Sunday, February 13, 2011
Reverse racial profiling?
Because my husband chose a Mexican bus line for his trip to Denver, he wasn’t surprised to discover when he boarded that he was the only Anglo on the bus.
We’ve taken this line often, and we like it. And we’re always the only Anglos.
Every bus to Denver passes through the 50 mile checkpoint north of El Paso. These Border Patrol checkpoints are like a “second border” found on all the major highways and interstates. All traffic must stop, and every person must declare their citizenship (or show their documents) to the Border Patrol agents. Usually there are drug dogs sniffing around, too.
At the checkpoint, the agents boarded this bus and one of them announced loudly: “Everyone take out your documents and be ready to show them to us.”
Passengers started burrowing through their things. My husband, sitting toward the back, dutifully removed his driver’s license.
The agents filed down the bus aisle, checking quietly—and individually--with each person.
Eventually one of them reached my husband and saw that he was prepared with his license in hand.
The officer smiled kindly.
“Oh, no!” he protested, quietly. “We didn’t mean you.”