With each war, terrorist attack and house bill, it seems our rights are slowly being degraded. The problem is not many seem to care.
However, this isn’t a new occurrence. The 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts silenced the press during the nation’s undeclared naval war with France. In World War II, many Italian-, Japanese- and German-Americans were forced into internment camps, where they faced harsh environments with little pay or respect for human dignity.
The majority of the American population didn’t seem to mind back then. It made them feel “safe.”
During the Red Scare and Cold War eras, one couldn’t say someone was a communist without a fight. Journalists weren’t allowed to report on certain government actions in Vietnam.
Then there was 9/11. That act of terrorism brought a new round of destruction to our rights. We are all physically and visually violated by airport security each time we choose to fly somewhere.
Yet again, people don’t seem to mind because it makes them feel “safe.”
It’s as though our government leeches off fear, justifying outright invasions of privacy. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as “privacy” anymore in our digital age.
The Stop Online Piracy Act and Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act have been drafted to attack our rights online, explaining that if the government has enough probable cause or security concerns, it can digitally invade your privacy. SOPA was stopped a year ago, but CISPA was passed by the House of Representatives last week.
Now, with the Boston bombings, I wonder what rights will be denied for the sake of national “security.” Will there now be metal detectors at every athletic event? Will attendees need to be patted down every time they want to cheer their loved ones on?
Will Chechen citizens be persecuted like Muslims, Germans, Italians and Japanese in this country just so we can feel safe?
I understand that this is a difficult issue and not an easy balancing act. But it seems to me that we need to slow down a little. How much freedom and privacy are you willing to give up to feel safe and secure in America?