As an American of Indian origin, I’ve noticed many (not all) in our Indian community are typically not as vocal when it comes to racism and discrimination. We use the anger we feel when we personally face discrimination (I have had my share) as FUEL and MOTIVATION, but we take it in, accept it, and move on. Why rock the boat? Just accept it as a cost of doing business in America, mind our own business, and move on with life. Right? WRONG. This needs to stop. Silence is not the solution. And silence in the wake of what is happening to our black brothers and sisters is also NOT acceptable. Especially when it results in death.
As an Indian community, we were angry in 2015 when a cop in Alabama body slammed 57 year old Sureshbhai Patel (https://bit.ly/3cwdKMc) while he was walking in his son’s neighborhood (Even the reason why the officer was called to the neighborhood in the first place is stemmed in racism. He was responding to a call of a “suspicious black man” looking at garages and walking near houses). We were even angrier in 2016 when the assault charges on that Alabama cop were dropped (https://nbcnews.to/2XBSRew) We voiced our anger, but most of us voiced it quietly. This is NOT the time for our community, or any community of color, ESPECIALLY as minorities, to remain silent when our black brothers and sisters continue to face all forms of racism and have been enduring it for hundreds of years.
White, black, brown, yellow, green…it doesn’t matter the color of our skin, we ALL need to work together to come up with a solution. But this is a complicated issue. We can create more laws and tougher punishment for those that violate the law. We can create more accountability. We can create more transparency with the system. But, does that really fix the underlying issue? No.
I have realized it ALL comes down to one thing – our thoughts. Our thoughts become our words, which become action, which become habits, which become our character, and eventually becomes our destiny. There is a myriad of things we may have no control over, but the one thing we as a society can all control – our individual thoughts. That is the SOURCE.
As parents, what we THINK not only affects us, but our children, our family, our community and then, our society as a whole. It all spreads from deep-rooted THOUGHTS. Racism and discrimination are taught. They are learned. People are not born racists.
Eradicating racism is not going to happen overnight. But it starts at home. It starts with what we think behind closed doors. Yes, we need to speak up when it comes to seeing racism and discrimination take place. Yes, we cannot be silent any longer. But part of speaking up and not being silent also means taking time to quietly look INWARD at our individual thoughts. Let us each self-reflect on our thoughts and the ripple effect it has on others for generations to come. I am going to make it a point to frequently reflect on my thoughts when it comes to this topic. In the end, that is all I can control. And perhaps, just maybe…if we ALL take time to do this, we will soon see a day when one is not judged because of the color of their skin. We will have indeed shaped our DESTINY.