Poetry: Melody of Being Animate (MBA)

Melody Of Being Animate (MBA)

13/12/14: Face To Face Passive Racism

The first time I experienced face to face passive racism, I was 19 at the back of the class room in Pam’s lecture class of community and diversity, we were having in-depth discussions of war-torn families, poor poverty, struggling nations of family backgrounds, I will never forgot the way she randomly selected me, the only coloured skin in the class room whom she stereotyped into something I was not, decided that this is the way in which I grew up, regardless of anything she knew about me it being my name and that was all, the way she didn’t check her self, before she went back on her words, preaches echoing loud lecture hall, do not stereotype, do not assume about others, I remember being taken back by her question, the class room silent as my peers automatically turn their heads at me, some quickly snap their necks else where, I listen as whispers fill the room, I remember wanting to hide somewhere, anywhere, to cover my ears, shut my eyes to get me away, I couldn’t believe she had the nerve to voice something so ignorant, she had asked me whether a picture of two black boys playing in mud, barefoot, in what looked like poverty inhabited, saying “are you sure you don’t represent with this?” begging “are you sure?” tilting her head to one side as though asking the first time wasn’t insulting enough, I remember looking at her in a hot-pot of emotions, majority being embarrassment, anger, and why is this happening to me as I pressed my lips together to respond “yes I’m sure”, the silence she gave when I had given her an unsatisfying answer, as though she was looking forward to me responding “yes”, I wish I had responded differently, I wish I wasn’t so struck at ignorance is bliss, so I could have given her a calculated don’t ever ask such stupid questions which generalize minority, I wish I said something more absolute something more concrete, something to make my ancestry proud of, something that would stop this marginalized ignorance, anything, so she knows, never, to repeat, the same, mistake, again.

FH – Fatma Hussein.


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