IMG_3343 1.jpg

It was my birthday, and we went out for dinner, and thought, “Let’s go dancing afterwards.” At Sticky Wicket, you usually get in for free. I had my coat checked in, and we were trying to get on the dance floor, it was four bucks to dance. So, we were in the line, we were standing there for 5 minutes trying to pay and get on the dance floor. Initially, I talked to the security guy to my left, and thought, “Oh, he doesn’t know what’s going on, just plain straight up rude.” He didn’t really pay attention to the question I was asking him about the line. I looked to my right, and see this girl, and she said, “What the fuck, it has been 10 minutes!” The biggest mistake I made was to lean forward and try to see what was going on, and said, “What’s happening, it has actually been 5 minutes?” I was joking. I didn’t know that the person causing the delay was the manager. So, before I know it she tells me, “talk to the hand,” and points security at me. And then, they’re like, “you’re arguing with the manager.” I’m like, “What? Ok, let me just go grab my coat and leave,” at that point I’m pissed and I just want to go somewhere else. And then I am bundled, it’s like I am arrested or something, they just force me out. I am looking outside to see the girl that started the whole drama; she’s not there. She got in, and they throw me out for asking what was going on. And, then, I try to walk back towards the main entrance to get my coat, and the security guy said, “oh, don’t let her in, she is trouble, she’s trouble.” I‘m like, “I’m trouble? Do you realize what you’re doing right now? Where is the girl that actually started questioning? You saw me and I asked you questions politely.” So, all my friends just left. It was nice that they left, but at the same time, they didn't say anything. They were just quiet, and we drove home; everyone was silent. It happened on the 16th of February, very recent. This was the first, in my face, there was no debate about it, and there wasn’t anything that was there to convince me that this wasn’t racism or racial profiling. Occasionally I will try to make sense of it, and then I will get over it. But this one, I was mad. The next day I woke up so pissed. I said I wasn’t going to stay mad for long, because then it starts affecting my friendships. I start seeing them differently. It is already hard enough being the only…I am in engineering, and the year above me, there is no single black person, so when I took classes with them, I felt like that. In my year, it is the same thing. The year below me, you have two or three black guys now. When I took a class with them, it felt so nice, because finally I could walk in here and sit with my bros. But, sometimes, it is just awkward when they are sharing stories about injustice, or the shit that happens in the States, and you see all of them turn to look at me, and I am like, “why are you looking at me? Don’t look at me, this is already awkward.” And we try to bury things like, “Oh, Canada is fine, Canada is nice,” but they do it and try to silence you, in a way. When you complain, it’s like, “oh, you’re nagging or you’re being too loud.” It is just a subtle way of doing it that is just…it is hard to even argue with them. And, it sucks when your friends don’t even see it. Just one of them, one guy, I actually respected him, he went home and told his mom that, “my friend was racially profiled today and I didn’t say anything, and other people didn’t say anything.”

There is this girl; she said something about me making her feel uncomfortable. As a black person it is different when someone is like saying things about you, and you’re trying to have a conversation, a sit down conversation with a person, like, “hey, can I talk to you for a minute?” They always take it as if you want to get in a fight. It’s never like when a white girl who comes to you like, “hey can I talk to you?” They are more relaxed when it is them. She was like, “Oh, you make me uncomfortable.” I couldn’t even argue, or say anything anymore because I was so mad that if I had said anything in that moment I would have proved her right. You are only saying this because I seem aggressive, and you continued saying things about me, and I can’t confront you about them, because if I do, then I’m angry, I’m an angry person, or I’m an angry black woman. You fulfill the stereotype if you react, because they are not confrontational. They can say all the shit they want to say behind you, or around you, but the moment you want to have a talk, it’s like, “you are making me uncomfortable.” It’s like you can’t have a conversation with them if they are not ready to have that conversation; it has to be on their own terms, and you have to just sit there and be OK with it, even when they are doing weird stuff. These two girls last semester, they were on this whole thing of, “Oh, if Davina is there, then I’m not going to show up.” I know I tried several times to have a conversation, and like, “what’s up, what’s happening, can we be in the same space?” But they just preferred going with that energy of, “she makes us uncomfortable.” Everybody else is like, “It’s not my problem, and I don’t want to get involved.” A guy that I thought was my friend disinvited me to something just to stay on good terms with them. I was like, “do you know what you just did is one of the most racist shit that I have gone through? You’re my friend. I sat down and I told you what happened and you told me it was best if you don’t show up.” The next day he saw me and apologized, and it won’t be the same; the friendship has not been the same since then. I can’t trust you to have my back; I sat you down and told you what was happening, and you said, “Oh maybe it’s best that you don’t come.” Taking the easy way out because I am your friend, so I would understand.

I say this to people I hang around with now, “I want to be surrounded by people I don’t have to constantly explain myself to.” I live in Oak Bay. I am so annoyed that sometimes when I go to the gym there, and another black girl walks in, they are like, “Oh is she your sister?” What does that even mean!