It’s All Maya!

If Life is an illusion, then why do I keep banging my head against the wall?

Si la Vie est une illusion, pourquoi je n'arrête pas de me taper la tête sur les murs?

It’s All Maya! header image 3

Don’t BS Me That SB 1070 (Arizona’s New Law) Is Not Racial Profiling!!!

May 20th, 2010 · 8 Comments

When you have ten Mexican-Americans in a sleek silver gray rented mini-bus traveling together with one Anglo in tow it doesn’t turn heads in the Southwest, at least not in Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, or California.  As we ventured our way into the depths of Arizona, however, we caused a stir among the local authorities just itching to nab an illegal alien, let alone ten!

Arizona Border Patrol

We pulled into a gas station and everyone scrambled out of the bus in search of restrooms, coffee, snacks, and souvenirs.  As we returned to the van and started piling in, two local Border Patrol cars were parked a few feet away from us, watching our every move.  As my 87 year-old mom finally made her way back to the bus, a young 20-something kid wearing his spanking new uniform came over to us and started asking my brother where we were going.

Bam:  “Oh, we’re heading over to Phoenix to see my son and his wife for a few days.”
Patrol Guy:  (Craning his neck to see who was all inside.)  “You don’t mind if I ask some of these people here a few questions?”

Uh oh, Buddy!  You just messed with the wrong bunch of Chicanos!!!  The women in my family all took after my maternal grandmother; we’re strong, opinionated, don’t take crap from anybody kind of women!  My sister, Rose, has been in Homeland Security for close to 30 years and would basically be this young kid’s superior officer.  The situation would have been rather funny, if it wasn’t so tragic!

Chicana Power

This was racial profiling plain and simple.  There was no reason for this guy to come and talk to us other than the fact that we looked Mexican, and therefore, there was a good chance (in his mind) that we didn’t belong here in the US.  Bullshit!  Mexicans have been in the Southwest way before white settlers arrived in the Northeast!  Like my cousin Dan likes to remind people, when Christopher Columbus came to America, they weren’t speaking Italian on the Niña, the Pinta, nor the Santa Maria!!!  They were speaking Spanish!!!  People seem to forget that it was Queen Isabella from Spain who supplied Columbus with the ships and crew!  (That’s right!)

Anyway, back to my story!  The guy comes over and Rose is pissed.

Rose:  “He has no right asking us anything.”  Rose lowered her window.  “You have no right stopping us and asking us anything.”
Patrol Guy:  “I do have the right to stop and ask you whatever questions I want.”
Rose:  “No-o-o!….you don’t!  You don’t know who you’re….”

My brother Bob, who also worked for the American government for a number of years, interrupted my sister.
Bob:  “She’s been in Homeland Security for nearly 30 years, I think she knows what she’s saying.”

Being questioned by the Border Patrol.

At this point I rolled down my window as well to get in on the conversation!  I was ready to go into my whole spiel….See that woman in the front seat?  That’s my mother, she built battleships during World War II so today you’re speaking English instead of German or Japanese!  You dare ask me if I belong here when I was born in Pennsylvania; I have uncles, cousins, nephews who have fought in the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, in Iraq and Afghanistan so you and I can have our freedom!  How dare you take my freedom away from me!

So I began….

Me:  “You want to talk to us?  You want to ask us questions?  Go ahead ask me something!  Ask me anything you want!  What do you want to know?  Go head, what do you want to know?  See that woman in the front seat?  That’s my mother….”
Patrol Officer:  “Uhhh, thank you, Ma’am.  Ha-have a nice trip.”

Maya Muses:  The next time I am stopped by any authority for no reason other than what I look like and they want me to show proof of citizenship, I will sue the government!  (And every Mexican-American born in the States or who is here legally should do the same!!!  In the meantime, boycott Arizona!!!)

Photo Credits:  Flickr

Tags: In The News · Is Anyone Listening? · Political Parlance

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Patrick // May 21, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Yep !! That is one of my funniest memories with my in-laws. I was the only gringo in the mini bus and believe me I was feelling very very “white” at the time :<) I said to myself “poor kid, thinking of this young border patrol guy” You started messing with the wrong …….women!!!! To say the least.
    I almost felt sorry for them, they looked pitiful when they left us!!!!

  • 2 Lynn // May 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Well….I see your point, but believe me I didn’t feel sorry for them! We just gave them the same attitude they would have used if we happened to be illegal aliens!

  • 3 Cid // May 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I think you said it all when you said, “….it would have been funny if it wasn’t so tragic.”

  • 4 Lynn // May 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Sad, but true.

  • 5 Deena // May 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Great story! With all those questions you fired at him, he didn’t know if he was coming or going!

  • 6 Lynn // May 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    LOL! I was a cross between Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver: “You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me?” and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy: “I’m walkin’ here! “I’m walkin’ here!” LOL!!!

  • 7 Tina // May 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    stuff like that happens here in Madrid too. 3 months ago I was at a night club that´s very popular with South American people and the police arrived in riot gear raiding to find anyone illegal.

    we all were searched. I was asked from where I was born to what my parents names are. my friend was asked if she actually owned 5 cell phones to which she answered “no actually, this one´s my boyfriend´s.” ha ha

  • 8 Lynn // May 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Tina, nice to “see” you! I hope you’re doing well! The same thing happens in Paris, but mostly with the Arab and African population. Even though it’s estimated that there are over 50,000 Americans living in Paris, it’s also estimated that if you count the number of Americans residing illegally, that number would double!!!

    The reason why you don’t see an exodus of Americans being shipped back to the US is that the French police don’t bother stopping “white” Americans on the street and asking them for their papers. If they did, they’d be surprised by how many illegals there are!

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