Welcome home…

by Rod Smith

Speak up....

Speak up....

When Thulani was about nine months old we once entered the USA through LAX.

A roaming immigration officer met us in the line.

“Papers!” he demanded without looking at me.

“I beg your pardon,” I said.

“Papers? Passports? Where’s the mother?” he said.

“Sir,” I said, “The courts in Indiana decided that the whereabouts of my son’s mother is no one’s business.”

The officer stormed off with our passports, only to return to repeat the question.

“I have told you,” I said. “Now, tell me officer,” I continued, “What are your worst fears?”

I pointed out that the legitimacy of the passport ought to calm his worst fears. Getting a little more than irritated I noted:

“I can’t figure out if this is sexism or racism? You’re not checking other parents and babies. Is it you can’t imagine a man traveling with a young baby or it is that we are different colors. Both will make a good story for Time,” I suggested.

Then, having slept through all this in a backpack on my back, Thulani awoke.

“Dadadadadadadadaaaa,” he said into my ear and the official stuffed our passports into my hands and left us alone.

He never did answer my questions.

One Comment to “Welcome home…”

  1. We need more people like ypu to stand up for your rights

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