AddThis SmartLayers

Reporter ‘scared’ after suffering racist attack days into new job

Aditi RaneA regional journalist who suffered a racist attack after just days in her new job has opened up on how “scared” the experience left her.

Aditi Rane was subjected to abuse outside her home on her first weekend off after starting work at the Hull Daily Mail.

Aditi, pictured, was abused by an “inebriated woman” who questioned whether the building she lived in was a mosque, leaving the journalist feeling “judged and hurt”.

She has since opened up on the experience in a first-person piece for the Mail.

Aditi, who is originally from Singapore, wrote: “Just as I found my keys, an inebriated woman walking past me stopped to point at my building and asked her partner if it was a mosque.

“They both laughed and walked into a takeaway round the corner, while I stood there shocked.

“I took a step back and looked at my building, wondering if anything about it did, in fact, look like a mosque. It didn’t, but apparently to her, I did.

“The building looked like any other apartment building in the city centre – except there was not a brown person standing in front of those.

“Not that it should have mattered, but I am not Muslim, so to be reduced to a racial stereotype on my first week in a new city felt insulting.

“It was not an aggressive enough interaction for me to make a police complaint, but it left me feeling judged and hurt, and I knew she intended to do so.”

She added: “Often a flippant racist remark like that normally would not have warranted any form of reaction from me, but with it being my first week, it was upsetting that this interaction would be what stands out to me when I think about first settling into Hull.

“It was a terrible joke at my expense.”

Aditi went on to make clear she did not believe the woman was representative of the “general population” of Hull.

But she added: “On Sunday morning, thinking the incident was past me, I walked out of my building and fumbled to lock the door behind me. An elderly man jogging past mumbled ‘morning’ to me and I immediately recoiled.

“I did not say anything back because I was scared again. For, admittedly, absolutely no reason.

“Something as ordinary as a cheery Sunday morning greeting made me flinch because I thought maybe it was happening again, someone was going to say something to me and force me to confront the fact that I am not from here.”

Speaking to HTFP, Aditi praised the Mail’s readers for the response she had received to the piece.

She said: “I was really surprised at the number of people who reached out to me to apologise on behalf of the community. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

“It’s the first article I have written where I’ve really put myself out there and I was nervous that it would get a load backlash and become an avenue for people to say more malicious things but it was quite the contrary.

“People have also reached out saying they’ve had similar experiences in the past and resonate with what happened to me.

“Since then, a few people I’ve interviewed for other stories have also mentioned that they recognized my name because they’ve read that article.”