blog against racism
I have grown up knowing that non-Indians have certain stereotypes for Indians. As a first generation child in the US, I’ve gotten the best of both worlds. I was thinking about some of the most common stereotypes and how some of them are actually true. However, it bothers me to know that some people think these stereotypes hold true for all Indians.
Many are taking stereotypes to their advantage in media. A few years ago, a low budget movie came out called American Desi. Desi is a slang word for being Indian. It is about American born Indian college students who have a rough time in college when they meet students actually from India. These American raised kids feel embarrassed to be Indian because of the stereotypes they have to face. They are cultured enough to know that they are Indian but don’t have any respect for their heritage. Some of these include Indian people majoring in engineering, science, or math because these three fields of study are the most common. Another time of feeling humiliated when seeing an Indian professor eat typical Indian food in the dining hall. This article summarizes the situation these students were in. After this movie, several others came out that similarly made the same point of how difficult it is to be cultured as an Indian and an American.
When were you first exposed to a foreign language? Was it at home, or school? Does it offend you when people speak a language you don't understand in your presence? Today, Hispanics are the fastest growing (and largest) minority group in America. Given places like my neighborhood, The South Bronx, this is clearly a fact. I remember feeling like the odd girl out whenever my Spanish speaking classmates would utter their native language, leaving me without any clue of as to what they were talking about. My teachers always appreciated their presence in class, as they offered a lot more to our Spanish classes. They'd never consider suspending them for doing what we have the privelge of doing every time we open our mouths - speaking in our native language.
Racism is a problem that haunts our everyday lives. Scientifically, among humans there is no biological difference between races. So in the end there is no real difference, just variation. There are a lot of people that believe that black men are better at football than white men because biologically they are faster.
What if you were a racist? How would you know it? Let's do a little introspection to see what's going on in there.
I grew up surrounded by racism, both blatant and subtle. I am white, so I wasn't on the receiving end of it. Though I recognized that racial groups were mostly separate, especially once we got to high school, I didn't really quite understand that racism was largely to blame.
Most people think of racism as very direct denigration of a particular race, calling a person a derogatory name that is racially based, for example. For me, racism is more subtle than that. It is a system that discriminates against people based on their race. The system is made up of people, but each person that harbors racist thoughts contributes to the larger system. I admit that I have sometimes had racist thoughts myself. They're not conscious or deliberate and frankly, that makes them that more dangerous. Because it's easy to say, well, I didn't think or do that on purpose so I'm not racist.