Stories on RACISM

The following collection of stories on racism have been colllected and organized here from members of our commuinty.  Part of our mission at YWCA is to eliminate racism. Part of helping to eliminate racism is to talk about about racism and share stories that we can learn from.

Go back to where you’re from

I was driving home one day and was on a different planet at that moment and completely blow through a stop sign. Anyone would get mad at the person who blows through a stop sign, however, this person was so angry and full of rage that he followed me to the parking lot outside my house. I got out of my car and he rushed towards me yelling, swearing, and screaming at me, telling me to go back to Africa (there is nothing indicating I am from Africa). Mind you, I’m a 17-year-old black girl, and this white guy is twice my size, and I swear he was going to start swinging. I was so scared that he was going to hurt me that I started to cry. He threatened to call the police and make sure I get in trouble for not stopping at the stop sign. I wasn’t afraid of him calling the police because I understood that I should have stopped but his reaction was so extreme that I was afraid to go back outside in fear of seeing him again. Funny thing is that I haven’t seen him since.

School Play

I came in the USA when my daughter was four years old and she only spoke my mother language and Swahili, so when she joined school she had a very rough time communicating with other children and making friends became hard and most of the time she was lonely. So it happened that their class was to perform a play at end of the school year and the play was about animals in the Jungle. My daughter was very excited about the whole thing and she chose to be a cheetah. So, I made the costume that she would’ve worn but when my daughter took the costume to school the teacher had a different idea about the kind of animal she should be in the play – A MONKEY. With big ears and everything. The teacher said her complexion would be perfect for it. You have no idea how I felt when she came home and she told what happened at school. Being a new mum in America, standing up for my daughter was the only thing on my mind. This episode was not the first or last to happen to my daughter. Racism is rampant in this country and it makes me so sad for my kids and kids of other minorities.

When my brother with a disability got jailed

It was way back when we were living in the gardens and it was a beautiful sunny day, so my older brother who has a disability loves to play basketball. He is not huge on communicating so he usually taps people to get their attention. There was a little girl outside – I would say she’s about 9-10 years old. My brother walks up to her and taps on her shoulder and points at his ball trying to say if she would like to play basketball. But, then her mother ends up calling the police on my brother; saying that he sexually harassed her daughter. All he did was tap on her shoulders. Then they came and started to call my brother over and trying to ask him questions, however, he didn’t understand what was going on. He got scared and confused and started running away and they chased him down and maced him and he got arrested and took him to jail. My mom was at work when this all happened and my other brother was inside and I was young and didn’t know what to do. Then my mom found out and she had to fight hard to bail my brother out.

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