It was one day – late opening hours. I was queueing at the counter and this guy walks past me and goes ‘what the hell do you think you’re doing here?’ ‘I have every right to be here and I have done nothing to you I don’t know what your problem is’.
I felt hurt and that this wasn’t the place where I should be.
There were other people around.
Did anyone step in or…
No, no. No-one else interfered.
I was looking for a job, and there was a display, and I requested an application form. Sorry the position has been filled. When did they do the advertising? I asked a friend to apply for the same jobs. I felt discriminated because of who I was. If I put my surname, if I used another name. It was because of who I was.
I felt discriminated, hated, that I’m nobody. They didn’t want the kind of people like us, like me. I felt lack of confidence. I stayed for quite a long time without any job.
Some comments, actually racial comments, ‘they come here, they are not trained to our standards, and they bring their cultures here’. I felt that was quite upsetting. That was after I’d been working I went to a meeting my job was finished. ‘I’m not suitable’ that was the explanation.
And then later that comment ‘they come here, they are not trained to our standards, and they bring their cultures here’.
And was that comment made to you in a meeting?
During a safe guarding training session.
Did other people hear that comment?
Other people hear, they took issue, but later they dropped the case.
I know I was trained – it was the idea behind it. I was not suitable. Everybody could not believe – and it effected people they left the organisation.
I felt emotionally demolished. I suffered depression for almost a year, I was put on medication, ‘what’s wrong with me?’
Why have you agreed to share your story?
I think it’s a good idea for people around Derbyshire to be aware things do happen, in some places there is institutionalised racism. You can’t address something unless you’re aware.
This didn’t happen to me. This happened to a person I knew worked for the church. He saw someone driving and flashing his car. So he stopped. The guy behind him came and the vicar wound his window. The man said ‘we are tired of you people’ and punched him in the face and took the keys and threw them into a field. The guy was arrested and found guilty and sentenced for religious hate.