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Hello Houston (Why I Never Said Anything)



Hey guys. I was so happy with the result of the head count. Thanks for being patient with me.

So I've been in Houston for a bit and in a matter of hours I've come to understand something.

If like me you read black American blogs... or you don't even need to read their blogs, once you're on social media you'd have gleaned by now how overly sensitive they are about race/racial matters. It can be extremely annoying, every little thing they'll cry racism, culture appropriation, racial profiling etc etc etc, even when it's obvious that what happened has nothing at all to do with race.

I never say anything, i tell myself that no matter what I think i know, Or how I feel, I'm not living their reality and therefore have no right to form a strong opinion on the matter. So often times I just roll my eyes and shake my head at them from a distance.

And now I know that I was right to shut up.

We could talk about the flight down here. My seat partner and i seemed to be the only Nigerians on board and stuck out like a nose in the middle of a face. First, I was seated by the window, old naija woman by the aisle and young American Caucasian man between us both. From the moment he confirmed that that was his seat, the distaste on his face was as clear as day. He sat between us with a scowl but kept swinging his head up and down searching for an empty seat so he could change. Sure enough the minute the doors were shut and he saw space else were he jumped up, grabbed his things in a frenzy and scurried away like a cockroach under bright light.

I told myself it wasn't personal, after all in his shoes I'd also want to sit among my "kind" and may not feel too comfortable seated between 2 white men either.

The flight attendants though, were another ball game. There was a menu but while everyone got asked what they wanted to eat I noticed that each time the trolley got to us it was presumed that we wanted a particular thing so we wouldn't even get asked. Then this particular guy who would occasionally walk the aisle serving cups of water and juice from a tray... With everyone else he'd lower the tray so they could take their pick but with us he wouldn't bother and just hand cups of water to us. My seat partner and i noticed but ignored it because neither of us wanted juice anyways.

I wouldn't want to say much but the one that threw me off was baggage claims. Everyone picked their bags and walked right through. Everyone. The minute this officer saw me omo if you see the way he suddenly flung himself in front of me ehn! Where are you going to? Where are you coming from? What do you have in those boxes? Where are you from, Can I see your passport? You're Nigerian, have you got any ey-goo-see (egusi) in your box? No? Why do you have two boxes? 

He eventually let me through with a smile but I was stil offended that i was the only one stopped and interrogated.

In any case I'm here now and I'm thankful. Still jetlagged but it's alright. It's a beautiful place, quiet though. Somewhat picturesque.

Anyone in Houston? I'm in a very lovely but extremely quiet neighbourhood and if care isn't taken I may be stuck here and never get to go anywhere. So pls if you're here or have friends here that i can hang with, hola @ me abeg.

Thanks ๐Ÿ˜



Comments

  1. Waoh enjoy your stay pretty girl

    ReplyDelete
  2. So the way I see the sensitivity about racial issues is that the average American is guaranteed a pretty decent quality of life (available health care, good education, efficient emergency response system, rule of law etc), hence why they can afford to focus on race issues. I reckon such behavior is to be expected and not the exception. Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs; after being guaranteed lower-level concerns including physiological and safety needs (which on most indices, Americans are guaranteed), higher-level concerns like esteem, love, belonging (concerns that touch on heritage, individuality, sense of worth, being respected etc), become one's focus. So it's a progression, an advanced society tackling it's issues - issues made even more complex as America is de facto an aggregation of several nationalities, ethnicity and, race.

    Glad to have you on this side of the globe. Sad I wouldn't be in Houston any time soon. Chrisyinks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don’t get it, I live in a white neighborhood, I am scared for my son. You don’t know what it means to be treated like dirt. I need to answer phones attend to customers etc, I have had customers tell me to my face that they don’t like immigrants cos we get everything mind you I have never gotten anything from the government . I pay crazy taxes ohhhh! Customers insult me over the phone every single day cos I have an accent!!!! Imagine sitting in class and no other person wants to sit by you cos you’re black! I go to a prestigious school here, people treat me like I got in thru affirmative action, I worked hard for it, going to school while pregnant and doing assignments and quizzes immediately after labor. So no we are not guaranteed anything

      Delete
    2. @ Anonymous

      I'm responding on the assumption that your comment was directed towards mine. If not, kindly discard.

      From the article, I reckon two prominent experiences were brought up: Americans being overly sensitive on race issues (which I addressed in my earlier comment) and, seemingly racial discrimination (which I stayed mum on). Per the second issue, one which you have some experience with, I also have my experience on such matters. And I can say (emphatically), it's being a more than pleasant one. Still, I wouldn't and shouldn't trivialize your (negative) experience. I respect it but I can't say I share the same feelings. Wisdom has taught me to keep it short on delicate matters like this, so permit my brevity. Chrisyinks

      Delete
  3. You haven't told us why you are there though

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yay you. Have fun and go out!!! And bring me something back๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

    ReplyDelete
  5. l really would not blame the officer much, Africans already created that impression dats y he asked if u have ey-goo-see, to be fair racism and tribalism is a world problem not just a white and black issue.

    Enjoy ur stay in Houston...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tee mama! Have fun....how’s the weather now though?

    ReplyDelete
  7. T, enjoy your stay.Who knows if the official might have been a lover if our famous egusi and just wanted little.. ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„TNHW

    ReplyDelete
  8. ERM yes, like NSG said, we want to if you've relocated, vacaing, jobing, or others. Enjoy your stay and don't worry your head too much about the discrimination. There are still sensible ones in their midst.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Until slavery has had an inpact on your life, i think its narrow to judge them. I am on both sides of the divide African parent and another with a full blown slavery heritage - no father figure present etc and i tell you for free- you or I cannot start to understand.

    As for Houston, please enjoy yourself- eat some crawfish and good food while you are at it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank God you arrived safely. Have fun ma'am. I pray I'll one day get to travel out of the country too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to think the racial profiling was because a certain race had made themselves notorious for certain unpleasant traits. If I worked in baggage claims in an airport, I'd flee from luggage belonging to people from the middle east. A lot of us in Nigeria profile northerners consciously or unconsciously, its upsetting when you experience it but on some level we might all be guilty of it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thelma! We will hang out when you enter naija kk.
    Let's leave the whites in their world biko. Asa

    ReplyDelete
  13. The funny side to this is..... My mum has this family friend who has an Urhobo dad and a British mum. He has a twin and they are both pure white. I mean, no sign of being mixed. And he'll tell you without doubt that racism still exist... in his case, the whites 'talk' about the blacks to him without knowing he's actually black.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Biko Don't let cray racists dull your shine, Go out and enjoy all there is to see and know. Don't forget to gist us well so that we too can visit Houston through our imaginations of your stories.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Enjoy your stay dear. Most things are better ignored. Don't worry your beautiful self.


    Stay blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Narrow minded people will always dwell amongst us. Ignore them and have a swell stay! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

    ReplyDelete

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