I live in a small town which the majority of the population is white since 2004 and it was the biggest mistake I ever did in my life. These 10 years it changed me from a confident young Black latina woman to a wrecked frightened weak one. I have been called names, rejected service by going to dinner with my husband, ask to change my accent, tell me to go home and clean toilets when applying for an office job, had received strange stares, being ignored, being treated unfairly at my job “to set and example” just because I was defending a friend of mine so they wrote a “write-0ff” on my record among other things. Like for example, I can’t walk my dogs because I’m afraid that someone will call me the N-word like someone did a couple of years ago when I was with Pillsbury, I can’t go to public places by myself except going to McDonalds, so I have to bring a friend of mine to go with me. I feel in constant fear everyday, to the point that my panic attacks, crying bouts and suicide thoughts are the norm. There’s no festivals or activities that I feel identified with and my passion for photography, music dwindled because of it. But yesterday, that was the last thing I wasn’t expecting.
I work in a supermarket in that small town for three years. Yesterday, a woman called to order two items at a certain time to be picked up. A half an hour before pick up her husband called to get another item. I took the call and the order from the husband. At the estimated time, the wife came and paid for the two items forgetting the third. I took notice and told her about it, she reluctantly didn’t want it. I even told her husband’s name and still she wasn’t agreeing with it, so I let it go. Maybe it was another person, I thought. Half an hour later, the husband called, and my co-worker took the call and was very belligerent and rude towards the staff and place this words towards me: “That person should speak English next time.” As soon as my co-worker told me this, I got angry at the situation and immediately called my manager about it. Even thought my co-worker told the husband that they could pick it up, or anyway to fix it, he immediately blamed me for their fuck-up. If the husband will use the phone to notify his wife there was another item to pick up, that would be another story. But to assume that my accent is the fault of their mistake, that’s the biggest piece of crappola I ever heard in my life. It seems that after all the effort to be accepted in this small little town has become a vain illusion, when in reality they just want to get rid of me like an unwanted piece of rag that has to be thrown away. And honestly, I’m sick of it.
I have been experiencing on a daily basis, how people react when they see me. It’s not the same as they see their counterparts or their friends in their own circle. They see me as a nuisance, even thought they pretend being friendly towards me, I know in their hearts is another story, fueled by hate, supremacy in a tight knit community that doesn’t caters minorities. They even doesn’t have a beauty salon that deals with “ethic hair!” I have to travel 70 miles to at least getting my normality back for a few hours before coming back to this war zone. And I’m tired of it.
So, to the person who rudely said to my co-worker that I should learn English, I will tell you in your face, if I meet you, you have to learn to keep your mouth shut and stop judging because of your mistakes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, that people like you are the reason why I want to live in a segregated world away from your hurtful, wicked and evil ideas to diminish, bully and destroy my kind. If I need to learn English, even though I finished college, have written two fan fictions short stories, being in poetry slams in Michigan and still I write on my blog for years, you need to learn once again how to have empathy and common sense when ordering some item and blame your clueless wife for your fuck up, not me!
For that, I will be moving out of this small town and back to the city next year. I can’t wait for the positive changes it will bring!