I have been contemplating what my next project should be, and I decided to go with something that I have personally experienced several times in my life. Growing up as a brown Mexican-American has not always been easy. Although my appearance and accent match my surroundings, I continually experience prejudice and profiling on a regular basis. My last few experiences occurred while traveling last year. I was able to explore 7 different countries, and nowhere on earth did I feel as pre-judged or experience profiling as I did in return to my home country, the United States. Security checkpoints “randomly” screened me well beyond the average, at times utilizing state of the art machines and thorough inspections of my belongings, to the point of removing everything from my suitcase and checking the liner inside. This entire time, I watch as countless people get permitted acceptance back into their country, while I wait and stand humiliated, treated like a guilty criminal. The demeanor of the security inspectors is frightening, who look at me with conviction. This did not occur once, or twice, but numerous times, all carried out by my own countrymen, in my own backyard. My girlfriend, who has traveled extensively herself, tells me that she has never had such a hard time getting back into the country as she has when she travels with me. Perhaps I fit a stereotype, perhaps drug smugglers and terrorists fit a certain criteria. But the question remains- do I not deserve the same treatment as everyone else? Is this not a “free” country, who broke down segregation many years ago?
For this assignment, I would like to get your feedback- have you experienced any form of prejudice or racial profiling by your country? If so, please post your experience. I will truly appreciate it. Thank You.