Some thoughts on Indian anti-black racism

Motivated by https://www.theroot.com/two-indian-teens-arrested-for-allegedly-using-racial-sl-1839204785

Sadly, horribly, anti-black (and anti-LatinX) racism is and has been widely prevalent in the AAPI community, specially in the wanna-be-white model communities of South Asians (“Indians”) and East Asians.

I can’t speak to the origins of this mentality amongst East Asians, but here are a few ideas which might throw light on its deep-rootedness amongst Hindu Indians. Casteism, which is another dimension of discrimination possibly quite unique to Hinduism, pervades life in India, even “modern” India. It is so pervasive that castes exist within Indian Muslims and Christians, as the Supreme Court of India was forced to recognize in a case brought by Christians who faced the brunt of discrimination within their religion. What casteism does is accustom us to the idea not just that there are differences (whether inherent, eared, inherited genetically or by virtue of community) but that there is a hierarchy of value as a living being based on those differences, enshrined in the claptrap Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads or whatever “religious” texts Hindus currently claim guide their lives. Couple this with a deep-seated cultural color-ism (fair skinned vs dark skinned) very strongly associated with socio-economic status (manual labor vs feudal landlords or non-manual work) as well as with geography (North vs South, which arises from notions of Aryan and other fair-skinned invaders’ or settlers’ superiority over the “original” Dravidian inhabitants of the Indian peninsula). Further, couple that with our colonial history which has further deeply ingrained in us the idea of the superiority of Europeans/whites.

This makes us perfectly primed, when we come to the US, to adopt the racial hierarchy and our place in it — as long as we are not at the bottom, we can punch down and we can hope to be accepted as nearly white or passing white.

I stop to miau to cats.

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