CULTURE
CULTURE

OUR CULTURE IS RACIST

It is our responsibility to do more work.

By NorBlack NorWhite | May 29, 2020

Anytime our black friends speak of visiting India, knots form in our tummy. Are they going to be safe even within our safe spaces? Are they going to be comfortable? How are we going to protect our friends? We have to prepare them with real conversations about the prejudices they are going to face in a culture that has its own deep segregation, where indigenous, Dalit, Muslim, North Eastern and Queer folks are discriminated against and face violence on a daily basis.

We grew up as South Asian diaspora in Toronto before living and working in India for over the past decade. In all of these experiences, one of the clear truths is that our communities are racist AF and reveal prejudices to varying destructive degrees.

From the beginning of time, black people have and still put their lives (literally) on the line day in and day out. The world takes and takes and takes, while they keep giving in exhausting abundance. Look around and think about the music you listen to, your style and dance moves, the language you use. What countless tragedies have had to take place to the creators of a popular culture that we all benefit the most from?

Image from Instagram account @theconsciouskid

We have to start at home. Checking ourselves first and our own families, those racist aunties, uncles, managers and teachers, neighbors and grannies. It’s ingrained so deep. Unlearning takes real effort and it’s for us, not anyone else, to shoulder this responsibility.

 Image from Instagram account @brownhistory | Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, 1980

It’s the least we can do in service and protection of the people who have done and, are still doing the most work in paving the path to civil rights and fighting a spectrum of inequalities while painfully dismantling systemic oppression so all minorities can feel a bit safer. Their work has been for all of us who benefit from the many levels of privilege that we often deny.


Read here for crowdsourced resources to learn more about what you can and should be doing.

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