Monday, April 1, 2013

It's always fair until it happens to you


Do you remember the Arizona SB 1070 law? Don't worry I'm not going to make you read it all, the wikipedia link is there if you want to do it.
The SB 1070 is that law that talks about how us immigrants in the US must register upon arrival and keep our documents in order, which is fair. I think not only immigrants but everyone should be registered and carry and ID to be able to be part of the system and enjoy the rights of being a citizen/visitor of this country.

The problem with this law is that it also requests, and I quote, "that state law enforcement officers attempt to determine an individual's immigration status during a lawful stop, detention or arrest, or during a lawful contact not specific to any activity hen there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is an illegal immigrant."

More or less, it states that if you do something that might LOOK illegal and you happen to LOOK like an illegal immigrant, the Police is entitled to take you with them until everything is settled.

So, here's the thing... I don't think that's fair.

Why? because looks can be deceiving. And, of course, give someone a little bit of power and there's the possibility of they becoming drunk with it.

Of course, you hear all these horror stories about the single mother who's here legally but wasn't carrying her documents on the specific day she missed a Stop sign and spent 3 years in jail and her children were taken by child services, never saw then again and became a coke addict.
Or the man who was just walking his dog and forgot to clean after it, didn't have his driver's license and was deported because of a piece of shit... literally.
The old Hispanic lady that came here, legally 40 years ago and forgot to change her address and had to return to her home country where she didn't have any family and died of sadness.

... and other soap opera-like creepy things.

Well, I don't know if these stories are true or not. All I know is that is not fair.

Just because you "look" different, doesn't mean you are a bad person. It's racial profiling, that's what it is.
I have a Mexican friend with green eyes, super white skin, tall, blonde and full Scandinavian looks, but just ask him a question and you'll hear George Lopez' accent aaaaaaaaaaaaaaall over the place.
Hell! ask Mr. Big! he doesn't look latino, AT ALL, Colombians are not famous for being tall, blonde and white... ha! but ask him to speak Spanish and that preppy Colombian accent will give him away in a heartbeat (yeah dude, you know it, I know it... love you!)

Anyway, my friend Loli and I we were discussing the topic with a couple of guy-friends, let's call them M, F and E.
They were saying that this was not a big deal, if you spent a couple of hours in jail and everything was settled, you could just sue the system and you'll be rich or just forget the entire episode. No big deal.

My argument: Man, there isn't enough money IN THE WORLD to make me forget I had to spent a minute in jail or was wrongfully accused of something just because I look 1 shade tanner than my roommate!!! It's not fair to have been born looking the way you do, or where you were.

The conversation went on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, infinitum et ad nauseum.

Anyway, that was a couple of months ago.

This weekend, Miss Lady-fate had a surprise for them:
M is tall, big-build, dark-skinned (well, for Colombian standards he's just a little tan ).
F is tall, slim, light tanned and bald.
E is medium height, medium slim and tanned.
And yes, all of them look very very Heeeeeespanic.

We all went to a party and when we ran out of food, they were nice enough to get some pizza for everyone.
Funny thing: M forgot his ID at home, E doesn't have a driver's license but carries his passport everywhere (big mistake if you ask me). F just went for the ride. None of them had cash and the mid-nigh pizza place is not famous for taking credit cards.

The guys stopped at an ATM for some money. Nothing suspicious there, right? Tree tall, dark men all together at an ATM in the middle of the night, that's normal. RIGHT?
Long story short: 3 police cars showed up at the scene, asked for their docuemnts and gave them a hard time for about two hours. They couldn't use their cell phones to let anyone what was going on and... saddest part of all... no pizza for the worried people at the party.

Of course, when they finally made it back to the party outraged, scared and completely humiliated... everyone was on their side.
Everyone, except Loli and Mafe.

They looked at us for support but all we could say was: well, you can sue the system, make a lot of money, it was just a couple of hours... it's not a big deal.

It's always fair until it happens to you.

1 comment:

  1. Pero lo mas importante! Y Que paso con la pizza? Al fin van a Demandar?


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