There are some things that happen to me here in Sweden and I realized that I had expected my partner to see them the same way I did but unfortunately he can’t and I get it. I came here to vent because if I do it elsewhere you know how we are viewed? If we are passionate, we are called emotional. If we fight for representation in a field devoid of racialized people, we are told we’re attacking the white people who have succeeded in those fields.
I never anticipated having to discuss white privilege with a boyfriend.
Interacial discrimination happened even when I lived in Kenya, unfortunately!
Sometimes things happen to me and I wonder why wasn’t he angrier? Why wasn’t he defending me? He should have known that I needed his support. Things like these……
- Never say hi…
I have found myself in very awkward situations where we meet his acquaintances and they only acknowledge and greet him. I totally don’t get it. They treat me like an invisible. They actually have a conversation with him for upto 50 minutes. All this time ignoring my existence. I have discussed this with my boyfriend and I see it really makes him uncomfortable not having an answer. He and his family try everything so that I remain comfortable in his country and therefore I have decided to keep quiet.
2. Shake hands with zero eye contact
There is a lot of human beings who are kind enough to stretch their hands towards me but they won’t look at my face. The contact between their fingers and mine lasts for half a second. And they won’t even look at me. To them I’m nothing but my boyfriends accessory that could do with some patting!
3.Ask him questions about myself.
The curious ones will go ahead and ask him about myself while am standing there. You would think that it’s because of language barrier but no, they speak English as well. The only time they might stare at me for a half a second is when my boyfriend mentions that we are colleagues. Then they realise :”She probably contributes financially as well and is not here on welfare!”.
4.Size me Up
Upon realizing that I don’t live on my boyfriend’s money or whatever reason they don’t acknowledge my existence,they look at me from head to toe probably to find out where I learnt how to dress up. Or see whether I have a horn on my forehead. Or protruding fur from my neck. Imagine!
5.Flash a straight smile
Then to neutralise the situation in case I had read their thoughts of me not being a human being they flash a smile. I like to call it the : “Spot an immigrant smile!”. It’s one of the coldest smiles I have seen all my life!