To the White People who don’t understand why cities are burning and why all 4 police officers should be charged
I wrote this article because I recently talked to a perfectly “nice”, “normal” white person who just could not understand why all these people are mad and protesting. He told me something to the effect of: “What is the big deal? This could happen to any of us, anywhere where police is involved”.
That made me mad. So, I wrote this article so people can understand.
I was born in a country free from racism after we got independence in 1947 after WW2. I have not seen any racism before I came to this country — because I was invited to come to help a project succeed. I came here not for the money or to take someone else’s job away, but to life a better life, with dignity and freedom from corruption and pollution which was endemic to my former country.
I want you to understand where this rage is coming from.
I have seen this “ordinary”, “mundane” racism in the work environment of many companies I have worked for.
- Countries where some of the people come from have been called “shit hole” countries from across the same table where everyone else is having lunch together.
- Yes, it is just a small sentence, an observation, a minor slight from the perspective of the white man/ woman who says it.
- One of the problems is that most of these people don’t even know that what they are doing is racist.
I remember sitting across this very nice and capable senior doctor in a clinic one day and he was explaining to me how white people were not responsible for slavery at all — it was the black people in Africa selling other black people for the slave trade.
All that the white people did, from the good doctor’s perspective was to transport the slaves from Africa to other continents. How can that be so wrong?
This is everywhere from coast to coast, from California to New York. I’m sad to say that the inequalities are worse on the west coast in many ways than the east coast.
Asian people are probably more racist to black people than white people. It is just that you do not understand what they are saying in their native language.
Hasan Minhaj has a point there. Even in a country like India where a large percentage of the population is dark skinned, there is an anathema towards people with darker skin. They are considered to be the lowest of the lower castes, and the few students who come to India to study from African countries are especially looked down upon with derision even by darker skinned Indian people.
To me, it is surreal to see how Bollywood is white washed today with fair skinned Indian actors, and the background dancers are all white women now! It is completely unrepresentative of the majority of Indian people, and there have even been Bollywood movies with female actors putting on black face.
Many of the older generation still use the “N” word when referring to Black people in America, and like with the racists in this country, they don’t think they are doing anything wrong. Asian hotel owners often refuse to rent rooms to Black people, while allowing white people to do it, right while they are still standing there at the counter. And these are just the normal, middle class Asian people doing this.
This topic is so painful, I am not going to delve further into it, because Hasan has. I feel so ashamed that a country which suffered so much under colonialism have elements like these. Now you know, why so many people come to America as immigrants from all over the world. Hasan could not have said anything better. He sums it up well.
Asians are model Slaves - not model Citizens
Note: I’ve done a lot of research on this topic.
Here is the secret, nobody will tell you about. This is why so many large companies want to keep the H1b Visa program and hire people from other countries in Asia and elsewhere and fire Americans.
Asians are mostly quiet, docile, easy to control, will not complain and will not stand up for their rights — no matter how egregious the treatment — unlike freedom loving Americans who were born & brought up here — who won’t stand up to that sort of behavior.
I worked at a company once where I became aware of racism. It was wide spread — it was everywhere. I was not aware of it for a while because I am the sort who buries himself in work, and ignores everything else. But once, this became apparent and affected me, I stood up for myself.
Not one of the brown people stood up for their own rights.
Not even one person, out of the more than 30 people:
- Every single one of them looked at the other instead of doing anything themselves.
- They complained loudly among themselves.
- They did not want to stand together even though they were going to be affected by the changes coming in.
Why was I different? Maybe because I had gone to a military school back in my country, and my upbringing there was very different than what a typical kid would have had at home.
The only people who stood with me, and who actually had something to lose, were the Americans. I will never forget that an American woman was the only person who was willing to talk about her experience with gender based discrimination. I am ashamed that not one brown man or woman could stand up for their own rights.
When push comes to shove, they just scattered and went their own way thinking someone else would take care of the issue for them. And over the course of a year, each and every one of them (even the ones who said they had “no issues” when the lawyer came to take the survey) were laid off, because they were “taken out” one after the other.
I completely lost any respect for these people after that because the reason they were in this country, was because of their ancestors who had fought for freedom, got tortured in colonial prisons and died — so that their countries could achieve freedom, they would have a Govt which subsidized their education, and they came to this country after they got that education.
And they came here, and became model slaves. I cannot respect or trust a model slave.
Encountering Racism for the first time
The very first time I encountered racism in America, I was confused. I tried to look at it from a logical perspective, and asked myself — so we have three Mercedes Benz Cars — all of them are the same model, but in three different colors — white, brown & black.
It made no sense to me that some people would think the white model is better when the car is the exact same model — same parts, same engineering, same processor, same tires — they are all identical under the paint...
If we are all the same species, than how can one person be better than the other, when we cannot make out any difference at all in how we are built? Is the soul of a person of white color, better than the soul of the black person? How does this make sense???
Imagine growing up as a black child in this country.
The racism starts right there in kindergarten with the teachers or the other white kids. Kids of color are beaten down mentally, and discouraged from speaking up or showing any kind of confidence.
It starts very young.
I can say this firsthand, because there is a big difference between kids who grew up in countries without racism vs. the kids who were born and brought up through the schools in our country.
What do you do when your 5 year old comes back from kindergarten and wants to be white in color, because his white friends tell him that he is inferior because brown in the color of poop?
What do you do when you go to a shop with a 5 year old, and he can see right there, how the people in the store are being racist to their Mom & Dad? Tell me how to explain this to him. I do not know.
The people who teach these young kids to be racist to each other should be ashamed.
Black people have spent their entire life being looked down open with suspicion. You have read Obama’s book, you have read Michelle’s book. This sears your soul and creates an emptiness and anger which has built up over a hundred or more years.
You suck the happiness out of our children’s souls when you do this to them.
So, when you see the people out in the streets, angry, protesting — I am not justifying it. I am just saying that show some empathy. This is nothing but the physical manifestation of someone’s unbearable pain, which you cannot even imagine.
You with your privileged life, everything given to you, never looked down upon, have no idea how these people feel, and how much they have suffered as a daily part of their life, in every single aspect you can think about.
When you see an angry person of color, remember, the anger you see, is because of that silent suffering they have gone through every single day of their life when they have been trampled upon in every way possible.
I am not saying that every white person is born guilty of racism at birth. I have also seen infinite kindness and wisdom even from very young children in this country. I am just saying that you will not understand the psyche of the angry black person protesting in the street. You simply can’t. You cannot imagine what they have gone through. Yes, it is that bad out there.
Why do I raise my voice? Why am I angry? Why do I scream?
You would scream louder if you had gone through what they have gone through their whole life.
There is no way in hell, you can ever go anywhere, near enough, or imagine even to the most minute extent as to how they are feeling today.
Racism is not an explicit act:
- It is in your smirk.
- It is in the disapproval.
- It is in your suspicion.
- It is in how you underestimate them at the work place.
- The condescension.
- It is in your assumption that you must be the help at the store you are shopping at.
The words which you think don’t matter at all — and can be shrugged away, those are the very words which hurt the most, as you hear them in different settings, from different people, all your life.
Everywhere you go, you see the same thing repeated by so many people of color to others. Try to see the world through our eyes:
Protesters pour into D.C. for biggest demonstrations yet - The Washington Post
Marchers spread again across the District to protest racism and police brutality.
So, if we are so unhappy, why don’t we just leave? Why don’t we just go back to Africa or wherever the hell it is from where we came here from?
Sure, it is a dog eat dog world. And I personally know many people think like this, even though they may not say it to our faces. I think it is important to answer this question which many of the white people have.
Sure, we can all go back. Let all the immigrants leave this country and go back to where they come from. I agree to it, let us leave it all to the Native Americans to who it really belongs to anyway.
Don’t want to go back yourself? Why? You came from somewhere too.
We are all immigrants who came here from somewhere, to run away from worse problems. We came here for a better life.
You came here first. The Native Americans helped you survive that first winter.
We don’t want to leave, just like you don’t want to leave and go back to England or the European countries for the very same reasons your ancestors left them.
We need to work together to make this country the refuge, the melting pot, the ideal society which was the original American dream.
So, don’t listen to the trash Tucker Carlson says on Fox News. Sure, I listen to him sometimes. It is garbage because it is biased. It is all very logical — the problem is that he and his channel do the exact same things as well, but Fox News never points out when that happens.
If there is even a single person majority in the senate or the house, they will use that majority to completely close their ears to the minority.
Is 49% really a minority? If almost half of the people in the representative body oppose a motion, should that really be carried out?
So, if the majority is a majority because of just a 1% lead, then the “leader” of the majority in the senate or the house, completely close their eyes to the 49%? The 49% are not their people? They have no responsibility to the 49% at all? They are somehow enemies? How did we get here?
I saw this video, and I could not explain everything I feel in any further detail than this. Don’t tune out the video because he gets really emotional. Just because a person is hurting, angry, emotional and raises his voice does not mean that he is wrong. Yes, we live with injustices every single day, and when we get emotional absorbing all the things which happen to us daily silently, we become “that crazy, angry <color> guy”:
What did you personally do wrong? Why are you being punished? Why is your property destroyed?
If you are one of the shop owners whose property was destroyed by those rioting, I do want to say that I do not approve of the destruction of property or any kind of violence. I do not condone it, but that does not mean that I don’t understand where that anger is coming from.
You ask me, what did you do wrong? I have pondered over this question in another context before. Did you know that towards the end of WW2, Allied Planes bombed civilian targets in the cities of Germany? What did the civilians do wrong?
They elected the wrong people, who did evil things to others.
This is the natural result of the bad choices which we have all made during elections, by electing either wrong people, or not showing up at all.
I am not justifying the actions of the few violent/ rioting protestors. Nor am I saying that the German civilians needed to be punished. I am just saying that there seems to be a natural feedback loop which is part of Nature. That results in violence, destruction & looting sometimes.
This has caused us to have bad leaders who followed bad policies, which created a bad system with endemic racism in many aspects of governance. What can you do to prevent this, you say? Let us all prevent this from happening in the future by going to vote, and voting the right people into power.
What did these kids do to deserve what happened to them?
Listen what she has to say. Pay attention to her expressions, the pain in her voice. Here is a real protestor. And she does not want others to riot on the streets:
- Sure, someone using the protests to loot and destroy property should be arrested
- Those who are violent towards others should be arrested.
Watch this series which deals with a lot of uncomfortable topics in the dangerous areas, people hate to discuss about the world we live in. It is pretty stunning actually. So many of the conversations between the characters are on deeply uncomfortable topics which bubble right under the surface of our daily lives:
Watch Little Fires Everywhere Streaming Online | Hulu
Start your free trial to watch Little Fires Everywhere, based on Celeste Ng's 2017 bestseller, Little Fires Everywhere…
Why should all the four officers be arrested?
If you see the video of the incident, you will notice that one of the officers murdered George Floyd and the others either participated in pinning him down, or preventing the onlookers from coming to his aid.
Because of this, if you think about it, this is no different from 4 people murdering a person.
Think about it, if none of the other officers had helped the murderer, and prevented him from doing it, or let the onlookers intervene, he would not have died.
So, anyway you look at it, there are definitely complicit in the murder.
What their police chief had to say intensely resonated with many of the people who saw this video:
Our current political leadership only seems to have made things worse.
Hear this tone deaf buffoon who only wants the law passed for “real lynching”. He is not very different from my clueless white friend who does not understand what all the brouhaha is about. Sen. Cory Booker’s anguish will bring tears to your eyes:
Healing from our collective Wounds
The only thing I’ve seen in the news which makes me feel any better is that thankfully, nobody is taking the side of the arrested officers or trying to justify anything. There is pretty much universal condemnation even from the most right wing political commentators. Honestly, that is the only thing which provides me and others with some sort of relief these days.
However hard the struggle has been, at least we have found something in common to bring us together as fellow Americans — which we can all agree on, in a truly bi-partisan way.
Some videos which were able to reduce my pain at the events of the recent week: