I'm surprised at how relatively gracefully my compatriots in Brazil are dealing with their fingerprints being taken
when they land in Brazil. A judge has ordered that Americans visiting the land of Carnevale be fingerprinted and registered, just as Brazilians will be when they visit America, apparently starting Monday. In Sunday's Washington Post, Jon Jeter writes:
"In his ruling last week, da Silva delivered a withering attack on the new U.S. measure and said Brazil must implement the same policy to protect the integrity and dignity of Brazilians traveling to the United States.
"I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis," da Silva said."
"None of the Americans interviewed on Saturday seemed to consider the process more than mildly irritating.
"You have to expect delays anytime you travel anywhere in the world these days," said Eric Wesson, 24, of Michigan, who arrived Saturday and said he planned to spend the next six months hiking around the continent.
"They were polite about it, and I can understand their point," he said. "If we're going to treat them like criminals when they visit our country, they are going to make sure we feel the same way. It's kind of like a humiliation war rather than a trade war."
I suppose people visiting Brazil don't (or, more accurately, the handful of people visiting Brazil this weekend whom Jeter happened to interview) don't form a representative sample of the American people's attitudes to foreign policy. While I'm glad they're not making a righteous fracas about it, I have to wonder if simply accepting that we will no longer be treated so grandly abroad is the most useful response to our government deciding to selectively be a little less hospitable here.