The other agent, now done examining my roll of dental floss, flipped through the copy of In These Times, seeing my name on the masthead. So you’re a big time journalist? You must be embedded in the student movement, right?
This was the surprise and, to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. For the first few years of my adult life, I’ve dealt with extra screenings at airports and crossings, mostly outside the United States, particularly in the European countries I’ve visited. It was due to my race. My first hour in Canada was like that. Now I was being harassed, because I was a leftist going to possibly talk to people in a country terrified of a militant left-wing movement. And I was a ‘known journalist.’ I couldn’t want to brag to my friends.
They asked me if I had two identities. No, of course not. How come you have all these medical cards that say ‘Swamy Sunkara’ on them? I tried to explain the United States’ employer-based health care system and how young people under a certain age were under their parent’s coverage. You know a lot about this, are you political?