Discrimination is for everyone

apples orangesI’m usually embarrassed to talk about this subject because I know a lot of people have it worse. The reason I decided to bring it up today is because I’ve noticed its something I have to deal with almost every week. If you don’t know me, I’m of East Indian decent but I was born & raised in Grenada. I’ve been called Syrian, Middle Eastern, Muslim – basically anyone from that region of the world. That’s not the bad part.

Something was brought to my attention by someone I’m acquainted with. I see him frequently & we always say hello. He saw me & a good friend of mine somewhere at a social event, said hello & proceeded to narrate a scene in which he recalls (when I was younger & in high school some 20 years ago) that I was minding my business crossing the street when someone in a car yelled out that he didn’t understand why my people wouldn’t get out of their country. My acquaintance reminded me that I said bravely to the man that I was born in Grenada & had every right to be here. My acquaintance said he would never forget that exchange. I was surprised that he remembered that scenario & he chuckled & so did I. I didn’t remember it myself. My friend who was sitting next to me said “oh my God – you always have to defend yourself about belonging here”. It was funny.

I’ve had my fair share of squabbles with people in the past about my right to belong on Grenadian soil. For me belonging is not just a birth right, citizenship or a passport, but acceptance. I think because of the nature of my job (managing a retail store in St. George’s) I get accosted with a lot of discrimination. By no means am I saying that everyone is the same. I meet lovely people everyday. Some nonchalant, some unsure as to whether I’d speak to them (I’ve been told I look snobbish many times – apparently) & some people filled with manners & exchange daily pleasantries. I think 95% of people I encounter on a daily basis, whether at work or on the street are indifferent as to where I came from & treat me as one of them. The few however, who feel the need to put me down because of the assumption that I came from somewhere else cuts me deep. I’ve been told – “go back where yuh come out” more times then I’d like to recall. I’ve also been in situations where I am looked down on as nothing & spoken to in a disgusting way & when I respond to the person they act appalled & think I should not speak back to them. Imagine that! I’m so rude right? I’ve also been the person who gets two customers talking to each other about me, in front of me & when I reply, they think I shouldn’t because they weren’t speaking to me & the talk escalates into obscenities. It can get pretty nasty & lately I say absolutely nothing at all. It’s not worth it. I can’t imagine looking at someone who looks different from me and just abuse them with no logical reason. It’s beyond me!

We are living in a time where we should be celebrating & accepting our differences but some people are not able to do so for whatever personal reason. Everyone has a story, a reason, some pain that they deal with & then lash out at someone else. It’s unfair but it’s important that we remember that when we spew hate & ugliness it only hardens & chars our own hearts.

Love & Light x

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18 thoughts on “Discrimination is for everyone

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  1. Poignant post – I have always dealt with this growing up in Grenada and I think it’s important to make the distinction between race as a social construct and purely biological/physiological and ethnicity which is your cultural reference point. Some people don’t see their prejudice until you turn it invert the paradigm – like saying that the US is for white people and you can’t really be from there if you aren’t white…

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      1. So true Asher. It’s a sad truth for a lot of us who are born and grown up here but don’t “look” Grenadian. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.

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  2. I still can’t believe in our lovely island Grenada we will choose to discriminate people of a different race. I pray God help us. Divya hunni you did extremely well for standing up for your self and sharing your story to the world so that other can know that it is important to do the same. great post indeed.

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  3. People like to bracket discrimination and some people love to live in those brackets feeling “special”. The “us” against “them” mentality not looking inwards for a minute to realize what they complain about receiving is what they are possibly dishing out to some one else. It’s sad to know how history have shown the discrimination black people have face and still facing but yet still they can turn around and pass on the discrimination to another race. It’s sad and so humanely disrespectful to be talked about in your face and not expected to defend yourself. Ignorance is disastrous. I may have seen you as not approachable in the past (confession lol) but never less or more Grenadian than me. All ah we is one ❤

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  4. Great post Divya… It’s funny, I never really thought about my race / ethnicity / identity until I LEFT Grenada. Then everyone wanted to put me in a box – I got told I was White, Asian, Latina, Black… I got told I couldn’t ‘really’ be from the Caribbean because I wasn’t black (including from West Indians in London)… I’m very proud of my mixed heritage which includes British, Trinidadian, Dutch, Portuguese, Venezuelan, Indian, and even Carib… A melting pot, but Grenadian born an bred 🙂

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  5. If there is one thing that ticks me off is discrimination. Very often We are all too aware of discrimination against us but don’t realise we are the perpetrators ourselves.

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  6. Love and light sister. Here’s what you need to remind yourself. You belong and you have an inalienable right to be here. And the ugliness they spew tells more about them that it will ever say about you.

    Liked by 1 person

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