A Tale of Two Lawyers

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.” A Tale of Two Cities, By Charles Dickens

Two lawyers got in a lift. One came rushing through just as the doors were closing. They greet each other enthusiastically. They seemed happy to see each other. They talked about having to be in court later that day. There were two other people in the lift. A tall gentleman and a girl. It took a few seconds for the lawyers to notice the girl. Maybe because she was short and at the back of the lift. She looked like she was lost in thought, a slight frown on her face. Maybe she was thinking about serious stuff. She was in fact thinking about the ribs and fries she indulged in the previous night, and what the effects would be to her waistline. Maybe she should have used the stairs this morning. It took a bit longer for the girl to notice the change of tone in the conversation. The excited chatter had turned serious.

“So what do you think will happen to those guys” Lawyer One said in a loud voice. A bit too loud the girl thought. After all lift car was small. But maybe a loud voice was needed for his job.

“Which guys?” His colleague clearly was clearly not reading from the same script.  By this time they had aroused the girl’s interest so she was looking at them from the corner of her eye; she saw the Lawyer 1 nod in her direction. Lawyer 2 said, “Oh those guys.  I don’t really know.” He  still looked slightly confused. As though wondering where this was going.

“Yes, the terrorists that were sent to Uganda. I think they will be hanged.  People like those have no rights. Terrorists need to be hanged.” Lawyer 1 continued. Lawyer 2 laughed nervously, casting a furtive glance towards the girl. The girl still looked lost in her thoughts. “We have no place in this country for these kind of people! They should all be thrown out and go to their home!” Lawyer 1 had now abandoned all pretense and was now looking directly at girl. The girl, her fists clenched, gritted her teeth and worked very hard to maintain her look of being blissfully oblivious.  The lift got to 7th Floor, a law firm and they got off. Lawyer 1 seemed very pleased with himself. He probably felt he had done his patriotic duty for the day. Put those damn foreigners in their place! Did I mention the girl was wearing a hijab?

Before I continue, I want to say that I, like many Muslims that I know, was completely against the bombing that happened in Uganda, and I am not in any way represented by Al-Shabaab, Osama Bin Laden or any other terrorist groups.  It is wrong and against my religion.

I don’t know many lawyers. About 3, and 1 hopeful currently studying for his Bar exams (S/O to Ted Wandera). But, as a lay person, I would think that lawyers would have a better grasp of matters of law. And  politics. And there is a lot of politics behind the illegal extradition of Kenyan citizens to Uganda for prosecution. This judge thought so. But I don’t want to discuss that right now.

I’m not even offended that the guy mistook me for Somali simply based on the hijab. It has happened many times before. However, we should note there are Kenyan Somalis. Assuming that all of them are refugees and hence affiliated to Al-Shabaab and need to be rooted out of the country is wrong. My best friend  from high school was Somali. Her shags is not Mandera, or Wajir but Narok, in Masaai land. I would think a lawyer would be in position to know the difference. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit. Maybe all he needs for his job is a loud voice and stereotypical opinions. I don’t know.

All I know is that I HATE it when someone challenges my credentials as a Kenyan and questions my right to be here simply based on how I’m dressed.  Should I walk around with a copy of my family tree going back more than  100 yrs to prove that I am a valid Kenyan? Or maybe I should wear my ID like a name tag.

Or maybe the threat of a bulging waistline made me overly sensitive this morning. I don’t know.

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Comments

  • Buggz79  On October 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

    This is an occasion literally begging for a lawyer joke.

    But I won’t.

    Because him being a lawyer is completely incidental. He was just another stupid man who reinforced the existence of highly educated fools.

    And I have nothing but contempt for such.

  • AH  On October 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Nice post. It does happen to tell you the truth and it’s sad but just ignore them. At the end of the day, just stand proud cz ur Muslim. And as u said we r not represented by those terrorist groups

  • Ben  On October 6, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I always tell my mum who didnt get past class 6, and as a result fells limited, that education doesnt change who we are. A bigot remains a bigot, with or without an LLB or LLM. And as a lawyer I know you are right, a lawyer should know better. But hey people, if you care to unmask them, are who they are not what they do or what they studied

  • Ben  On October 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I always tell my mum who didnt get past class 6, and as a result fells limited, that education doesnt change who we are. A bigot remains a bigot, with or without an LLB or LLM. And as a lawyer I know you are right, a lawyer should know better. But hey people, if you care to unmask them, are who they are not what they do or what they studied.
    Oh and I love the tale of two cities intro

  • jj  On October 8, 2010 at 2:15 am

    omg this happened in kenya!! am appalled..because its something i would go through in the USA! even if he assumed u r somali or not..they had no right to say that! ughh i hate ignorance!!

  • QQ  On October 28, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Ya at some point, I was thinking you were in a Western county and not Kenya. *slaps forehead* Being an idiot is not limited by international borders. What idiots! I always try to react exactly how you did in such situations-I just glide gracefully through the ignorance-vomit, untouched, dignity intact. But a part of me always wishes that I had spoken out. Given them my two cents! Shouted them down and proven their ignorance. But, ah, that would be stooping to their level. Well done for being the ahem, bigger person. (no pun intended)

    • bintimswahili  On November 1, 2010 at 6:32 am

      I know what you mean about wanting to fight back.. That’s why I wrote the post to sort of redeem myself for not defending myself. But I also realize that there’s some people who are so deep in their ignorance they can\t be helped much..

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