Thursday, December 19, 2013

F*** Edward Snowden

I know I’m going to get it from some of my friends for saying this, but...seriously. F*** Edward Snowden. 

He’s not brave. He’s no hero to privacy rights. He’s a damn coward who had a security clearance and misused it. That is all. Don’t get me wrong: he’s also not a traitor who deserves to get shot or hanged, as a lot of right wingers are saying. Still he is not the champion of the 4th Amendment and YOUR rights either.

I brought this up before, but Snowden keeps popping up like a bad case of the hives, so I feel the need to say it again, this time with blurred out curse words. He keeps coming up in the news. Most recently, someone at the NSA hinted that perhaps he could get amnesty if he turned himself in and divulged exactly what other documents he stole. The White House promptly said, “NOPE!”, and rightly so. He broke the law. I am not defending the actions of the US government against its own people. This violation of our privacy that has been happening since 2001-2002 is reprehensible. But you know what else is reprehensible?


Real men speak up, and then stand.
What’s the difference between today and yesteryear? The violation is ecumenical. Back in the day, it was just civil rights leaders. You know: brown people. People in MLK’s camp used to joke on the phone about how the FBI was tapping their lines. The thing is that they weren’t joking. The FBI was really tapping their lines. They were tapping Malcolm X’s lines as well. Pretty much anyone who spoke out for change in the unfair system was a target. Any time a brother brought this up, he’d be pegged as paranoid. “Silly negro. Stop saying gibberish! The government would NEVER do that to her citizens...can you speak more clearly into this innocuous flower that just appeared after your shopping trip?”

Even after the Patriot act was passed, though there were rumblings about privacy issues, domestic monitoring was green lit, mostly because US Americans thought that the NSA/CIA/FBI would only be spying on “suspected terrorists”...Muslims. So more brown people. Again, people who raised the alarm were shunned. “Well, Ahmed, if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn’t be upset!”

Now Snowden came along and revealed that EVERYONE was the subject of monitoring, and NOW people are up in arms. NOW it’s a big deal. One person interviewed on NPR actually called the leaks "...the worst violation of Americans' constitutional our history". Really? Over slavery? Over women's property and suffrage rights? Over Japanese internment? Over the Jim Crow era? Give me a break.

It took a skinny white dude to make people pay attention. This is the National Security version of the pretty white girl syndrome news media from all spectrums get when a white woman or child goes missing. If they really cared about missing children, it wouldn’t be called Amber Alert; it would be called Lakeisha Lookout, and it would have been implemented about 20 years prior. But I digress.

Cowards run.
We have a long way to go when it comes to perceptions of people, and this is the proof. Let’s stop pretending that Edward Snowden is a hero or traitor. If he wanted to be a hero, he would have released all that information and then turned himself in to show how unfair things are. how many people during the Civil Rights Movement willingly broke unfair laws and then ran? They WERE subjects of government surveillance, and they WENT to jail. MLK didn’t run to Hong Kong or seek asylum in Brazil. Rosa Parks didn’t get off the bus and move to Canada. Bayard Rustin didn’t speak out for black and gay equality and then flee to France. All of them stood their ground, took the unfair punishment meted out for their actions, and then kept fighting until they dropped. If Snowden really cares about anything except fame/infamy and perhaps a book deal, then he should grow a pair and come back to the States and prove it.  F*** Edward Snowden.


  1. Perhaps Snowden is a Hero.... first he is a white male who did not allow his "privileges" to corrupt his sense of fairness or what is right and wrong. Secondly, his absconding is perhaps the most beautiful thing we as the people could see being that this country in the 21st century keeps alluding to how "lucky" we are to live in a country that gives so many rights.... giving credence to the genocide, slavery,etc...of course.... inadvertently speaking. I love E. Snowden and I mean that, look how cynical your first black president of this great nation looked after the judges decision.... look closely.... It's just a shame that he ran to the other side of white domination of the globe in revolutionary clothing (that's Russia....) give Snowden a break and get ya ass back to work MY brother!!

  2. I have to disagree on a few points you made here (sorry, this is like 2 months later):
    I'd wager that the government's capacity for spying on its people is greater now than 50 years ago, and I'd wager that more resources are devoted now than ever before.

    I don't think Snowden misused his security clearance because (if we go by his reasoning), he had a problem with what he's sworn to keep secret, and turning his back on it kind of makes him like Winston Smith. It takes balls to commit a thought crime.

    And as for not standing his ground and taking the unfair punishments that were sure to follow his breach, well, perhaps he's a product of a new generation that doesn't believe in self-sacrifice as a statement, but that makes him a man of his time, it would be a different story if he came from MLK's era and ran off for amnesty. I don't think it's fair to judge someone for not suffering if he has the option to not suffer on the account of others who chose to suffer when they, perhaps, could have gotten away. Suffering very publicly clearly wasn't vital to Snowden accomplishing his objective, I'd feel differently about your accusation of his cowardice if you said that what he achieved a less desirable outcome as a result to his running.

    Anyways, that's my two cents. The media always exaggerates, I do think Snowden did a brave thing, but by no means is he some kind of saint that outshines all the other people doing heroic things.



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