from last night’s party

Things to add to the list of white privilege:

You can drive across the Mexican border with your dead grandmother stuffed in the trunk of the car, and no one will catch you.

0 Responses to “from last night’s party”

  1. janni

    I still remember, almost a decade ago, crossing the border in Nogales with a Taiwanese friend and a Filipino friend. The Filipino friend got a long looking over and much scrutinizing of her ID. The Taiwanese friend — clearly not Hispanic, but also not quite “white,” I guess — got less of a looking over, but enough to make sure she matched the picture on her ID.

    Me — they didn’t even really glance at my ID when I waved it right under their faces.

    We were clearly together, too. It was so blatant, the assumption that I was more trustworthy just because of how I looked, that it really bothers me to this day.

    • ozziel

      To be devil’s advocate, when was the last time you heard of a white person causing some sort of non-military disaster, in the various regions of the globe that would warrant them receiving harsh scrutiny?

      • janni

        Oklahoma City? Columbine? The LA Fitness shooting?

        This happened only a few years after Oklahoma City, actually, and before 9-11 …

        (The scrutiny having happened as we were trying to enter the U.S., not leave it.)

        • ozziel

          Ah, that makes more sense. It appears just natural for foreigners to receive more scrutiny when crossing international borders.

    • skirmish_of_wit

      Crossing from the US into Canada in 2003, my friend who is of Chinese descent earned several minutes of scrutiny and questions while the other three of us (all white) sat in the car and just couldn’t believe what was happening.

      Border Guard: [While staring at my friend’s driver’s license] And where do you live?
      Friend: Ohio.
      BG: No, I mean, where are you from?
      Friend: … Cincinnati?
      BG: No. Where were you BORN?
      Friend: I was born in Cincinnati.
      BG: Are you an American citizen?
      Friend: Yes, just like EVERYONE ELSE BORN IN THE U.S.
      BG: Are your parents citizens?
      Friend: Yes!
      BG: Where were they born?
      Friend: China, but why does that matter?
      BG: Well, all right. Enjoy your visit.

      He hadn’t asked the rest of us anything special. All four of us had Ohio driver’s licenses, we were riding in a car with Ohio tags, and he knew that we were just crossing the border for a day trip to Niagara Falls. And yet apparently he had to exercise due diligence against the insidious foreign threat posed by anyone not white.

  2. kurayami_hime

    You might contextualize that by mentioning that is was a good long time ago. For what it’s worth.

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