There was a US Customs Lawsuit brought by black women who alleged that they had been racially profiled & wrongly searched and harassed by US Customs in various US airports while traveling to and from the Caribbean. I was definitely one of these women. I traveled to the small island of Dominica, to meet up with my son and his grandparents in 1993 and like these other black women, I was detained by US customs at the Newark International Airport, interrogated in a room as if I was a criminal and then followed and watched by walkie-talkie carrying men, while I waited for the shuttle to take me to Irvington, NJ, where I was going to visit a cousin of mine. I was livid and complained to anyone and everyone for weeks about that. But at the time, the possibility of suing, never crossed my mind. In retrospect, if I had of been presented with the opportunity to join the lawsuit, I certainly would have.
For those whom don’t know the backstory: The US customs preceded TSA & were responsible for examining and searching passenger luggage at US airports. A group of black women brought a lawsuit against them for what they saw, rightfully so, as illegal targeting and racial profiling of disproportionately black women, simply because they were black and it was ‘assumed’ they were being used as drug mules or runners. I haven’t looked at the specifics of the case (and after searching online for more info, I came up empty-handed); only that I saw some of these women on Oprah, I believe, and was dumbstruck because I was thinking I should have been a party to that lawsuit but had heard nothing about it til of course, after it was over. Again, curiously, another lawsuit for legitimate grievances that I should have been a party to that I missed out on. And the funny thing is my mom and I have always been up on current news and reading the the newspaper, yet, this lawsuit, totally escaped our attention.
Curious, isn’t it? Or is it? I will tell you that after having all of this revealed to me, I no longer believe in coincidences. Not even slightly. Repeating patterns are in my opinion, the universe or someone in it, trying to get your attention—to start paying attention. Especially since this wasn’t the only lawsuit that I should & could have been a party to–there was also a Norplant lawsuit, that i also curiously missed out on. I was implanted with the birth control device which was implanted at a Planned Parenthood clinic while I lived and went to school in Saginaw, Michigan. Again, I didn’t hear about a suit being brought by a group of other women who had been implanted with Norplant, til years after the suit was over. Online. So since I don’t believe ‘coincidences’, I’m sure there are more. Is the the US government trying to tell me something? Can I expect them to quietly settle with other Targeted Individuals and I find that out years later too? I don’t think so. At some point, I expect to file a lawsuit on my own. I won’t wait for a class action lawsuit. But maybe that’s the lesson to be learned.