Ok, I’m done pretending I’m ok because I’m not

Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash

From the age of 9, I have been dealing with the blunt force trauma of racism. Today, I am 50, meaning that I have lived 41 years of my life under the weight and trauma of racism. I have fought its demons and slain its dragons and come out a survivor. But no matter how much I heal, she — racism, lurks in the shadows ready to pounce and devour me whole. I can never rest my guard.

All I’d like to do is take a break, a pause from her insidious and needy clutches. A pause from the hurtful…

No, they are not responsible for the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Source: Archewell Sussex — Instagram

As I scrolled through Twitter yesterday, a few hours after Buckingham Palace had announced the death of the Prince of Edinburgh, HRH Prince Philip, I began to discern the makings of a disturbing narrative. It went like this: Meghan and Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah last month was the main reason behind the Prince’s death.

The facts are clear, the late Duke of Edinburgh was in his 99th year. He had been suffering from ill health for a while. He was eventually going to “kick the bucket” any time soon, with or without the interview. It’s disingenuous to blame Harry…

Because nobody wants me

Photo by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

I turned fifty this year. I am the same person I was when I was 20, 30, or 40 years old. I have the same personality, the same dreams, the same aspirations. People say of me that I have a young mind, that I am mentally agile, spontaneous, open-minded, and highly adaptable. I recognize this in the enriching relationships that I have with people whether they be 80 years old, 6 years old, or 18 years old.

I take a lot of pride in being a person that can talk to, get along with, and learn from people of all…

They said they wanted to help, but then I realized that it was all performative allyship

Photo by Chien Nguyen Minh on Unsplash

The first time I wrote an article about racism, I was surprised by the number of people who read it, and even more surprised by the number of white people who reached out and said they wanted to help dismantle racism. The amount of enthusiasm and willingness to help gave me hope — it seemed like many white people wanted to rid the earth of this ancient scourge.

I had lots of Zoom calls with interested parties, lots of words spoken, lots of promises made, and today 9 months down the road, nothing much has happened. Yes, we can say…

Because they aren’t written with me in mind. What works for a white man, doesn't work for me

Photo by Ludovic Migneault on Unsplash

There’s nothing I dislike more than a self-help book written by a middle-class, Ivy League school-educated or dropout, privileged, entitled white man. The author, as it is almost always the case, is completely unaware of his privilege and assumes that everyone in the world begins at the same starting point as he does. He doesn’t realize that he starts life on the highest deck of the Titanic, while a black woman like myself starts life on the lowest deck. And this is…

Because they cannot distinguish one black face from another

Photo by curtis powell on Unsplash

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard white people claim that we black people all look alike. Sometimes it is said in a cute way, other times in a frustrated or rage-filled way, but no matter the context or tone it is said in, it still aggravates me to my core.

Black people have different faces, we have different features, we do not all look alike. Take for example in Africa. The face of someone from the Horn of Africa, say Somalia, largely differs from that of someone from the…

It’s time we realized that black people getting killed by police is a global phenomenon

Photo by Jana Leu on Unsplash

On a chilly winter’s day in November 2016, the police were called to an apartment building in Bex, Switzerland. Hervé, a 27-year-old Congolese man residing there had broken through his neighbor's door and pretended to threaten him with a bread knife before leaving the premises. Herve had mental health issues — the police however believed he was high and psychotic.

When the police arrived, a heated conversation ensued. Hervé chased them and threatened one of the cops — a junior cop in training, with the same bread knife. The cop panicked and shot him three times – twice in the…

It comes to work with them and influences their behavior

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Seventy-four million Americans voted for racist President Donald Trump. You’ve probably heard that a million times, but listen to it again and let it sink in: 74 million Americans. I think it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that of those 74 million, at least half are gainfully employed and go in to work every single day. And when they do, they don’t leave their racism at the door.

They come in and like the closet racists that they are, they discriminate against black and brown people in one or more…

Ways in which white supremacy pits Black girls against Asian girls

Photo by Heshan Perera on Unsplash

When I was 17, I dated a White guy. Before me, he had dated an Asian girl. Whenever we’d argue, he would tell me I had too much of a strong character. He would say I was too outspoken, too forceful, too loud. During our heated discussions, at one point or another, he would always say:

“Why can’t you be meeker, more docile, more soft-charactered, just like an Asian girl”.

I was young and just developing my identity. He made me feel so self-aware and for years well after we broke up, I tried to become a meek, subservient, and…

How stereotypes about the sexual prowess of black girls dehumanize and hurt us

Photo credit: Jeffrey Erhunse for Unsplash

“I hear that black women are good in bed”.

I must have heard that comment at least a thousand times in my life. I’m a black woman and I grew up in Switzerland. When I moved here, I was 9 years old. The first time a white man said those words to me, I was only 13.

I had been sent to buy hair products at Africana — the only black beauty store in the whole city of Geneva at the time. It was located at the…

Rebecca Stevens A.

I write about racism, but there are so many other things I would like to write about instead. Help me dismantle racism so that I can get to that.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store