Trump did not invent unprofessionalism

Australian children’s writer Mem Fox reports on getting mistreated by an American immigration officer at the Los Angeles international airport:

When I was called to be interviewed I was rereading a novel from 40 years ago – thank God I had a novel. It was The Red and the Black by Stendhal… I was buried in it and didn’t hear my name called. And a woman in front of me said: “They are calling for Fox.” I didn’t know which booth to go to, then suddenly there was a man in front of me, heaving with weaponry, standing with his legs apart yelling: “No, not there, here!” I apologised politely and said I’d been buried in my book and he said: “What do you expect me to do, stand here while you finish it?” – very loudly and with shocking insolence.

The officer’s behavior was disgusting, typical of a petty soul invested with too much authority over fellow human beings. (Some specialize in yelling at polite old ladies.) Trump’s election may have disinhibited the man: if Trump is president, everything is permitted, as long as the receivers are all docile non-citizens.

However, I rather doubt the officer was hired under Trump. Since he is in his mid-30s, chances are he joined the force on Obama’s watch. In the comments section, people write of having experienced similar treatment years before Trump. These episodes are symptoms of chronic unprofessionalism. It doesn’t look like Trump is going to try and fix it but it didn’t break out last November or January.

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