subjected to such invasive and dehumanizing practices themselves.
Who watches the Watchers indeed.