We’re in the middle of 2020 and racial injustice is still a conversation that we need to have. Hearing about the violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others before them is absolutely devastating. However, this conversation is far from over. Racial injustice is still very much at large and it’s about time we do something about it at the individual level and educate ourselves.
Through this whole conversation, even I am learning so much about how complex the story about racism is and how necessary it is to move from being a “neutral non racist” to an “anti-racist” because frankly there is no room for discrimination in this world. We have enough challenges as it is so let’s not add racism to the mix. So the first place to start is to educate ourselves on this topic as much as possible. As a South Asian community, we are unfortunately extremely racist and it has to stop. Here are few facts we, as South Asians, will do well to remember moving forward.
Civil Rights Movement Helped fuel Migration to Western Countries: All of us whose families immigrated or are hoping to immigrate to United States: you can thank the Black community’s Civil Rights Movement for bringing attention to racial oppression against all non white communities. This ultimately led to the Immigration Nationality Act of 1965, which opened immigration to all Asian countries.
Be Aware of the Color Symbolism: As many of us South Asians know, there is an obsession with being white because it’s supposedly more beautiful, more pure, and just overall good. Whether it is the celebrities endorsing fairness products or going for skin lightening treatments to Indian music saying “gora rang” over and over again-the obsession is real. In contrast, anything bad is associated with the color black: black magic, black sheep, blackmail, etc. Or the idea of “does this lipstick make me look dark” or “this nail polish makes me skin look dark” *cue the facepalm*…people, dark isn’t bad! It’s about time we become more mindful of this, and remember that neither is positive or negative. So stop associating dark with bad, and next time, don’t use color as a way of criticizing someone ever.
Using the N Word: This is never ok. No matter where you are or who are. it is never ok to use the N word. Unfortunately I’ve heard this a lot in our South Asian community, and I realize I should speak up more about it rather than simply ignoring it because using that phrase is just not right.
Racism was never ok, is never ok, and will never be ok. And it starts with us. It’s about time we educate ourselves on an individual level and move towards ending the anti blackness in our community. It’s the small changes in us that will make a big difference overall.