24.Sep – { Guest Blog: “Profiling” by Shaniqua }

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I am not racist in any way shape or form. But racism does exist and my eyes were opened yesterday when an incident occurred in a hair store. I walked into the hair store which I visit frequently. Normally I do not receive a greeting, but I just ignored it and didn’t pay much attention to it. The gentlemen looked at me as I walked around the store. I went to the wigs section and proceeded to try one on. He then told me I could not try on a wig unless I bought it. I said okay and handed him back the wig. I walked around the store and he followed me to every section I went to. Approximately five minutes after following me he then told me to get out. Shocked I asked why. He then told me again to get out. I then again asked why and proceeded to state that there is no reason to kick me out. After going back and forth with him for about another five minutes I left the store. As I walked out the store it hit me. I had been racially profiled and kicked out of a store because of the color of my skin. I have been in the store several times and each time he followed me. When people of other races enter the store they are not followed at all. And I have also been in the store as other people who are not African American tried on wigs and were not told to take them off.  As this very fact hit me, it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Anyone who knows me know that I am a pretty strong person but this is a tough pill to swallow. To know that you are not treated with decency and respect because of the color of your skin is very disheartening. As I left the establishment and came back home I sat and thought. I’m upset because I got kicked out of a store but what about my ancestors that were brutally beaten and killed? What about during the civil rights movement when my ancestors were tear gased and beaten? Instantly I erased my hurt and turned it into strength. I realized that I have no control over how others treat me, but I only have control of how I react to it. This man and NO ONE will ever break me down like that again. I am aware that I will be treated like this again at some point in my life but I will not let it affect me negatively. It will strengthen me and build me up. I will continue to prosper and grow despite what racism throws at me. I wanted to post this to inform you. Racism does exist. Do not stay blinded and think that everyone has good intentions because they don’t. Be informed and be careful. Do not let how others treat you tear you down. Let it strengthen you and help you grow and prosper into the person you are meant to be.

Peace and Blessings,

Shaniqua

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