What Do I Want from White People? (An Illustration on Being Black in America)

What Do I Want from White People? (An Illustration on Being Black in America). May 30, 2020.

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“How are you?” I ask. I sit. I wait.

His voice hollow. His head low. “Numb.” He says.

I sit. I wait.

It’s been five days since George Floyd was murdered. In fact, you can watch the video online. You can watch another unarmed African American man be murdered from the comfort of your living room sofa.

You can type it into Google, click play, and you can watch a white police officer with his knee on George’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

Your heart will pound heavily as George repeats “I can’t breathe.”

He will die face down in the middle of the street. You will watch another unarmed Black man die on camera, in cold flesh, at the hands of a white police officer. When the video finally ends, a feeling deep in your soul will tell you that the white police officer will not go to jail. Before you press play, ask yourself, how many more?

Before you press play, ask yourself, will I be able to sleep tonight? Tomorrow?

What do I tell my brother, what do I tell my father?

What do I tell my lover, what do I tell my friend?

To be Black in America is to be engulfed in constant rage. It is to be angry, it is to be scared. Emotionally drained. Black people are exhausted. We are numb. We are traumatized.

This is nothing new.

To be Black in America is to know that because of the color of your skin, you will consistently be denied, discriminated against, and repeatedly demand equal access to education, healthcare, housing, clean air, clean water, an impartial criminal justice system, fair lending, a plethora of other resources, and this concept called human rights. You will face discrimination and inequality. Generational trauma. You tell me, what is peace of mind?

History books will reduce your entire human experience to slavery. Throughout the course of your academic career, you will spend days in academic classrooms reading outdated history books written by white men that speak of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and not of the Harlem Renaissance. Your ancestors will be immortalized as ghosts. Not as poets, activists, dreamers, authors, musicians, entrepreneurs, changemakers, teachers, scientists, revolutionaries, regular folk. Not as mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, children, people. The peaceful activists will be assassinated, the homes of revolutionary activists bombed. Neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, and city streets named after Black leaders will be occupied and attended by those that were redlined.

You ask, what is it like to be Black in America?

It is an uphill battle. There are people who will lay down from exhaustion and numbness, desperately craving rest. Let them. They have been tired and weary. Let them rest. We are tired and weary. Let us rest. Many will return again, others will support from the sidelines, write government officials, send donations, vote, and raise the next generation instead. Let them. Let us.

Others will scream. Raise their fists and shout. They will congregate in the streets with handmade signs displaying yet another hashtag. They will organize. Loot. Burn buildings, businesses, offices, and anything that stands in their way. It will kiss the ground. Cities will twist and bubble in despair.

They will raise the next generation of revolutionaries. Their children will burn down buildings. We will raise the next generation of revolutionaries. Our children will burn down buildings. They will release their rage on cities and people will finally have no other choice but to listen. Their children will not kneel. Our children will not kneel. You will see the fire in their eyes. And we will be proud.

They are in pain. Let them. We are in pain. Let us.

“A child that is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth,” an African proverb says.

I am proud of my Blackness, but it sure ain’t easy. Being Black ain’t all pain, but it damn sure ain’t all joy either.

You will rise again to face another day. Build a community. Love your mother, love your father.

Go to church and sing a song, a local community center, and support a friend and family member’s small business. Gather for homecoming at the local Historically Black College & University that your dad’s entire family attended. Build a scholarship fund for students in your family’s honor. Hug your elders and ask them how they’re doing. Listen. Protest. Vote. Celebrate your Blackness. Continue to show up as your authentic self in all spaces. Dance, share stories, pray.

Talk with the youth and encourage them in all things. Raise children that love themselves and their hair, the color of their skin, their minds. Encourage education, in all the many shapes and forms that it comes in. Normalize mental health resources, counseling to heal, and renew the cycles passed through your families. Read the newspaper and watch the news. Be engaged. Help your neighbor. Read a book. Understand the plight of other groups of people that are also disenfranchised, forgotten, and silenced. Recognize the power of your words and when you speak, speak to uplift.

My generation will continue on with everything that you have done for us. And the next. We will raise children that are revolutionary, just like you did.

If a system does not fit you, you knock it down. If you are not invited to the table, you bring a chair. And if something destroys your spirit, you go to therapy to heal and empower yourself, one day to return again.

I drove my vehicle from my house in Mexico across the Ysleta- Zaragoza International Bridge into El Paso, Texas on Saturday, January 19, 2019. A CBP officer flagged me into secondary inspection, for what I estimate was more than 15 times since I arrived in Mexico – at least once a week. The official inquired if I was a U.S. citizen, motive of travel in the United States, reason of visit in Mexico, and if the car I was driving was stolen. I sat on a cold bench and endured further questioning. I showed my Diplomatic Passport, stating I worked at the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, and lived there.

“Sure you do,” he laughed.

He probed, asking more questions. A new official appeared and searched my car, tossing around the contents in my backseat and glove compartment. He took his left hand and rubbed it up and down my car windows.

“I’m going to meet my friend in El Paso,” I stated.

“When you talk to a man, you look at the ground. Do you understand me?” He glared at me, face full of disgust. The officers laughed. My shoulders tense.

May I speak to your manager please?” I asked.

The on-duty manager approached, crossing his arms, and asked, “what do you want?” I told him about my negative interaction with the previous officers. The manager laughed and asked the motive of travel into the U.S. I told him I was going to meet a friend for coffee and was asked why I needed to come to the U.S. to partake in that activity.

“I’m a U.S. citizen,” I reiterated.

When I told the manager that I worked for the U.S. Consulate General as a Foreign Service Consular Officer, he laughed, rolled his eyes, and said, “right.” Again, I presented my Diplomatic Passport, U.S. Passport, Mexican Carnet, and Global Entry Card. He laughed again and told me he did not need to look at my identification stating, “it could be counterfeit for all I know.”

Blood pumping. Small and humiliated. The manager never looked at my documentation, nor believed anything that I said, even with substantial proof. He went back in his office after obtaining my first and last name. Upon returning, he told me that I had only been pulled over to secondary about eight times so “why are you complaining?” I was bewildered and still am. I requested his name, only to be met with his reply of “I do not have to give you my name.” He later stated “you don’t need my first name.” However, I could read his surname on his uniform.

When I reiterated that his account of the frequency of secondary inspection was incorrect, the manager scoffed, his team standing behind him almost mocking me.

Just because you say you work at the Consulate, does not mean that you are not smuggling drugs into the country,” he said. Extremely frustrated and irritated, I asked how in the world I would be able to get top secret security clearance to work for the United States Government.

The manager then told me, “I do not know, but I do know what drug dealers and smugglers look like.” When I asked him to explain, the manager stepped forward, attempting to intimidate me, crossed his arms, looked at me up and down, and said, “you know what I mean.” I was furious at his insinuation that I was a drug smuggler and his racially charged implication based off of my appearance. I demanded an apology from the manager for the disgusting and unjust defamation of my name and my character.

The CBP manager took another step forward to stand on top of the platform that the bench sits on, positioning him to be a couple inches taller than me. He placed his hand on his gun in the holster, finger around the trigger, and told me to get back in my car. His body language and his hand looked like he was just about shoot.

I did not move. 

Shaking. I remember wondering if he would just shoot me. Why not? I had already said too much.

Shaking.

I requested his supervisor. The CBP Supervisor came out to secondary inspection, greeting me by saying, “I remember you.” We previously spoke on November 19, 2018 after a secondary inspection check. Back when I thought all of this was normal. Blinking back tears and struggling to maintain my composure, I was handed a CBP brochure by the supervisor and told to put in a complaint regarding the previous officer, but “no further disciplinary action would be taken against him.” Upon exiting secondary inspection into the United States, I pulled over to the side of the road to collect myself. I called the consulate to tell them what had happened to me. I spoke to both the assistant and regional security officers. They promised to follow up. I called my father, who unsuccessfully attempted to deescalate the situation and calm me down. I sat on the side of the road crying in my car until 5PM, took a deep breath, and did a U-turn, destined for Mexico. And there I was back across the bridge just eight minutes in the other direction, back home in bed, hands shaking to pull the covers over my head, talking myself into trying again tomorrow.

Between then and mid-to-late February 2019, I crossed the border into the U.S. an estimated 12 times. I would be pulled over into secondary inspection an estimated eight times. My colleagues would sit by their phones as I texted that I was approaching the border. My colleagues would wait. The rule was, if you didn’t hear from me in 15 minutes, call the Consulate immediately. Send someone to come get me.

I lived alone in Juarez. My only outlet was El Paso. It was where I took my dog to the dog park, did my graduate school homework in fun coffee shops like Mas y Menos and District Coffee, and went to the gym. The two baristas at Global Coffee always played the best music on Saturday mornings and asked me how I was doing. I had community. El Paso was where I grocery shopped, washed my car, and felt safe. The people smiled in stores and said hello. Sometimes people spoke to me in Spanish, delighted that I could respond. I felt at home and it was nice to have that small gap between work and home. I just needed to get to the other side of that border.

I tried everything that I could think of, from alternating between SENTRI/ Global Entry Lanes 1 and 2, from telling CBP officers at primary inspection immediately that I work at the U.S. Consulate and live in Juarez, to stating my intention for crossing at primary without even being asked, to crossing the border at different times during the week and weekend (early morning vs. afternoon), to presenting both my American and Diplomatic passports at primary, and even to changing my clothing to reflect professional attire. I removed sunglasses, glasses, hats, and scarves. I left an hour early for doctor appointments, only to miss said appointments and be forced to reschedule for weeks later due to being delayed in secondary by CBP, even with little to no traffic in the SENTRI Lane.

By this point, I was convinced that my difference of physical characteristics was so noticeable that the officers knew who I was. Before I pulled up to the computer system to show my SENTRI/ Global Entry Card, I could see the officer ahead reach for an orange secondary inspection slip.

“Just a random inspection, no worries.”

“It’s a computer generated inspection.”

“Where are your license plates from?” “Hmm… that’s strange. We don’t have you in the system.” Is this your first time crossing the border?”

But how could I not be in the system? I crossed the border at least twice a week. To make matters worse, this wasn’t my first time crossing the border. I lived in Juarez. Surely the system had record and video of my car crossing the border since late October 2018? I even registered in person at the Dulles International Airport earlier that summer.

What would take a person 15 minutes to cross would take me an hour and a half. I was asked if I had drugs in the car. I was asked if the car was mine. “Was I sure it wasn’t a rental?” “Why are you lying? Why are you really in Mexico?”

I developed a stutter. I could not look people in the eye. I was extremely on edge all the time and my hair began to fall out in chunks from the harassment and stress. I gave up and cut all my hair off. My voice shook when I spoke. The simple thought of driving would make my hands perspire and my heart race.

My white colleagues who crossed the border into the U.S. and lived in Mexico for two years had never been pulled over into secondary inspection. One told me he was always greeted with “welcome home to America, sir.” Some offered solidarity, others offered stories of their acknowledgement of their white privilege, others told me to not cross the border. Some offered to ride in the car with me to cross the border. But I needed to go alone. I was strong. One cried.

After weeks of writing letters, meetings, and emails to management, I was transferred to Mexico City on a temporary assignment and then reassigned permanently. Who shall we hold accountable? The afternoon before the flight, I was pulled into secondary inspection for what I hope is the last time during this lifetime.

I was encouraged not to speak to the press about what I experienced and to steer clear of any lawsuit, as it had the potential for serious repercussions against my government career. I packed my bags, registered my dog as an emotional support animal, and we were off. I lived in a hotel for a month, then moved into my apartment. Something was still off. I found a therapist, joined a yoga studio, got weekly massages, tried to make the best out of the situation. I made two friends who often checked on me and invited me to activities outside of my apartment. On a weekly basis, I frequented a Japanese restaurant near the Embassy, where I quickly became friends with everyone who worked there. I made a vision board, read motivational books, and exercised. I befriended small business owners up the street at the nursery. I bought plants and watched them grow. I bought canvas and started to paint. None of that could counter what I felt inside.

I was later diagnosed by the Health Unit with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Two days later, CBP officials in El Paso viewed my LinkedIn profile. I limited my profile settings and deleted my profile picture.

My brother and I had the time of our lives exploring Mexico City in May. We went on walks, talked about life, ate ice cream for dinner, and even visited the fancy Pujol. A Michelin star restaurant in your 20s? No way. This was a life to be grateful for. We asked to see the kitchen and spent four hours laughing and tasting food we had never heard of before. Exploring another city with your little brother? This was so much fun. He stayed for a month. I could do this.

The LinkedIn profile viewing from CBP would continue until June. I went home for safety in June. Returned to Mexico City in July to an earthquake that shook my apartment violently as I unpacked my suitcase.

A close friend came to visit in August. I convinced myself and her that I could do it. Less than two years and then I would have my new assignment. We went to Tulum and I pretended to swim it away. By the time she left, August was a mess. By September I was hardly making it out of bed in the morning.

The unresolved trauma was getting me. Nothing I did worked. Mix that with the isolation I felt and the pressure of the job requirement to interview 100 non-immigrant visa applicants a day, Monday to Friday, from 8AM to 12PM. You had a recipe for disaster. I kept trying though.

One day in early October, one of the applicants called me a bitch. Just straight up in Spanish, “you’re a bitch for denying my visa.” It was never anything personal, you know. You’d interview people of all walks of life, one interview would be jarring, and the next one you could potentially learn something new. I told her to have a nice day. She told me she was going to the United States with or without a visa. She gave me the middle finger and I apologized, quoting U.S. immigration law, and told her to be safe. I closed down my visa window and at 9:25AM, I told my manager I was going home for the day.

I crashed and hit rock bottom in mid-October 2019, realizing that I would probably kill myself if I stayed in Mexico. I said goodbye to my two friends, gifted them my beautiful plants, and returned to my parents’ arms in America. I was 25 years old when the job commenced and 27 years old when I left.

I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t just push through in Mexico, that a job I waited two years to start was now something I associated with trauma. All that time, the intensive job application, those essay questions, the phone interview in Spanish, the month long waiting, the trip to D.C. for the Oral Assessment, conditional job offer, the waiting game, the security clearance, the waiting game, the medical clearance, the register wait, the move out of my apartment, the move into my parents’ home, the job offer, the move to D.C., intensive training, Flag Day, Spanish lessons, counter affairs training in the middle of nowhere for a week, a week to pack and say goodbye, oh and don’t forget all the checklists, the cross country drive to Mexico with my Dad. We had the time of our lives as we drove those 26 hours and connected.

We stopped in cities we’d never visited before. I have a picture with my dad in front of Molton Field and a photo of us at Tuskegee University. We listened to jazz and the rain in New Orleans and ate I-HOP in every city. We ate Whataburger in the middle of nowhere, Texas. “I wouldn’t write home about that fish sandwich,” he says. I laughed.

I was so excited. Nervous too, but I had lived overseas alone for three years before this. I hardly spoke any Spanish then. I learned so much then.

This would be so much easier.

Once I arrived and settled in, everyone else was able to keep pushing, so what was different with me?

But you tell me, how many Black women have fled the State Department in the last five years? Year?

I felt angry that this career opportunity I dreamed of since I was 19 was something I had to flee to save myself. The dream was that one day I was going to be fluent in Spanish and work at a U.S. Embassy. I was going to get my master’s degree in International Relations and climb that ladder into success. I was angry that an opportunity that changed my life on a financial and career level was taken from me. I was the first in my family to work at a U.S. Embassy. I was a diplomat! My parents and family were so proud. And now what? Go home to what? Numb.

To date, nothing has been done and not one person has been held responsible for the harassment I endured.

What is it like to be Black in America?

Have someone put their knee on your neck and repeat.

If you are lucky, you can advocate, but if you pay attention, you will learn that my experience is no different from others. I’m just alive to tell it.

“I feel numb. They’ve been doing this to us, we’re just grown now,” my friend says.

This afternoon I woke up at 4PM. Exhausted. Drained. I checked my Instagram, which was brimming with posts, conversations, pictures, and videos of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The same corporations that sent out mass emails to inform us that they hope we are staying safe during the Covid-19 crisis currently remain silent.

How many times will the face of an unarmed Black woman or man be eternally engraved into your mind? A little boy? A little girl? Let me ask you, do you know what Trayvon Martin looks like? Sandra Bland? Aiyana Jones? Philando Castile? Tamir Rice? Why?

On Friday, May 8, 2020, we ran 2.23 miles for Ahmaud Arbery. On May 25, we returned to the streets. And you ask, what do I want from white people? Some will say nope, I don’t want anything.

Maybe I won’t get anything, but here we go.

America is on fire. I want you to see this. I repeat, the United States of America is on fire. This ain’t nothing new.

Black people cannot breathe and we cannot live. We cannot raise our sons and daughters to exist as shadows underneath America’s corrupt policies and unjust systemic imperatives that continue to benefit and profit off of the blood and sweat of Black people and people of color.

They will murder someone with skin like me to declare war on my name. The debate will become who I was. If I had drugs in my system. Preexisting health conditions. The media will insinuate that I deserved it due to {X}. They will murder me with my four-year-old daughter in the backseat, while the world watches on Facebook Live. My four-year-old child will say to her mother, the love of my life, “it’s OK, I’m right here with you” as you both watch me die.

Right on your couch. You can watch this right from your couch.

The people will riot. The police officer will placed on administrative leave and then fired. It was self- defense. It was the stand-your-ground law. I had a record. I didn’t go to college. My cousin was in a gang. I was a thug. Here’s video evidence of me in the garage of a house under construction. They will perform character assassination on my witnesses. Was it because I was wearing a hoodie sweatshirt? Was it dark outside? Was it broad daylight? Was I at the wrong apartment? Months later, the police officer will be acquitted. Can you believe there wasn’t enough evidence?

I was just playing in the park.

I was just sleeping in my bed.

Rinse.

Repeat.

I want you to say her name.

I want you to knock on my door and ask me how I am doing. If you turn your back, I will remember.

I want you to realize that your life and my life are not the same. When someone burns my house down, I need to see you in the street. I need your anger. I need your fire, your rage.

I need you to shout the name of the person who was taken from this earth, who I love, who deserved life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I need you to demand accountability. I need you to demand justice.

I need a neighbor, a place of shelter. Protest with me, stand beside me. The qualms that keep me up at night should also make you sweat. I expect nightmares, cold sweats, and insomnia in your bed across town, on the other side of the train tracks. I need you to demolish the biased system built to protect you and you only.

Since I was born, I have been lucky to be loved by my mother’s two closest friends, who are white women that I consider my aunts. Their husbands are my uncles. From day one, they recognized their privilege. They write me love letters and pour into my life and my brother’s life. They call bullshit. Ignorance from their social circles was and is never tolerated. They speak up for people of color, and not just because they have a Black niece, a Black nephew, or Black friends. They have tough conversations and continuously evaluate their actions. They realize the power of representation. Christmas and birthday gifts are books by Black authors and poets, calendars and cards representing beautiful Black women and Black men.

I know love. I know it well. And I know what an ally looks like.

If you have power and platform, you amplify those that go unheard. If you have financial means, you donate to organizations that advocate for change. If you have a seat at the table, you hire those who do not look like you, and make the workplace a safe space for them to come as they are. If you are one step above, you reach below, grab the hand of the next person, and pull repeatedly until you both are standing side by side. If there is ever any outrage and unrest, you do not point fingers and place blame, but understand.

There are no exceptions.

Now it’s your turn to show up for Black people and people of color. Demand accountability and call out your racist friends and family members. Actively work to eliminate stereotypes, white guilt, and fear. Challenge your partners, wives, and husbands. And please, if you would be so kind, stop voting for our oppressors.

Stop building fences. Build entrances. Build bridges. Build community.

Evaluate your life. Ask yourself why if you find that the majority, if not all, of your neighbors, friends, and social circle are composed of only white people. Ask yourself if you are contributing to gentrification in the town and if you possibly pushed anyone of color out of their childhood neighborhood due to rising rent, mortgages, and property taxes. Sure, the house was a steal compared to up north, but ask yourself why you built a house that towered over your neighbor, blocking their sunlight. Their children used to love looking out of that window. If they still live there in a few months, they damn sure can’t see the sun.

Ask yourself if your children’s friends and family of color would feel comfortable in your home. Ask yourself why if you find that your child does not have any friends of color.

How many people of color work with you at your place of employment? Are they in positions of leadership?

Do they feel safe?

Smile and say hello to the Black people and people of color that you see at the grocery store, park, local businesses, bike trail, the mailbox, and around the city. We cannot even begin to tell you how often a white person ignores our very existence in public. We live here too. And we also used to live where you live now. We lived in downtown before it was popular and the only people that ever wanted to come visit were the police.

Understand that when you call the police on people of color, you may have blood on your hands.

There are no exceptions.

Educate yourselves. Buy So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo), White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo), and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum) from a local bookstore owned by a person of color. Read said books. Read some more. Start a book club.

When a person of color speaks about their experience, listen.

When a person of color speaks about their experience, do not share your own white privilege guilt. This is not the space. Do not make it about you. No one cares to hear your story. It isn’t relevant. This is not the space.

When a person of color says that they experienced discrimination, believe them. Do not downplay or question their experience. Understand that it is their own personal human experience as a person of color and they have every right to define it as such.

When a person of color calls you out for inappropriate, discriminatory, and racist behavior, be quiet and sit down. Be accountable. Apologize. Then do the work. Repeat.

It is not the job of people of color to continuously explain their experience to you, to educate, to soothe, to handhold, and emotionally process uncomfortable feelings for you. Do the inner work and research first. Then we may chat. Do the work first.

Over the past few days, I watched my Black, Brown, Asian, and Latinx friends share various media articles, links, and nonprofit donation recommendations. Most of my white friends are nowhere to be seen.

Where are you? Where are my white friends that I grab coffee with once a week? That I share my life with? That I invite and sit with in my home? Where are you?

The silence is deafening.

It is terrorizing; a reminder of the contribution to America’s systemic oppression that we are in the process of dismantling as I write this.

Relinquish the redundant phrase of “I can’t believe this is happening!” coupled with misplaced Martin Luther King Jr. quotes. Enough with the peaceful quotes and calls for peaceful reconciliation. It’s been happening.

How have you not noticed? Where have you been? Don’t we live in the same city, read the same newspaper, watch the same news? Don’t our children go to school together?

Do you not walk by my family at the grocery store? What’s my name? Don’t you drive past my neighborhood on the way home?

How long will you continue to self segregate?

How about an organic grocery store in my community for once? A well-funded hospital, a safe school with guidance counselors that tell my children they can achieve anything, and land where my daughter and son can roam free?

Advances in modern technology and social media make the circulation of traumatizing images and videos of white police officers murdering unarmed Black people a popular Blockbuster experience in the 21st century. This is deeply embedded in American culture, 24/7 viewing available on lavish iPhones with white people as the standard emoji selection, such troubling videos quickly forgotten for the next hashtag and cinematic display of racism, hatred, and police brutality in America.

What do I tell my lover, what do I tell my friend?

I am your neighbor across town, across the street, around the corner. How is it that we live in different worlds? In 4th grade, I attended a majority Black and Latinx elementary school five minutes from my house. We used a chalkboard in class. In 5th grade, I transferred to a majority white elementary school. We used a dry erase board in class.

In 11th grade, I transferred to a white private high school where all 100 people in my graduating class attended college and started taking the SAT in 8th grade. How do you help your child study for the SAT when yall ain’t got the same resources? How do you achieve the same score if you are three grades behind?

What about 400 years?

And if you do manage to climb that ladder to the middle class, you better pray to God that you maintain your socioeconomic position.

The systems in place uphold white supremacy and simply put, the systems in place need to be knocked down. And who would have thought, that in the middle of a global pandemic and imminent economic crisis that we would light America on fire.

What is it like to be Black in America?

Have someone put their knee on your neck and repeat.

Enough.

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  • Blog updated as of June 15, 2020.

117 thoughts on “What Do I Want from White People? (An Illustration on Being Black in America)

  1. Hello @Tianna,
    I’m already an feeling your pain. I’m an African American who has just gotten a masters degree in I.R. and have been looking into diplomatic roles. Straight up I’ll say you are brave and inspiring person with such powerful writing and I wish the whole country could read this. It’s a mental and emotionally wrenching to see what you have been forced into. This definitely shows a whole new picture- a shameful one of the double treatment entire that comes about from racism. I wish you a speedy recovery and only the best that life offers. You have been through a nightmare and wrote about it. You are strong!

    Like

  2. I just read your very moving story and I’m so sorry this happened to you. You were so young and vulnerable traveling by yourself back and forth across the border for a job. You are a victim of racism AND sexism! Not only were those men bullies who are jealous of your beauty but obviously also your status as a diplomat. My mother told me long ago, a lot of men ONLY respect other men. I’ve seen this when other men are dealing with my husband and I.

    We know as black women we are at the bottom of the totem pole around the entire world! And for NO reason at all. Well sister, we got your back, we understand your pain. Don’t let anyone stop you for attaining your goals.

    Those cbp officers will never get any where in life. They’re the type that are always power tripping. They go home and abuse their wives and other family members BECAUSE of their job. Hope they stay in their boring ass job, standing in the heat, pouring rain and all the other inclement weather they have to deal with!

    You stay strong little sister. We are THE toughest people on this planet, had to be to get through all of this bs that comes our way! I truly believe one day, we black people (women) will be exalted by our heavenly Father. He knows what we’ve been through since day one. Keep on living your life. Never stop fighting the GOOD fight. May you be covered in His blessing forever Tianna!

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  3. I respect the fact, that with your intelligence and honesty, you were not willing to let your ambition muffle the importance of standing up and sharing your story. Know that this will make a difference for future diplomats who may experience similar harassment. It appears CPB needs more rigorous standards and accountability and transparency on allegations of illegal profiling. I wish you were able to avoid the toll it took, and I wish and expect for you great success.

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  4. Tianna,

    I am very sorry you had to go through such a difficult thing. I admire and celebrate your courage. You are an inspiration to me, and I hope you will find a way to continue inspiring others. I agree that no one should be treated the way you were, and most importantly, people should not turn a blind eye to the hardships experienced by others. You deserve better, and I pray you will get it. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It shed more light on an issue we have all been getting familiar with: the abuse of power of men in law enforcement.

    God bless,

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  5. I am so sick and tired of white people (I am white) thinking that they are better than other people because of a lack of a chemical in their skin that protects from the sun doing damage. I don’t understand how they don’t realize they are ruining lives and ruining living as their corruption and fear effects everyone and not just their intended targets. It just needs to stop, it just needs to be recognized for what it is. It is a weakness in character, a need by the inferior mind to subjugate and denigrate others so that they can feel better about their own worthless lack of morality. I am so sorry for what you experienced – this white male was enraged by your story – I know that isn’t much comfort – but if there is one white male that feels this way there has to be others. Black Lives Matter and until we can say that without any hesitation in this country and in the world then no lives can claim that they matter in any way.

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  6. Thank you for your voice. It is important to herald the fact of the human abuse that the white man has seen fit to proudly practice from the beginning. It makes for a disgraceful reality to live and die in. I am most confident that leaving this reality will be my ultimate blessing. I look forward to that moment with a smile.

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