June 21, 2013

Patriot Coming Through

Dearest NSA agent,

Hope this blog link from my facebook page and Twitter feed finds you well. I will assume that you are up to date with my comings and goings. As you must have seen, I have finished school, celebrated Father's Day, an anniversary and a birthday. I have been quite quiet in most things political. Perhaps, my middle age need for security has finally removed me from your political malcontent file, to the much less monitored politically progressive who never actually does anything file. We both knew it was a matter of time.

I just wanted to send you a quick note asking that you tell your buddies over at TSA that I am coming home for a few days. I will be flying through JFK soon, and I was hoping not to be randomly selected this time through. I know everyone is still on edge from Boston, and a US passport with a guy born in Iran, who has lived in Malaysia, Qatar and Indonesia, must get the TSA folk all excited, but for once it would be nice to just pass through with a welcome home.

Yes, I have grown a beard as a test. This is not a Spite Beard, nor is it as poetic as The Love Beard, it is simply my I am a nearly forty year old man with two kids who no matter what I may have said in the past, loves America, and because of this mellowed out nostalgic patriotism would love to be left alone as I enter my home country and be treated with respect, so I can spend a week wandering the streets of the best city on earth-- beard.

Because let's admit that we can't continue to allow the fine folks at TSA and immigration believe that every brown person with a beard is some jihadist. Contrary to what Ben Affleck would lead us all to believe there are actually bearded middle eastern men who smile, are kind, and who love their kids amongst other things.

People are more complex than we want them to be. The stereotype you use as a crutch to help you make sense of your fear is the paddle that beats me every time I cross your path. So please be kind.

I could tell you all about myself, but from what I have heard you have been reading all my online work anyway. So please pass on what you read and/or mined to the TSA and immigration--  One Iranian-born American coming through ready to do some vintage T-shirt shopping in the East Village, do some vegan restaurant hopping, some Punk exhibit viewing at the Met. There is an Alan Cummings Broadway show watching patriot coming through.

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