I am an Indian-American and I believe “white privilege” in America is real. It’s an actual thing that there’s an advantage in America for white people. Your background or ethnicity doesn’t matter anymore. America has based stereotypes solely on the color of your skin: white or Caucasian, black, or brown. And it’s obvious different demeaning stereotypes are associated all of them, except for white.
I’m not here to degrade any race, especially white people. I’m not here to attack, demonize, or offend anyone. If someone treats me with respect, I will respect them back no matter their race. All I’m here to ask is, when will America acknowledge white privilege? How many more black lives will have to be lost before we realize that race is a problem? In wake of the Charleston massacre I was sickened and disturbed to find that the media was making excuses for the shooter calling him “quite and independent,” etc. But when you see the footage of a black person committing a crime, the news captions him only as “into drugs, violent, or abusive.”
When Michael Brown died — yet another innocent unarmed black teen — the media decided to stereotype and connect him to drugs and violence. But had he killed anyone or committed a crime? No! A crime is a crime. And the media has been doing that with every unarmed black man who has been killed these past few months. Look at how violently the police handled the arrest of Eric Garner, who was apparently just selling cigarettes, compared to how they arrested Dylann Roof (the Charleston Massacre shooter), a man who just killed nine people. His arrest was calm and collected. I’m thankful for everything police officers do, and it’s true they do put their lives on the line everyday; however, when are they going to stop picking the wrong battles? What’s more sad is that it took a while for the media to even acknowledge that the Charleston Massacre was in fact a terrorist attack. This was a war on race. Terrorism is when harm is inflicted on innocent people in any way. Nine innocent people died based on the color of their skin. And you want say that he did it because he’s mentally ill! Why can’t we admit that it’s the same crime that a religious radical terrorist would inflict?
Guess what! Terrorists in my opinion, no matter the race or religion, who inflict mass harm on innocent people using guns or weapons, are all mental cases. It doesn’t matter if you’re bombing, gunning, killing, if you are taking lives of innocent people, who you don’t even know for that matter, you are mental—no doubt about it. You have a violent capacity and mental gap. You are killing to fulfill your own insane desire. You are a terrorist. You are a murderer.
And this case specifically is just another example of how white privilege exists. There’s an unfortunate racial gap in America that needs to fixed. It’s not just against blacks, but Latinos and Muslims, and Sikhs, too. And I’m only talking specifically within our neighbors—from neighbor to neighbor in the United States.
If you heard Donald Trump’s presidential speech announcement this month you would’ve heard him say that Mexicans are bringing drugs into the country and that “they’re rapists”—a simple burden. I’m not sure If anyone is taking his presidential run seriously, but I do know a lot of the crap he said comes out of other people’s mouths, too. When I think about the Mexican, Latino, or Hispanic community, they are some of the most hard-working people I know. Yes, they come to America for better lives but they’re not sitting on their asses. I have never seen them begging on the street for money. They work whatever job they can get.
Black people are often hit with the dangerous stereotypes that they’re harmful, drug dealers, or violent. Our president is black, for goodness sake when is it going to stop? Maybe statistically crime rates among black communities are high but when is the action of one person going to stop defining that of a whole community? It’s harder for black people to get jobs in America, too because of the stereotype that they’re uneducated. And do I have to bring up the confederate flag issue in South Carolina? They’re actually a lot of them in southern countries and let’s stop pretending that it’s a symbol of freedom and not racism. It’s a plain reminder of slavery. It’s the official national flag that was used to represent the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. It was during a time when the South was fighting to keep slavery around.
That goes for Muslims, too. FOR THE LAST TIME, NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS. ISLAMOPHOBIA IS REAL, as well. I can’t believe I even have to say this, but wearing a hijab or burka does not mean you are endorsing the actions of terrorist groups like ISIS or Al-Shabaab, as per an incident I witnessed on the New York City subway from one random tourist to a Muslim family. And then we get even more ignorant when people see Sikhs and associate them with terrorists because of their head dressing. Sikhism is a completely different religion.
It also comes down to white people trying to figure out that race is a huge issue for them. Let’s face it, if you work hard and you qualify for a job, your race will not be a troubling factor. But if you’re black or Latino, you have to work twice as hard to prove yourself and overcome obstacles and stereotypes that race is associated with. There was a time two of my black friends applied for the same job as me at a restaurant, and I was offered the only one offered the job with four slots left, even though they had better or about the same experience as me. There also wasn’t any diversity among the staff and it consisted of white people. Even though I am Indian they mentioned to me at one point that I look white on a completely separate occasion. I only worked there for a week and now the restaurant has closed down.
“Equal-opportunity” my ass. I hear stories all the time of Muslims who wear a hijab being denied jobs because of the fact it makes them look ‘unapproachable,” in America at least. I have spoken to many Muslim-Americans as well who have said “why cause attention to yourself,” in response to not wearing one when you’re in America. Why must people change they’re morals and beliefs for the comforts of others, when they, specifically, aren’t causing any harm. It’s everyone else who should stop being so ignorant.
I’m not saying that if a white person travels to a country like Yemen, he’ll be treated like everyone else because he won’t. Arabs probably have they’re own thoughts about Americans. But the difference is that as an American you will be out of your comfort zone in your own country. If he/she travels to a place like Iraq, you know a problem will arise. Either way of course it’s not okay but I’m using a drastic example. Because guys, these are dangerous war-ridden foreign countries. And the one thing that America has in common with them is that they are inflicting massacre on their own people or they’re at war because of a racial, religious, or political gap.
When are we going to treat everyone equally in our own damn country? When are we going to stop racially profiling people and treating them differently based on their race? When are people going to stop being plain racists? Since when is the most diverse country in the world the hardest for non-white people to survive in?