The unbearable whiteness of basic transportation

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Notes on racial profiling from a targeted traveller at YVR.

I probably fly to the United States at least four times a year, usually by myself. Being Mexican, I’m used to having my passport scrutinized, and I tend to expect that I’ll have to pull out my American and Canadian visas at every checkpoint. But earlier this spring, I travelled for the first time with my blonde-haired, fair-skinned, green-eyed Canadian girlfriend. And this was definitely her first time traveling with a person holding a third-world passport.

The morning of our flight from Vancouver to San Francisco—which featured a layover in L.A.—I probably seemed a little anxious, even though we were going on vacation. I had asked if we could head to the airport much earlier than what my girlfriend was accustomed to when she travels to the States.

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