Cathy Harris is a nationally recognized whistleblower and is part of the American Whistleblower Tour. Courage is that rare trait that requires the unusual strength to do what is right - not what is popular in the face of personal harm and at great risk.
Susan B. Anthony had the courage to guide thousands of women through that era of U.S. history when women were treated as second-class citizens despite the threats to her personal safety. Her leadership and courage led to the rights for women to have the right to vote.
Courage was Harriet Tubman's only friend as she returned to the plantations of the antebellum south to free people who were scared to live and afraid to die.
Speaking truth to power and challenging a government infrastructure that thrives on the ignorance and fear of the people require uncommon courage. That same spirit of determination, courage, and conviction are what keep and sustain Cathy Harris as a modern day suffragist for human rights.
Cathy Harris has fought and continues to fight for the rights of international travelers, many of whom are African American women, who have been abused and violated by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees and other federal agencies.
Like Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, Cathy has been despised and persecuted for her ideas and her advocacy. As a U.S. Senior Customs Inspector/Officer, she was threatened by management, unjustly disciplined and ostracized by her peers.
Although Cathy has continually bore the consequences of her convictions, she continues to press on by bringing to the public's attention the many ways that U.S. Customs and Border Protections (CBP) officials have violated the human rights of international travelers and their own employees.
In 1998, Cathy Harris was instrumental in exposing the racial profiling practices of Customs and Border Protection to Congress and to the public. She exposed the blatant bigotry and racism enforced by the U.S. Customs Service.
She verified her suspicions that African American women were wrongfully targeted for detentions and strip searches as possible drug couriers. She reported illegal, demoralizing and abusive pat-downs, intrusive strip-searches, cavity searches, x-ray examinations, monitored defecation, prolonged detentions of up to 4 days and targeted intimidation by drug sniffing dogs against African American women international travelers.
Cathy's revelations resulted in a damning U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of USCS profiling practices, and the introduction of federal legislation to reform these unconstitutional practices -"Civil Rights and International Travelers Act" and the "Reasonable Search Standards Act." The legislation would ensure that international travelers have more legal protections and stronger avenues of recourse if abused by U.S. Customs officials.
In the Federal Government too often those who work for the government are the public's first hope of being protected from practices that harm or violate the rights of - we the citizens. Government entities do whatever they can to discredit people of conscious like Cathy Harris who speak out against unethical and immoral practices.
We the American public should take a stand and
support Cathy Harris and all her efforts in challenging
the practices of the federal government especially
the Department of Homeland Security.
Cathy has since retired but is still on the forefront of
I wrote this book to inspire and encourage other trailblazers facing crossroads in their lives to listen to their hearts - do what's right - stand up for justice. Not only will other lives be enriched, so too, will your own.
My fight with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was long, hard and fierce. But I was sent angels. I was sent angels in the form of Whistleblower and EEO attorneys, legislators, media entities, civil rights leaders, community activists and advocates.
I remembered what my parents had instilled in me about being respectful and doing the right thing and telling the truth. Knowing my life would change forever and realizing my decision would affect my family, impact my livelihood and derail my career, I was ready to risk it all to make a difference.
I could no longer sit idly by watching the atrocities and injustices being committed against the American public. I knew it was time to "make a stand!" In October 1998, I made a "life-altering" decision. I became a Federal Whistleblower (Truth-Teller).
PICTURE THIS: You've worked hard and decide to reward yourself with a trip to a sunny destination beyond America's shores. At the end of your wonderful vacation, you board the plane for your return trip home. You arrive at the airport but instead of making your way quickly and routinely through U.S Customs and Border Protection, you find yourself being subjected to an abusive pat-down, intrusive strip-search, x-rayed, probed internally, fed a laxative and handcuffed to a hospital bed for up to 4 days. If you are an African American, especially an African American female, this scenario, it turns out, was all too likely.
After witnessing first-hand this type of denigration against African American travelers particularly women and successfully putting reforms in place to protect them, I realized there was something even more sinister about to happen to the American people.
In March 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) merged 22 federal agencies together totalling over 180,000 employees including my agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Over 73,400 of these employees were armed making this new department the MOST MASSIVE ARMED department ever in the history of the government.
Under the new department, they operated with excessive secrecy. Excessive secrecy could be just as dangerous as a terrorist coming into the country, so I set out to continue to inform the public about the new practices in the new department.
I realized that unless there were some type of oversight put into place - such as Citizen Review Boards - that United States Customs and Border Protection Officers would eventually go back to their old ways of singling out certain individuals such as African American international travelers and certain Department of Homeland Security employees who were speaking out against any and all types of injustices.
Because of the new department, I set out on another journey to educate the American people. This book will make you aware of the extent of racial and sexual profiling - the blatant mismanagement, abuses of authority, prohibited personnel practices, corruption, and other unethical practices carried out by federal law enforcement officials and what is being done to combat it and how current attempts at reforms and legislation don't go far enough.
I will continue to fight for the rights of international travelers passing through
U.S. Customs under the Department of Homeland Security and other federal
This is a fight none of us can afford to lose.
You Will Learn About:
Flying While Black, Mismanagement, Abuses
of Authority, Prohibited Personnel Practices, Corruption and Other Unethical Practices
The Failure of Homeland
The Government's Dirty Little Secrets
From an Insider
Cathy's story (TheCathyHarrisStory.com) was highlighted in these media entities: Oprah Oxygen Cable Company, Lifetime T.V. with Erin Brockovich, BET with Tavis Smiley, CNN, C-Span, The Bev Smith Show, Essence Magazine, Jet Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, Source Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Final Call Newspapers, High Times, Rolling Out, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Miami Times, Oakland Tribune, Associated Press, Caribbean Express, African Quest, Mundo Hispanico, Muslim American Society - just to name a few.
Cathy Harris is a Watch-worthy Whistleblower -- a female to reckon with...Glamour magazine salutes women who've risked it all to do what they knew were right. -Glamour Magazine
Failure was not, is not an option for Cathy Harris. The ordinary woman have gone ahead through an uncharted wilderness and cleared a path for others to follow. She is a visionary, and most importantly, she is just like you and me. -Upscale Magazine