Kalani Faagata is the daughter of biracial parents. Her mother married a Samoan national, and Kalani did the same when she wed Asuelu Pulaa. Interestingly, she is one of the few 90 Day Fiance Americans that married a foreigner of their own heritage. They now have two sons that are also being raised in an American-Samoan household.
Kalani is a striking woman. It may be hard to pinpoint her heritage at a quick glance, but her beauty is undeniable. Unfortunately, Kalani has experienced moments when people have racially profiled her, not seeing her as an individual but as a factor of skin color.
Kalani recalled a recent incident when she was discriminated against and treated differently because of her appearance.
“I got denied a return/exchange for no valid reason,” Kalani wrote on her Instagram stores, “I sent my white mom in to do it for me, and the same employee let her do my return with no ID. We’ve had to do this little switcharoo since I was a teen. Dear @walmart in Washington, Utah- I promise I don’t need to steal $9 of Garanimals. TV pay isn’t that bad.”
After this post, several followers accused her of “playing the racism card.” Reality TV blogger John Yates shared a screenshot of these responses, as well as Kalani’s original message.
“Guarantee it has nothing to do with race,” one post read. Another said, “you look white..disappointed you’re playing that card. Time to change the channel.” And finally, “oh please…stop being so dramatic. Really..this is unnecessary. You are starting this s— over $9.61. Dumb!!!”
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Kalani clapped back hard. She listed the numerous times that she had a different experience than her white mother.
“Let me break this down for the ignorant: since childhood, when I went in public with my mom, no one thought she was my mom,” Kalani wrote, “she would walk into dressing rooms with STACKS of clothes- I’d get stopped behind her and asked to count the number of items I had.”
Kalani shared, “She’d walk into the movie theater with a coach bag big enough to fit a body-I’d get searched right behind her with a crossbody that only fit a wallet (and she was the snack smuggler LMAOOO). She has always been able to return ANY item with or without a receipt, broken or intact- I can have my receipt, card ID and depending on who I get, still be turned away.”
The bottom line is, Kalani was singled out because of her skin tone on multiple occasions. Those that never experienced racial profiling may interpret her reaction as hyperbole.
But Kalani is firm in her words, and is taking the opportunity to speak on behalf of biracial children. “I didn’t imagine these things,” she concluded, “neither did my mom. Neither did the white moms of brown kids in my DMs. Racism is real, whether or not you experience it Kaitlyn, Phyllis, and Karrie.”
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KALANI’S EXPERIENCES? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THOSE THAT ARE QUESTIONING HER? HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED RACIAL PROFILING?
[Photo Credit: TLC]