In my life orientation class, we were tasked with writing about a place we cannot go because of our identities (race, gender, sexuality etc). We were given the option of writing a fictional story and here is mine. 

 

New York City, 12 January 2018, 2:48 pm

“Tiffany, where are you?” My friend Luna demanded.

“I am on my way, I am walking past Metro’s foods. I will be there soon”. I replied and began to walk a bit faster.

The streets of New York were painted white by the blankets of snow. The crisp winter’s air was what prompted me to wear my black tracksuit to the park.

“Stop her! Stop her!” I heard a man screaming in the distance as I walked past Metro’s foods.

Suddenly, the sound of police sirens seemed to be getting closer and closer. It was not until I felt the coolness of the handcuffs around my wrists that I registered what was happening.

***

The police officer refused to remove the handcuffs even after we arrived at the police station and we were seated in the interrogation room.

“What is your name?”, Asked the interrogation officer that I came to know as Mr Alswhite. “Tiffany Sonola” I replied as calmly as I could.
“Where are you from?”

“I was born here and I attend NYU but I am from Nigeria,” I replied unwillingly, knowing that the fact that I was black and Nigerian would prove to be a disadvantage and a cause of prejudice, “Why am I here?”

“You match the description of the person who robbed Metro’s foods. We brought you here for questioning”

“But I didn’t do anything!” I shouted, my anger boiling up, “I was walking to the park to go and meet my friend. I didn’t even enter the store!”

“You are Nigerian, yes? All of them are criminals. Just confess and this will save us both a lot more time.”

“Is it because I am black and Nigerian that I am subjected to such treatment? I said I did not do it and I will not confess to a crime I did not commit just to save us both a lot more time”

“Yes, it is. Do you know that it is because of you people that America is not great? Your people are the ones that commit the crimes in this country. You monkeys are bringing your uncivilised nature to America. We don’t want you.”

“I am not a monkey — I am a human being, just like you! Your blatant disregard for the fact that many of the crimes committed in America are committed by white males and females disgusts me. Black people were not born with some ‘evil gene’ that makes us all diabolical. The truth of the matter is we are always suspected of committing one crime or another. Look at this! I have done nothing wrong but you assume that I am a criminal because I am black. “