top of page
  • Writer's pictureDr. Emi Garzitto

Racial Profiling and Bouillon Powder

I am a little nervous going through American customs.

My husband's skin colour and last name meant that when we were dating during the Bush era, he would constantly be detained for "random" checks. With the new change of politic I brace myself for another round of hold ups and special treatment.  Much to my surprise, I am the one who gets detained.

Customs go through my carry on luggage with great interest and vigour.  As the agent opens my bag, my wet two piece lies atop a mountain of coffee bags and chicken bouillon powder.

"Did you bring a pile of sand with you by any chance?"

"No! Just bouillon powder and coffee."

"Hmm, uh - huh"

The agent dabs the bouillon bag with a number of swatches, paying special attention to the edges and the picture of the chicken.  Finally, having checked everything to her satisfaction, she tells me to put everything away and be on my way.

Seems like the flagrant amount of powder substances in my bag were cause for some alarm. Alas my drugs of choice are good coffee and high quality chicken bouillon powder.  Nothing to see here people, move along, move along.

I am a little humpffy about the random check.  But I know, in my own job, I have made the same mistakes.  I have come to conclusions based on overall data, without enough specifics and then pounce at a judgement that was over reaching and sometimes embarrassing.   My years of experience means I have learned to slow things down, ask more questions and give everyone a benefit of a doubt before jumping to conclusions.  My impulsive nature and desire for a quick solution means I still fight to slow down and pay attention.

I am still hours away from home and my third flight is delayed.  I am going to be a very tired camper when I get home.  I will definately be a little rusty for work tomorrow morning. I am hoping the coffee and broth will remind me to slow down, get as much information as I can, and pause, instead of judge, or solve a problem that is not really the problem.

Maybe we can work on that one together.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page