The racist and gender discrimination interview: Part 2
He calmly as if not minding what he was saying said ,”I am sorry but we can not interview you.” At this moment many emotions were running through me. I was shocked and disappointed. I actually chose to think it was a joke. My next smart move was to apologized for the double submission. The manner in which he addressed me left me wondering how double submission was a crime. Because I began feeling as though I was being persecuted.
The racism part
The conversation took a different turn when I was told that I could not go to the interview because I was black. They also said that they were not looking to hire a woman or a black person. I, for a brief second, thought that I was in a prank show. And hopefully someone would just say “hey, that was just a prank and you got caught.” No one said anything like that.
I felt like hanging up but I still thought that I deserved a chance so I pressed on for an interview. I was also not going to give up without a fight so I asked why to understand where he was coming from? The guy said that he could not hire me because Africans lack an imagination and he would only hire Asians or white people.
This company was looking to set up in Kenya and never in the life in me would I ever imagine receiving this in this time and continent. At this particular time I was fighting back tears. I was taught that tears never solve anything. It is human to cry, I know. But I was not going to shed a tear. Again, I asked if he was kidding and he said no. So, I just said thank you and hang up.
I was outside the house this whole time so I went back into the house and told my roommate what had happened. She could not believe it too. I guess I got carried away and wrote an email telling him how rude he had been.
This is the email I wrote,
You discriminated against me because I am a woman especially in my own country? Let me tell you something, just because you are not black does not mean you more superior than us blacks. This is my country and you are trying to start your company here so be more respectful . Then you saying that Africans have no imagination is like the worst thing to say. I passed the cognitive tests but you telling me that I can’t show up because I am black is like the worst thing you could ever say. Never have I ever imagined that I would encounter such racism and discrimination in my entire life and to make it worse, in my own country.”
He called me later and gave me an interview for 12 noon on 2nd June. My roommate was my voice of reason. She asked me not to accept because if this guy was capable of saying such nasty things then he was definitely not going to hire me. But I choose to go.
On the day of the interview, I met the interviewer who was Japanese. He went on about how he could not work with Africans and how we lacked an imagination. He had the audacity to say that Africans got no work ethic. I just could not bear it so, I walked out on him and I didn’t even look back. I had enough of all his rudeness.
To be honest, I was fighting back tears as I left the building. I popped into the washroom, looked at myself in the mirror. Trust me, if a woman hadn’t walked in I would have cried so bad my head would hurt. After calming down a bit, I called a friend who picked me up. He took me to some quiet place where we talked it out.
All this while I had managed to keep my composure. Martin, my friend, was really comforting and he said a lot of nice words that made me come down, a little.
Later that day I went back home. I felt like a bag of sand since I was carrying in me so much and I felt beaten down. I remember sitting down at one corner of the rooftop, even before getting into the house. And like a waterfall my tears poured since I had lost it completely. There was so much bitterness in me and I was just wondered why I deserved all that. It was like about 2 hrs of tears, regret and emotions but finally I regained my cool.
I remember going on my knees and asking God to help the Japanese guy be nice. And I asked Him to give me the strength to forgive this guy because I was so angry. Then I wiped off my tears and went to the house. My roommate gave me the I told you so’s but she was really supportive. Thanks by the way. For like two days I fought tears but I never cried. Then I moved on.
It has been over 6 months now, and I finally found my strength to forgive him. I know I will live with this forever. But I would never wish that on anyone. It is an experience that no one deserves. No one should make you feel like you are a lesser human being . I learnt on my own and now I pass the lesson to you.
For those who have gone through the same, or any other type of discrimination based on their gender, color, sexual orientation, religion, age, tribe, height, weight, disability, language or gender, I am deeply sorry. I hope my story inspires you to tell your story and I hope it gives you comfort and strength.
SAY NO TO DISCRIMINATION