The Border Patrol Stopped Women For Speaking Spanish In Montana – Here’s Why It Matters
Mike and I were talking earlier this week about the women who were stopped recently for speaking Spanish in Montana. I was pretty adamant that they were victims of racial profiling and he, playing Devil's Advocate, said they were just detained because for all the Border Patrol agent knew, they could have been planning to rob the place or commit some terrorist act. He also wondered why I got so worked up about it because as he put it 'You don't exactly wave the Brown Power flag.'
Here's why a couple of women getting stopped by the Border Patrol for speaking Spanish at a convenience store anywhere in this country pisses me off.
We keep telling immigrants to assimilate when they come to the States. Learn the language. Pledge your allegiance to America. Be proud of living here. Keep your customs from your home country, but become an American and you'll be welcomed with open arms.
What happened to Ana Suda and her friend, Mimi Hernandez, proved that is not true because they are American by birth and they were still subjected to being racially profiled.
Ana was born in Texas and Mimi was born in California, but even if they were legal immigrants, they would have checked all the boxes for being "acceptable." They know English. They were living their life buying a couple of things at the store and not breaking any laws. The only thing that caught the Border Patrol agent's attention was the language they were speaking. He told them that on video as he checked their identification.
American by birth. Speaking Spanish because they know two languages and they can if they damned well please because there is no law against that. Stopped because, according to the agent, people in Montana don't speak Spanish.
It's true - I don't wave the Brown Power flag, but I do get really pissed off when someone who is here legally and doing nothing wrong finds themselves being harassed because they are intelligent enough to know a couple of languages. Would they have been questioned if they were speaking French? Italian? German? No, they would not. As a friend of mine put it, French is the language of love - Spanish is the language of laziness. And in the eyes of the agent, the language of criminals.
We need to stop beating up on people who are doing what is asked of them - legally immigrating, assimilating, obeying the law. It's not what America is all about. I guess what it all boils down to is that I don't want to be stopped in a store in some city where people don't usually hear Spanish being spoken and have to endure getting questioned about where I'm from. And I don't want anyone else to go through that, either.
Not in America.