I am not from a lineage of royalty. Aristocracy just failed to choose me. You know things of that kind like race, age,culture etc. are ascribed so it is what it is. Many of us are not royals as much as every other girl on social media tows along a ‘Queening’ hash tag after every caption.Royals to me just seemed so cool when I was a little child and to some extent my little brain back then acknowledge them as ‘gods’ and I did not even for a minute think that we all have some unifying factors such as color of blood and feelings.
I just read the paper sometime last week and what I saw made me realize that a soon to be royal and I have gone through a similar experience in almost the same period of time.It may sound cliche and blown out of proportion but that is beside the point.Meghan Marckle and I have felt the brunt of racial profiling.The only difference is that she is getting it from a larger scope because the position she is yet to assume attracts quite lots of papparazi, pomp and fame in general while for me I get it in subliminal comments here and there.But what I am about to share was not subliminal.It was real, live and sad.
Meghan is literally being shamed for having a mixed parentage and still being on the verge of ascending to the throne of one of the world’s most renowned and preserved monarchy. I was shocked to see someone commenting in a social media platform that her derriere is too ‘big’ for a royal and even another famous socialite from Britain went ahead to shame her all because of her parentage. Cut the lady some slack already it is 2017.
Never in a million years did I ever imagine that racial profiling would land me in a police station in my own country. The things I knew about racial profiling were purely abstract to me.I just read them in books and familiarized myself with the likes of Rosa parks, the Sharpville massacre, The Atlantic slave trade and many other historical occurrences that were intertwined with racial profiling and racism in general. So when a policeman caught my sister and I because we had a “Yeezus tour” camouflage jacket (a smoke gun jacket as it was referred to) we were a bit perplexed by the reason he attached the harassment to. Guess what he said ‘nyinyi hamkai kama Wakenya (you do not look like Kenyans) and you look very suspicious.’
My heart dropped to my stomach because my sister and I were going through racial profiling by a fellow Kenyan right inside an upscale mall in Kenyan soil.So how bad is that? I am still wondering how ‘real Kenyans” look like to this day. I think I should do a call casting (pun intended).
I do know that the police had a plot to extort us and harass us because as much as police reforms are ongoing, there are rotten eggs in every city.That is just the sad reality. Honestly the only thing that should be separated by color is laundry. Just because I am too dark or too light does not mean I am out here to be malicious and end up attracting a tonne of harassment from policeman. If you thought as a Kenyan that racism is when a white person hates a black person just because of skin color, just think again. There is more to it.Kenyans are shooting themselves in the foot even by simply practicing stereotypic profiling and joking about it e.g.”wakikuyu ni wezi” and that is supposed to make people laugh.My people there is nothing funny about that.Such comments may just cause unnecessary tension.
Can we just stop seeing people through the narrow lenses of ‘profiling’ and just have one love Bob Marley style ?