On Being A Victim Of Racial Abuse (& Feeling It)

Earlier today, I was a victim of racial abuse. It was my lunch break and my colleague and I were walking through the local park when we encountered a group of youths. I didn’t feel like I was a victim at the time — I kept my head down and walked past as quick as possible, trying to ignore their taunts and slurs. Looking back, it’s fascinating (or just plain sad) that looking down and not reacting has been my default reaction to these sorts of attacks all my life. Perhaps my lack of response would discourage further abuse or it was a mechanism for myself to detach my emotions from the situation.

I would like to consider myself a hardy person but as I sat at my desk afterwards, the numbness turned into hollowness. My desire to not feel like the victim had waned and all that was left was the feeling of being dehumanised. For me, this feeling was crushing — a realisation that you’re direct victim of someone’s hatred and that it’s actually worked. I wrestled with fear, anxiety, sadness and frustration. My thoughts become pre-occupied to those passing moments and how powerless it made me feel.

I wanted to write about this experience and these feelings to express what I could not when I told my colleagues about what had happened. At the time I shrugged it off, not wanting to process those emotions and rejecting the notion of any sort of vulnerability on my part. Hopefully, these few words will not come across as some sort of self-serving, egocentric piece but as my personal experience and perspective of being oppressed through racism.

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