Thursday, July 27, 2017

TRAVELING WHILE BROWN: This is why I don't travel to San Diego, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona

IF MY RELATIVES in San Diego wonder why I don't visit them, this video explains why. The same goes for Arizona, New Mexico or Texas.

I'm at an age now that doesn't have the patience to deal with this sort of BS. I'm not sure how I'd react if I was in this situation. Maybe have a heart attack?

The woman, Shane Parmely, who took the video is a teacher at Bell Middle School in San Diego, Calif. The incident occurred at a checkpoint on Interstate 10 west, past El Paso before Demming, New Mexico. She was just heading home when she was funneled into a checkpoint and asked her citizenship. 

Parmely is white.

Imagine what would have happened to me. I'm brown.

I know, the Border Patrol - or any other law enforcement agency is not supposed to resort to racial profiling. But in reality, we know how that works. Right?

Parmely said on her Facebook page that she saw that the only people being asked to show documentation as proof of their citizenship were nonwhites.

According to the ACLU, the border patrol does have the right to question you about your immigration status. They also have the right to detain you if they feel they have "just cause," such as refusing to answer their questions.

Shane Parmely
The Border Patrol did respond to inquiries from a TV station. "At a Border Patrol checkpoint, an agent may question a vehicle’s occupants about their citizenship, place of birth, and request document proof of immigration status, how legal status was obtained and make quick observations of what is in plain view in the interior of the vehicle," the agency argued.

"We would have no civil rights if people didn't question authority or challenge the status quo," she said in an interview with KGTV.

As a white woman, Parmely explains, she realizes she likely had the privilege of being waved through with a quick "yes, I'm a citizen."

Nonetheless, she couldn't simply tolerate the brief inconvenience because many of her non-white friends and colleagues don't have that luxury. As she told the station, "When you see something that is clearly racist, you have a choice."

While Parmely's video has gone viral, her Facebook page got trolled by some who felt she disrepected the officers, to which she responded:
I’d rather be disrespectful to officers enforcing racist law than quietly help perpetuate it. We are teachers and get disrespected all the time. Sometimes, rightfully so because we perpetuate racist policies in our schools. And I applaud students who stand up to institutional racism and disrespect people in authority who are maintaining the system. 
They never asked for my ID. They never asked my kids their names. They never asked my kids any questions BECAUSE I’m a white female. This is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than the way my Latino friends have been treated at these checkpoints.

Your logic means that you side with slave catchers, police that attacked striking workers, police that arrested, beat and force fed suffragettes, and Texas Rangers that lynched hundreds of Mexicans after the US gained Texas and Arizona.
The checkpoints were approved by the Supreme Court in 1976 and Mexican/Americans in those southern border states have become used to them.  Parsley points out that the checkpoints don't exist along the Canadian border. Through social media, the rest of the country is now getting to see what life is like for brown people.

Really, America? We have come to this? 

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