I have always supported the Police force and other officials because as a law abiding citizen I realize that there are people in the society we live, who do things that are bad for coexistence and that bad things are done by people irrespective or race, religion, color and belief systems.
Some actions are so violent with immediate effect where as some are not very obvious but slowly shreds our very own existence as a civic society. The problem starts when a crime and its solution is viewed based on who did it and what their race is or what their religion is.
Just as I despise generalizations based on a stereotypes of race, color and religion I also hate generalizations based on a profession. I have been heart broken when I have seen people shot by cops and I have felt the same way when I have heard about cops dying in the line of duty. I know some people might take these two things differently, but for me I find it difficult to differentiate both. Death is ‘Death’ and something that cannot be justified
Yet there are some incidents that make you very confused and again without generalizations I can explain what I feel. I saw a picture of Dylann (Charleston Shooting) handcuffed and taken away and I have seen pictures of people of color (black and Brown) over powered and put on ground before being arrested for crimes as small as selling cigarettes or walking around peering into someone’s garage and we have also seen so many cases of people of color who are unarmed and yet were shot by cops.
This leaves us with a question. Does color make the uniform prejudiced enough to pull a trigger? May be not everyone but there are definitely many with and without uniform who keep this prejudice of race. Racism exists whether we agree or not. And as a brown man I don’t think it is just the white man’s fault, we on the brown side of the fence also add to the bit in some way.
As a South Asian I have also seen this prejudice against Black by a few in my own community that has left me deeply offended and sad. Reasons for which I have severed my relations with people. South Asians who do not look at the white man and the black man in the same way. There are these brown that think they are a shade of white and that in my opinion deeply wounds us as a community.
South Asians and African Americans supporting each other go way back in history. Be it the influence Gandhi had on Martin Luther King Jr or Bayard Rustin who organized FOR’s Free India Committee which championed India’s fight for independence from Great Britain.
As an Indian I find the civil rights movement one of the most inspiring movements of human history after the Indian Independence struggle that I learned growing up. But today I might feel more connected with the civil rights movement because I think that the civil rights struggle is not yet complete and it is needed not just in Unite States but also in India where caste system has kept a whole population outside the society. There are so many untold struggles happening in India that no people outside India (Indian’s and otherwise) even know.
As South Asians we have two responsibilities that rise from us being Brown, yes since color is in discussion I will use color ‘Brown’.
First is to have an unflinching solidarity to the cause of minorities in US because you are one and it does not matter what strata of society you are in and what economic power you hold. You have a responsibility to carry on the South Asian-African American Solidarity forward, because that is how we can identify ourselves
Secondly it is the responsibility of South Asians to fight discrimination in their own country. Anyone living in US who harbors a racial discontent back in their country where they consider caste to be important in their life is a Racist, yes and I know that puts a lot of people in the bucket. But that is my opinion.
If you object your kid’s marriage to someone because of the caste of the other person then you are racist because you thrive on exclusion of people based on who they are. You can have all the big loud horns to talk about civil liberty and equality but inside your hollow self you have to burn something that can light up enough to see the world
Your voice against the discrimination of the African Americans is incomplete, hollow and futile without your full fledged support to fight the Caste System in your country and within yourself. Whenever we look around we should also look down and make sure you are standing on the right side of the issue in all walks of life, here, there anywhere.