Going Through Customs as A Minority

Homeland Security probably has heard more of my music than my mom has, they have also looked through my iPhone messages more than my girlfriend. Homeland security has also written endless pages of my travels in their little computer application since the day I told them I was going to film a music video for Youtube.

The first day I told my mom I was a rapper was also the first day I must have disowned her because she never talks to me much anymore. The first time I told customs I was a rapper was also the first day I had strangers in uniform highly interested in my pursuits. 

It was the routine check if you travel by the Amtrak bus services or greyhound. Myself and everybody else hopped off the train for the inspection. It was a sunny day at the border entry of Washington and British Columbia. I have been living in Canada my whole life and I was also born there too so as long as I smell like syrup and be loving and kind, this whole process will be alright. 

These guys are great. They are like big body guards for some invisible line, but they show great interest in everything I do. One day they asked why I was going to Seattle and when I told them of my music and they were so excited. Their faces didn’t say happiness but were the absolute epitome of death, but hey, they asked a lot of questions about me. 

Well I told them honestly, “My name is G, The Wiz. I’m a rapper.” But wait, these guys were getting ahead of themselves. 

“Oh, how much are you getting paid?” One of the men asked me. 

I gave a laugh of desperation. “Not a single penny sir, but one day. I dream I’ll make millions and sell out arena’s.” 

The officers exchanged some glances at each other before typing something into their computer.  “How much are you paying them?” One of them questioned while reading my passport like the Holy Bible. 

“It’s all for free!” I grinned. “We do it for the genuine love for the art that is Hip-Hop and music. 

Nobody shared my optimism, but they progressed with making my fantasies of being a well-known rapper come to life. 

“Which network can we see the music video on?”

I wanted to say some big named network like MTV but settled for honesty, “Just Youtube.” 

For some reason they all seem dissatisfied. Earlier these were the same men talking to the girls in the same line as me as if they had made dinner reservations with a smiling salutation but here I am accused of being a famous artist. 

The bus I was on with Amtrak was already boarded and they lectured me on how it’s impossible for me to perform live in the US without an entertainment visa. I agreed to their rules and they gave me back their stuff. 

Customs are great, especially the men. They get to flirt with girls and give people of different skin colour a longer pep talk especially if you have any dreams outside of the majority norm. It’s safe to say there’s practically a job for everything in this world. 

I can’t wait to go through customs this weekend and experience a whole other new wave of skeptic, racist and flirty officers who enjoy making me feel like I signed a million dollar deal with Def Jam Records. 


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