Snowden Suffers from a Case of Being a White Man

Edward Snowden makes several key points throughout his interview. I agreed with all of his points up until the very last segment of the interview. During this segment, Snowden made the fatal mistake of stating that the government would use surveillance to determine who could get loans, homes, and jobs. He made it seem as if the government was getting ready to have such sweeping influence that there would be no way for us to recover. The amount of control the government could theoretically have over us through the power of surveillance is daunting, indeed, but Snowden dropped the ball on this point. Why? These things already happen, and they happen regardless of the control exerted by the government via surveillance. How does one see this in a contemporary sense? Easy. Be Black.

Black homeowners are charged at higher rates, given less for their loans, and suffer from overcharging due to their race. Black Americans have been the last hired and first fired since we could have jobs in the United States. Banks have been penalized for racist practices for generations; in fact, banks automatically assume that Black Americans should be charged higher interest rates and given worse loans simply because of the color of our skin. No example of oppression mentioned throughout the interview, particularly when Snowden got to make this point, was a form of oppression that Black Americans haven’t or don’t already face. This is a wild mistake for a man considered to be a bastion of freedom. This means that Snowden’s projections of oppression through surveillance are weak; he is thinking too small and the ramifications are beyond what any one person could consider. It becomes somewhat obvious that the answer to the interviewer’s question was beyond Snowden when he gives such a shortsighted answer.

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