Mirror Mirror: South Asian diaspora and Race

#1 Dec 27th, 2017, 10:08
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In yesterday's Salon, Fawzia, a Pakistan-American punju reflects on interracial relationships

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These ethnic and racist prejudices held by our parents’ generation are alive and well in our own, even amongst those of us who left our country of origin and settled in the multicultural United States, where we live in a “melting pot” and where interracial marriages are supposedly acceptable in our day and age. Even in the era of Trump, none of the white people we know who voted for him would admit to being racist. None of our Pakistani or Indian friends voted for him — that we know of — and among these desi friends and acquaintances we hear only horror and anguish expressed at the rampant racism and xenophobia the Trump presidency has unleashed, not least against brown Muslims like ourselves.

However, what we fail to acknowledge is our own internalized racism against black people, a legacy of 200 years of British colonial rule over India, where to be fair of skin is the standard of beauty, where to date and perchance to marry a white person is acceptable to some degree, but not a black person.
I have a postulate: Most diasporic immigrants, bleed out the baggage they packed when they flew from home (where ever that is) once when they reach a certain number, they form an ethnic ghetto - Whether it is the Senegalese in Minnesota, Arabs in Detroit, Russians in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Indians in Queens, Sugarland, TX, they freeze their old world social and cultural prejudices - Even when their mother countries have moved on... More of the same in UK and other commonwealth countries.
#2 Dec 27th, 2017, 10:49
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Mirror Mirror: South Asian diaspora and Race

Wish I could be sure that the mother country has moved on.

You must be very familiar with caste, race, colour prejudice being part and parcel of Indian life, not even thought of as anything wrong... It might be Brahmins or Dalits, or just the other caste in the next street. It might be Muslims or Christians. It might be black people or even those fair-skinned foreigners, although the latter are more accepted and less subject to inherent suspicion than "Nigerians," which is, I suppose, India's N-word.

When I encounter this thinking, it comes without even a flicker of a suspicion that there is anything wrong with it, or that anybody else might think it wrong or take offence. The demon is not even seen to be a demon, let alone as something to be internally faced up to and fought.

Diasporas... In my skimming (admittedly shallow) of UK news over the years, I have been reading that there are Southern Asians who have been seeing (suffering) the need for, and demanding that the British govt specifically include and outlaw caste discrimination in its laws which currently cover prejudice as was current among white Brits back when they were framed.

(I think it is maybe a bit much to blame European rule for the fair-skin thing. Maybe it helped perpetuate it, but wasn't it there way back? Wasn't fair equal to beautiful even in the epics?)
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#3 Dec 27th, 2017, 11:11
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post When I encounter this thinking, it comes without even a flicker of a suspicion that there is anything wrong with it, or that anybody else might think it wrong or take offence. The demon is not even seen to be a demon, let alone as something to be internally faced up to and fought.

Diasporas... In my skimming (admittedly shallow) of UK news over the years, I have been reading that there are Southern Asians who have been seeing (suffering) the need for, and demanding that the British govt specifically include and outlaw caste discrimination in its laws which currently cover prejudice as was current among white Brits back when they were framed.
Yes I agree. This diaspora thing is rather complicated. Decades ago when reviewing literature relating to Lubavitch community of Brooklyn, I realized the exclusion-insular distinction they had with rest of the Orthodox Jewish, Hasidic movement. Levi-Straussian deep structures failed me This is a very small community. South Asian diaspora is quantum larger.

Communities who many have many commonalities other wise, divide and draw sharp boundaries on few differences.

I think most of the encoding of discrimination and prejudices are sown at a very young age and, by tweens its buried into one's categorization of "other"
#4 Dec 27th, 2017, 14:40
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However, what we fail to acknowledge is our own internalized racism against black people
Even Gandhi to an extent not PC. Imperfection is our human frailty..
#5 Jan 4th, 2018, 15:49
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post (I think it is maybe a bit much to blame European rule for the fair-skin thing. Maybe it helped perpetuate it, but wasn't it there way back? Wasn't fair equal to beautiful even in the epics?)
Maybe not Europeans, but in mythology, Murugan, Krishna, Kali, Draupati, Shiva all were dark skinned. I bring this up, as I was witness to a similar debate yesterday, between a semiotician and a schlongbat-trumpette

Jesus if he did exist, was no fair-skinned guy, being that his birth was in a land of semitic people. Fair is what is depicted in most European and North-American art and iconography.

Modern day, advertisement driven, bollywood influenced, society is heavily skewed toward fair skin. Is it a northern hemisphere bias ?
#6 Jan 4th, 2018, 16:08
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I hope your trumpette was not being anti-semiotic!

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Jesus if he did exist, was no fair-skinned guy,
Don't be silly, Jesus was fair-skinned, with long, blonde locks and a hippy-love expression.

Everybody knows that --- from the pictures in the bible they grew up with, whether the family ever read it or not.
#7 Jan 5th, 2018, 13:56
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What you didn't get your genuine autographed picture of Jesus Christ from Reverend Ike from Harlem over the best high power radio station just across the border of Mexico for a modest contribution? All I got was the prayer cloth (free). Aramaic is that semitic derived.?
#8 Jan 5th, 2018, 16:07
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post Modern day, advertisement driven, bollywood influenced, society is heavily skewed toward fair skin. ?
Just a observation. While wandering around Haridwar market some years back looking for presents for grandchildren noticed all the baby dollies were white also the Mannequins in clothing shops.
#9 Jan 5th, 2018, 20:50
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Wink

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Originally Posted by dcamrass1 View Post Just a observation....all the baby dollies were white also the Mannequins in clothing shops.
Not just years back. still. White mannequin in Kochi, blonde, too. November.
I just had to take a pic of that one.

Ads for Fair and Lovely and other skin lightening creams in India aren't really all that different from these old ads.

Dark is bad, white (lighter) is good.

One of my friends is from Dominican Republic, her skin is dark. She considers herself Latina. She told me the other day a white Hispanic came at her for being "black."

Ain't no new thang. Nothing's changed but the calendar.
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Last edited by Sama; Jan 6th, 2018 at 06:09..
#10 Jan 6th, 2018, 06:18
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Talking

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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post .....over the best high power radio station just across the border of Mexico.....



dude, he doesn't know anything about the X!

#11 Jan 8th, 2018, 06:18
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