A week ago, men and women went to work at airports around the United States as they always do. They showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, perhaps dropped off their kids at school. Then they reported to their jobs as federal government employees, where, according to news reports, one of them handcuffed a 5-year-old child, separated him from his mother and detained him alone for several hours at Dulles airport.
Thank you for this. The author effectively cites the Milgram experiment, to show how we Americans could readily become “good Germans.”
Yes on Milgram but I really think Phil Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment is more relevant and more powerful.That went south almost immediately and was stopped well before its scheduled end date, mainly because his girlfriend at the time (later wife) realized what was happening and confronted him.
Position and opportunity, group inclinations all combined to put everyone into their scripted roles. For me the scary part was not just how those in the roles of guards quickly went well beyond their mere duties and made up their own additions, but how those in the prisoner and even outside adviser roles became compliant. They should have said “enough” on their own (at least in seemingly obvious theory), especially because this was a mere experiment and they knew that, but they didn’t.
FINALLY someone talks about the fact that monsters need help to fulfill their agenda, and that help comes from the ordinary folks who are more concerned about their own security and jobs than they are about anything else. Milgram’s experiment showed how fearful people are of authority, even when it comes to inflicting severe pain (or so they thought at the time). They might cringe and object, but they continue if ordered to do so. It’s sickening.The Club of Rome discussed how people’s circle of awareness in general is limited to their own homes, immediate friends, and neighborhoods…expanding that to include humanity in general is difficult and only managed by a minuscule minority.
Look, these people were only obeying orders weren’t they? It’s not their fault, surely?
Now about those Nazis we hanged back in 1947-1948 and the many ordinary Germans whom we jailed for several years… .
Sadlly the behaviour described relating to the govt. employees at the airports is not something that just started with trumps ban, the behaviour I have encountered numerous times over the years at U.S. imigrations has been less than inviting, I am a white anglo male, so I doubt my profile fits a middle eastern terrorist, but they still find it prudent to pull me from line to secondary inspection whereupon I am treated to a bizzare showing of macho B.S. intimadatiion, and questions designed to try and trick me into saying something objectionable, one is made to feel guilty just by being there, there is no shortage of those that use there badge and power to make themselves feel superior to those the public. Common sense and decency is not in there job description, (witness the handcuffing of a 5 yr. old, and withholding of food and even water!!) There is nothing ordinary about anyone who would treat a child like that, american or not, it is basic human decency to your fellow man to offer them a glass of water or a kind smile .
Ordinary americans indeed…
It is a terrible travesty about those at the airports, no doubt. My issue is that in the last administration did similar things happened without the same outrage. I remember seeing videos of children pulled from the arms of their parents to “patted down”, handicapped people forced from their wheelchairs for a more “complete inspection” there are countless videos to document this. Even so not one person stated these were done in the name of Obama. He was, if you recall the president at the time. Why is it so easy to berate President Trump. If President Trump does wrong we should let him know, I will. But the last administration was given a pass, any one who dared to bring injustice to the front were labeled racist, or anti american. Seems the last administration through the liberal left media with all it’s cronies and the so called Hollywood elites kept a better check of the media and the conservative right then the nazi regime could even come close.
Yeah right you will.
liberal left media
That pretty much broadcasts your right wing credentials.
Yes, and I always think about the people who are tasked with torturing others because some leader believes that it is necessary. We usually think about the victims, the tortured. But suppose it was our brother, son, husband, wife, daughter, who entered the service of the country as an idealistic American and had to commit horrible acts in that service. Would they ever recover from what they did? And even regular soldiers co-opted into wars of choice. They are invaders of foreign countries, killers of foreign people, people who are trying to defend their country. Do our soldiers suffer all this PTSD because they feel terrible guilt about what they are asked to do?
Few of us are faced with such a momentous decision. Few may have the moral compass and courage to immediately refuse. Do our leaders consider the health and well being of American personnel when we ask them to override their consciences or their sense of what is right and good. Whom do we want to represent us in these agencies? People who just follow oders and don’t think or those who weigh their actions on the scale of compasdion?
These pages contain numerous articles and columns on mass incarceration, mass surveillance, extrajudicial killings and other insidious actions taken by the Obama Administration, along with many comments ranting against these and most other domestic and foreign policy. This is just one of numerous independent news organizations with this kind of content. There has been praise for Obama and far more criticism. Perhaps the reason that Obama drew less criticism over the actions of the TSA is because it was the brainchild of his predecessor. However, Obama has drawn plenty of ire from the left for the increase in ICE detention centers, the treatment of the inmates, and deportations of undocumented people. Whatever Obama did, and most of his policy I find fault with, he at least followed a deliberative process, seeking advice from stakeholders, and a form of consensus with military leaders.
Obama’s first executive order rescinded a Bush EO, allowing former presidents and their family members to claim Executive Privilege and block access to the people’s right to know. A strange act for the most secretive presidency on record, but that’s OK. On Trump’s first day, he rescinded Obama’s first order and every single other other issued by Obama. That’s one helluva maneuver on Day One. Trump has earned every bit of criticism he’s getting–that’s what happens when you upset the apple cart.
I never post on right wing sites, and rarely on centrist ones, because I’m unfamiliar with the editorial policy and the community of posters. I just can’t bear to read any of it, so I keep my online mouth shut in order to not stick my foot in it. I recommend that you give it a try, or at least do your research before speaking up.
Well said. We cannot forget that a sizable percentage of whites, proclaiming to be Christian, sit by while inhumane conditions thrive in our prisons, detention centers, and even our public schools. Far too many white Christians are obviously already inoculated with the thought they are more deserving of God’s love, or the already unconstitutional and inhumane conditions would be much improved.
It is no surprise our society produces more inhumanity, especially in times of crisis. Now more than ever it is important for moral, kind, compassionate people–with or without a ‘religion’–to rise up and practice the Golden Rule.
Organized religion is a cult and has nothing to do with spirituality- in fact most wars started and continued because of a connection to religion. Hitler even justified his killing of Jews because of Martin Luther’s hatred of them.
If they just follow orders, they are not even worthy of being called humans. Hitler’s followers were just following orders also or ignoring when the Jews were taken away to camps.