Phoenix police on Wednesday disputed Cindy McCain's account of human trafficking at an Arizona airport. McCain had told local news station KTAR on Monday that she intervened at Sky Harbor International Airport last week when she spotted a woman with a child of a “different ethnicity. ” “I went over to the police and told them what I saw and they went over and questioned her and, by God, she was trafficking that kid,” she was quoted as saying.
Phoenix police say they checked on the welfare of the child and found no problem.
McCain tweeted a follow up.
At Phoenix Sky Harbor, I reported an incident that I thought was trafficking. I commend the police officers for their diligence. I apologize if anything else I have said on this matter distracts from “if you see something, say something”— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) February 7, 2019
In my family we have white parents who've raised and are raising Chinese born children and South American born children and a Latino mother raised by white parents who is now raising a Chinese child and a white father who recently became stepfather to black children. And we have friends who have raised or are raising children of ethnicities different from their own. It's not that unusual. Not to mention, I see white people with black children and black people with white children and Latino women with non-Latino-looking children all the time because mixed marriages, stepparents and nannies.
I wouldn't want to discourage people from reporting possible crimes, but reporting based on ethnic and racial differences alone invites a toxic mix of paranoia and racial anxiety that has had some terrible outcomes, not to mention just the harassment factor which would be significant if we really reported people to police for being with children of ethnicities different from their own. To Cindy McCain, that one instance may seem like no big deal, but if that really was the right thing to do and everyone did it, that person would be harassed constantly by people calling the police.
Though it isn't mentioned in the story, Cindy and John McCain have an adopted daughter of a different race/ethinicity. I wonder how often she was reported to police, stopped by police and forced to prove parentage/guardianship. Would she really have been okay with that happening frequently? How does she think that would have affected her daughter?