A Nigerian man, Chuka Nwanazia, has narrated how a racist white woman tagged him a thief due to his skin colour.
Taking to the social media platform, the man narrated his experience in Netherlands, as a woman accused him of attempting to steal his own bike.
He revealed that he was struggling to unlock his bike at a park, only for the woman to claim he was trying to steal it, adding that ‘his kind’, are used to stealing.
Yup. Loads of times, but here’s one that really makes me laugh, feel sad and kinda angry whenever I think about it.
So right next to a busstop where I used to take a bus that took me to my former place of work, is a public bicycle parking spot where you can park & chain your bicycle to an iron pole, and then take the bus.
It was winter and that very morning, I cycled from my house to the busstop, parked my bicycle, chained it to one of the poles with a big chain lock (cos they steal bicycles in the Netherlands) and then took my bus to work.
On that day, I left work in the afternoon, arrived back at the same busstop to pick up my bike. But when I tried to unlock the chain lock, I couldn’t due to rust from the winter cold. I kept trying, till one white lady waiting for her bus noticed me struggling with my chain lock.
She kept looking at me trying to unlock the chain and then walked over to ask me if the bicycle I was trying to unlock belonged to me. I said yes, and then went back to trying to unlock the chain lock. Lady taps me on the shoulder and asks me to please step away from the bicycle!
She raised her voice & again asked me to please step away from the bicycle or she would call the police. She started talking about how it’s “people like me” that go around stealing bicycles all over the city. A small crowd soon gathered & she started telling them that I was ….
… trying to unlock a bicycle that didn’t belong to me. Since we were close to the city centre, it wasn’t long before two cops came rushing to where the crowd had gathered. The cops asked the lady what the problem was, and she said that she just caught me trying to …
… steal a bicycle! LOL.
One of the cops turned to me, and asked if the bicycle I was trying to unlock was really mine! I said yes, and then he proceeded to asking me to unlock it then – if the bicycle was truly mine. I again tried to unlock it but it just wouldn’t budge.
As I struggled to unlock the chain lock, the white lady started telling the crowd that when she saw me trying to “force” the chain lock open, she immediately knew the bicycle wasn’t mine. At a certain point, I stopped trying & told the police officers to please give me 5 minutes.
In a shopping street just a few meters from the busstop was a bicycle repair shop. When the cops asked why I needed 5 minutes, I told them that I wanted to buy some lock lubricant and that I’d be back in a jiffy. One of them suggested going with me in case I ran, so I agreed. 🤷🏾♂️
Anyway, I walked with the cop to the bicycle repair shop, bought a small can of liquid grease, and then we walked back to the bicycle. By then, the crowd had grown bigger. Folks wanted to see if the cops would be making an arrest or if I’d prove that the bike was truly mine.
I applied the lock lubricant to the keyhole and then waited a few seconds. I then tried again and voilà! The lock opened up, and I finally had my bicycle! The lady suddenly stopped talking and the crowd dispersed.
That was the first time I felt pure racism from a white person!
Before this bike incident, it was mostly micro-agressions like white folks asking me if I sold weed. Touching my afro without permission like I’m a toy meant to entertain them or satisfy their curiosity. Some would say they were surprised that I studied at the same level as them!
That white lady purposely missed her bus because she thought she had caught a bicycle thief! She ran her mouth like a tap and talked about how “people like me” (black people) were coming into “her country” to steal bicycles and other things from hardworking Dutch (white) people.
The sad part was that while giving me a short apology, the cops tried to defend her. Truth is, if it was a white person who was struggling with their bicycle lock, the white lady wouldn’t have made a fuss at all. She’d have just minded her business. But no, it was a black person!