‘If you are allergic to black people, don’t come in’ – at first I balked … | Lola Okolosie

I initially balked at Kolleh\’s move. I feared it played into the hands of those who long to dismiss the very real problems she is attempting to highlight. She\’s would be seen as just another angry black woman. Yet, if so, her anger is justified. Though I cannot speak for all black people, I know, from workshops with the group Black Feminists, that far too many feel the same desperation and desire to speak back to the insidious racists.Though born in London, I consider myself a Yorkshire lass. A few weeks ago, a trip to a popular Dales village reminded me of why being in all-white areas is increasingly something I am reluctant to do. I was with a disabled pensioner in his 80s and my 10-month-old. We needed a place to park that would be accessible. Two white, middle-aged male cyclists occupied the available spot. I walked over with a smile and while pointing to the car, a few metres away, asked if it was OK for them to move so that we could use the parking space. They looked at me, then at the car and continued to talk to each other. As I was standing there numbed by their rudeness, a white man in an open-top sports car pulled by and asked them the same question I had seconds earlier. They genially replied \”oh, yes\”. It all happened so quickly that onlookers would have been fooled into thinking that they had simply not heard me. I won\’t even mention the number of stares I got just walking around the village and, no, it had nothing to do with my attractiveness or indeed lack thereof.

via ‘If you are allergic to black people, don’t come in’ – at first I balked … | Lola Okolosie.


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