In the news today, it seems as though more and more stories come out surrounding the abuse of power of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents, and Central Border Patrol employees.
The people who work in these ranks operate on the idea that they can take many individual’s lives away from them in one quick moment–asking for documentation. However, Tiana Smalls, an American citizen, refused to allow Border Patrol and agents to violate her rights as a human, and an American. Instead of succumbing to the fear, Smalls stood up for herself and everyone else who was with her.
Smalls shared the details of a rather ugly confrontation that happened on a Greyhound bus traveling from Bakersfield to Las Vegas.
Ok. Storytime: this is kinda long but PLEASE READ. It’s about my experience last night with these fucking border patrol agents.
Last night, I rode the greyhound bus from Bakersfield to Las Vegas to visit family.
When we got to the California/Nevada state line, as always, there’s a checkpoint.
(This checkpoint USED to be one where they made sure you weren’t carrying fruits into California, bc of an invasive fruit fly species).
The bus driver makes an announcement: “We are being boarded by Border Patrol. Please be prepared to show your documentation upon request”.
WAIT. WHAT THE FUCK?
So you know I’m ready to act an ASS.
I stand up and say LOUDLY:
THIS IS A VIOLATION OF YOUR 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHTS. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SHOW THEM *SHIT*!!! This is illegal. We are not within 100 miles of an international border so that have NO authority to ask you for ANYTHING. TELL THEM TO FUCK OFF!
And, Since my Spanish sucks, I Google translated how to say that in Spanish and repeated myself:
Esto es una violación de los derechos de su cuarta enmienda. ¡No tienes que mostrarles nada! Esto es ilegal No cumples, y no tengas miedo. Están equivocados, y no dejaremos pasar esto
The lady next to me did not speak English. She looked terrified. I reassured her that I had her back.
The agents get on. Proceed to announce that they are about to start asking for “documentation” from people.
I Stand up and yell “I’m not showing you shit! I’m not driving this bus, so you have NO RIGHT to ask me for anything! And the rest of you guys don’t have to show them anything, either! This is harassment and racial profiling! Don’t show them a gotdamn thing! We are not within 100 miles of a border so they have NO LEGAL RIGHT or jurisdiction here! GOOGLE IT!”
The agents start to look exasperated, because they can see I’m willing to act a WHOLE DONKEY. One of them said “Fine. We can see that you’re a citizen because of your filthy mouth”. And then they just said “go ahead” to the bus driver and got off.
Point is: These border patrol officers act like they do because they EXPECT people to be afraid of them and just comply. The lady next to me spoke NO ENGLISH, but she was a very kind woman. She looked TERRIFIED when they boarded. I felt it was my duty to defend her. We DO NOT LIVE in Nazi Germany. No one should be asked to present “papers” for interstate travel. I defended her, and I defended myself. We DO NOT HAVE to just take this shit LYING down. What those officers did is WRONG and completely illegal. All it took was ONE LOUD ass Black woman to let them know WE ARE NOT WITH THE SHITS. FUCK Y’ALL. And they backed off.
Use your voice. Take a risk. Act an ASS. Because if you let them intimidate the poor Spanish speaking woman next to you, who do you think they’re coming for next?
After sharing the post on her Facebook page, the story went viral, with over 20,000 shares so far. As more Facebook users began seeing the post, reading the story, and truly understanding the dirty details of abuse of power–they began thanking Smalls for being that person who “stood up” to the man.
We need more people in the world like Tiana Smalls–you are the kind of American that makes our country great.