“You are not allowed to enter because your skin is white.”

In all the years I have visited and lived in Africa I have never experienced any real prejudice. Of course I’m sure there are individual people that might have a problem with my presence here but as for the general population I have always been welcomed and have known the majority of people to be kind and hospitable to me.

Today I experience something that, to be honest I am still kind of in shock about.

We recently found out about a supermarket that is for the Military and NGO workers only. We found out about it from one of our own staff members who told us she frequents the store as do many of our other staff because there is no tax, prices are much lower and they are allowed in because of their Village of Hope ID cards. We thought, wow that’s wonderful and probably helps them out a lot.

Yesterday we thought we would go check it out – we might even find some good deals for things we need for the Village. We went and were let in no problem after we showed our own ID cards – only that we were a bit late so they said we had to be quick. We found a few things but because they and already started closing we didn’t get to the actual food section.

Today at lunch hour we decided to head back with a couple other staff from VOH and see if we could check out the super market side.

However when we got to the entrance we were told that I was not allowed to enter. My husband and the other colleagues were allowed but not me. I told them I had been there just yesterday and had been allowed in, no problem. They said the rules had changed and I was not allowed in. We said we all work for the same charity we all have the same ID cards – why am I not allowed? Then he bluntly said, “Because you are white.” We all said – “What?!” We asked him, you are actually saying she is not allowed to enter because of the colour of her skin alone? He said, yes. Period. There was no other reason. Not because I am a foreigner even, but because my skin is white. He wouldn’t budge. So I went back to wait in the car not really knowing what to feel. What I’m sure happened is someone saw me go in yesterday and said, “I don’t want to see white people in here” and so the rules changed.

I still don’t really know how I feel about it all. It’s very strange. I have never encountered anything like this since living here. I just couldn’t believe how bluntly he said, “You are not allowed in because your skin is white.” – Literal translation. Wow. I wonder how big of a deal it would be if the tables were turned and he was in a European country or America and was not allowed to enter a store and was bluntly told it was because he is black. I know it would be front page news.

I can only imagine what it must have been like for so many Black Americans not so many years ago during segregation. They would have been told this countless times I’m sure. “You cannot enter because you are black.” No matter what the colour on the end of that sentence is – it’s such a horrible statement. We think we’ve moved on from such things – but obviously, unfortunately they still remain as a dark part of our societies.  We are all created in God’s image – black, white and everything in between. There is no justification for statements like the one above. Ever.

Race1

It truly just saddens me that there are obviously people who still believe that it is perfectly OK – to discriminate against people because of their skin colour of all things! God help us. Help us to see people through your eyes; to see them as the beautiful creation they are and to love them unconditionally.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. gilbertkenya
    Jun 09, 2015 @ 13:00:49

    So sickening. It is hard to imagine what conspired between the first day you were there and the time you were barred from entering, but I suspect there must be something fishy going on in that facility and the guys in charge might have mistaken you for some international media journalist out to probe whatever shady deals going on in there.Or, due to some personal reason, the individual at the gate might be having his own bigoted hatred for whites. I don’t think there could be any policy to bar whites from entry into the facility.

    Reply

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