Jamelia Recalls White Woman Questioning Her First Class Ticket, Says Black People Deal with This All the Time

British singer-songwriter Jamelia, who was questioned by a white train passenger over her first-class ticket, said that microaggressions of this nature are issues people of color deal with all of the time.

The 36-year-old told Channel 4 News‘ Jon Snow during a Jan. 30 interview that the woman approached her and her 11-year-old daughter as soon as she sat down on the train in early January.

“I mean, my immediate thought was, ‘Here we go again,’ but I thought, ‘Let me give her the benefit of the doubt,'” she says. “So I said, ‘Why have you asked me that question?’ She then said, ‘Well, you know, you won’t be allowed to travel if you haven’t got a first-class ticket. You won’t be allowed to sit in this carriage.”

She recalled feeling disappointed because she knew there was a racial element to the woman’s insistent meddling. “It was very clear the reasoning behind it. I wasn’t the only parent on the train, I wasn’t the only young person on the train in that carriage, but we were the only Black people in that carriage.”

Jamelia took to Twitter Jan. 12 to tell her fans that the passenger could not believe that she could afford first-class tickets. Instead of ignoring the passenger’s clear racist bias, Jamelia confronted the woman and moved to another seat.

After going through this incident, the singer wants people to know that these microaggressions happen too often to people of color.

“And what concerns me is the fact that so many people are unaware,” she says. “I guess my reason for speaking out about it, aside from being an example for my daughter, was that I want people to be aware.”

Jamelia urged people to look out for one another in these times. She hopes a day will come when she doesn’t have to have these types of racial conversations with her daughter.

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