So following on from my last post…
Is it time to talk about the anti-Black sentiments amongst South Asians?
I think it’s time!
I have to start by saying this ain’t about racism, as we’re aware racism is a systematic form of oppression where one group of people benefits from the privileges they have over others, now that we’ve cleared that!
As mentioned in my last post, light skin is revered on the subcontinent where people were and still are predominantly dark skinned.
“Colour prejudice is an offshoot of the bigger evil of casteism in India,” says Udit Raj, leader of the Indian Justice Party, which represents Dalits or the oppressed tribes and castes in the traditional political system.
Even the Indian God Krishna (Krsna meaning dark or black) is dark blue.
As well as Goddess Kali (literally means Black female).
But casteism and Colonialism had us hating ourselves, is it any wonder that same mindset became the monster it has creating anti-Black sentiments amongst the South Asian diaspora, even here in England amongst the 2nd and 3rd generation?
I remember aged 13 asking a girl out and her words, ‘I like you but my Dad doesn’t like Black guys, he would go nuts’
Her friend butted in ‘he ain’t Black though’, her response, ‘Ye but it’s the same thing innit’!
I refer to another occasion recently where a friend of mine (Indian heritage) messaged me infuriated.
He overheard his co-workers make a joke about the word n****r, all three of them laughed and then looked at my friend and said ‘sorry’.
He said ‘Why the hell are they apologising to me for, the guy behind me is actually Black, apologise to him, I ain’t Black’
Wake up, if you ain’t White, you’re Black.
Both situations prove we are one and the same, that doesn’t mean shun your South Asian or African heritage, it means acknowledge you have one struggle, you don’t hear Scottish people saying Polish people aren’t White, we have to understand there is a difference between culture and skin politics.
Even my grandmother refers to us as ‘kalay’ when differentiating between us and White people, we don’t call ourselves ‘Brown’, when was the last time you heard the elders calling themselves ‘Bhoora’ (Hindi and Urdu for Brown) 😒
Let’s take a look at the Muslim world and the issue of marriage, everybody wants to acknowledge what sometimes comes across as the token ‘Black Muslim’ Bilal (a companion of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) but they don’t acknowledge the Prophets before him who were most likely what we would today consider ‘Black’, from Moses to Jesus, the latter even described in the Bible as a Dark Skinned dude with Wooly hair;
But would Asian parents be cool with an African son or daughter in law?
Some would? But the majority? Let’s be real!
But wasn’t one of the Prophet’s messages pretty clear about no White man being above a Black man? How soon we forget and let our pathetic biases blind us.
Growing up I’ve heard it all as I’m sure many of you did, Kalay (Blacks) are wild, thieves, drug dealers who sleep around and love smoking weed, pretty sure we could apply those same stereotypes to many Pakistani brothers and sisters today, but that’s none of my business! But it is!
When will we wake up and see these stereotypes are enforced on us through media, day in day out?
The Black lives matter movement, a time we’re supposed to come together, but again the amount of people of colour who couldn’t help but refer to black on black crime to counteract the argument for the movement, how is that even a comparison?
We’re talking about people who are supposed to protect and serve, murdering Black kids, don’t chat to me about black on black crime, ain’t no comparison!
Historically the struggle was ONE!
South Asian and Afro-Caribbeans in the 70s and 80s were under the ‘Black’ banner, they even raised arms together, rioted, protested and laid the foundations for a lot of the rights we have in society today.
The Asian Youth Movements (AYMs) of the 1970s and 1980s were powerful examples of political movements influenced by black politics and a version of secularism that became a unifying force between different religious communities.
But what happened? We started creating sanctions amongst ourselves, Black became Afro-Caribbean, African, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, now we even have Kashmiri.
They say Strength in numbers, now if the powers that be wanted to break down that wall of power, what’s the best way?
The good old divide and conquer tool.
And it worked!
So where do we go from here?
We don’t go anywhere!
But we start reclaiming that one-ness, that unity and the united stand that our 1st and 2nd generation took to make things easier for us.
“Black is Brown and Brown is Black severed by attitudes of how we perceive ourselves”
Until the next one -.