October 15th, 2016. Edison, New Jersey, USA.
The event organized by “Republican Hindu coalition” held in typical Bollywood style was to anoint Trump as the new friend of “Hindooo” and by its extended meaning for many, India. There were desis from all walks of life, dozens, nay hundreds of them. Many had come to enjoy a Bollywood event with star performers and off course desi food- samosas, chaat, mango lassi, chole bhature,….. Some had their eyes filled with NRI dreams of getting green cards and settling down in USA. After all the play cards and the banners also spoke clearly- “Trump for faster green card”, “Trump for more H1B visas”. As was being promised, a Trump victory was going to open the doors to the garden of heaven welcoming desis to the pinnacle of their dreams and establishing them in “Amrika” with faster visas, both work and family, more green cards and also ease the road to citizenship.
That evening, the real desi dream was served with all its lies and deceit “Trump style” by his campaign and his newly declared Hindu friends.
Trump won. The Hindus declared victory and celebrated it as their own and continue to rejoice in it till date.
And yes, over the last four years as Trump showed his true colors, the H1 visa is almost stalled and beyond the reach of many more desis, the green card processing has been made far more slower and the path to legal immigration for aliens especially from shithole countries (read Africa) or the filthy third world (read India & China) has been made more troublesome.
Sometimes I am amazed at human stupidity and/or the misplaced sense of perceived gain even if at comes at tremendous loss. Even today the “Hindoo” supporters of Trump root for him despite the above and despite facing increased racists attacks and contempt from their White neighborhood. As their concocted logic goes, if Trump is bad for us, he is worse off for Muslims and Chinese. And enemy’s enemy is a friend always and we are Ok being his loyal pets lying somewhere on the foot mat while he dines with the high and mighty of ‘his’ class. As at least, we belong inside than being the strays shown the door.
What is it in Indians that they accept racism, of being treated badly due to the color of their skin as normal and acceptable? As if it is their destiny to be treated life long as the third or fourth rated citizens of the world?
They are ready and eager to move to USA and the Western world and face alienation from the White man especially in a Trumpian world.
They are ready and eager to move to the Middle East even though the Arab may consider and use them only as desired wheels to run their country but never allow them to become equal citizens and or treat them as even equal humans.
They are ready and eager to change names, cultures, clothes, attitudes, food habits, accents, even religions if push comes to shove, in new lands knowing fully well that despite all this, the brown color of their skin will still be a giveaway and they and their generations will continue to face ridicule due to it.
I dream of a day in future when in this world, everyone looks beyond the color of skin and connects to the soul within. Where doors of minds do not open or are shut close just by appearances of outer bodies.
Till such time that this utopian moment dawns, in the real world that we live, how can we chose to ignore the hate mongering of certain people or their efforts to drive a wedge in the society? How can we consider systemic and individual racism towards visible minorities and certain religions from the White majority as normal in the Western world? How can we not be worried when White supremacists are treated as fine people and are asked to “Stand by” while black and brown protestors are portrayed as rowdies, criminals and terrorists?
We South Asians, accept this and more as we are used to discrimination by us and against us for centuries. We accept this as it comes naturally to us. There is so much discrimination back in India based on caste, class, creed, color, education, religion; that when we come to the Western world, we accept the same being faced by us as part of life and normal.
After all when Muslims can be treated as second class citizens in India or Hindus in Pakistan, then what is wrong with the White man treating us as second class citizen in the Western world?
When we are still unwilling to marry in other castes and consider caste based marriage advertisements as normal with low caste being looked down upon, then how can we accept the White communities to intermingle with us except when they wish to taste a little bit of exotic?
When in India we mistreat Africans and call them names including dirty “Kaala” (a derogatory reference to Black), “Habshi” (primitive man) or Negro or we call Chinese as Chinky and make regular fun of their face and accent, then it comes normally to us to be called a Brownie or a Paki here, or get friendly advice to shorten our long desi names to short Christian sounding names or dye our hair golden or develop pseudo accents so that the White masters can find us easier to interact with.
In 2008, America showed the way and brought hope to the world as it led by example. By electing Obama it proved that we can be better when we look beyond the color and at the skill set of a person.
Over the last four years, Trump has shrunk human mind small and has transformed America and perhaps the world to a place where hate, deceit, lies, racism, anger, bullying, degrading humans, all seem normal in real world and where idealism looks misplaced.
To my surprise, I face flak from my immediate family for speaking in favor of religious tolerance, acceptance and treating humans as equals in social and public forums. Lest my own friends and family get angry and turn against me! Or ridicule me for believes of secularism and colorless world as they are now just laughable ideals to the modern vicious man.
Yet l resist and do have many in my tribe still left in this world. We know that the North values always stand tall and are the only spark that can take this world out of darkness to true light.
In this USA election, let us for a moment leave all arguments aside and just focus on simple human dignity. Can you still support a hate monger like Trump who does not even dog whistle to White supremacist but uses all opportunities to blow fog horns in their support? Can you vote for a person who calls entire communities as rapists, terrorists, shitholes, just because of their cultural, religious, color or regional background? Can you identify yourself with a megalomaniac and a narcissist who has proven time and again that he does not care for any community, country, religion or humanity and the only thing that matters to him is just one person, Trump himself?
This USA election is not about Republicans or Democrats. It is not about policies of climate change, environment protection, pro-life debates, economy or any other topic that should matter in any normal election. If you are an American voter, you can use these issues to support respective parties based on these policy debates for your Senate or Congress representative.
This Presidential election is about removing racism, hate, fear, divisions and for restoring human dignity, equality and acceptance in the society. Of ensuring that at least the President of the most powerful country can speak for a better world and work to create one.
And yes, if at all if any other argument is required to remove Trump from office then his pursuit of ignorance and science-denial by enabling deaths of thousands and thousands of Americans who could have avoided their graves if only Trump treated Covid-19 as a pandemic than a hoax. This literally should be the final nail in the coffin of Trump’s campaign.
Years back when I moved to USA and lived in a beautiful county of New Jersey just North of Manhattan, my young son, one among a handful of visible minority students in his middle school was elected as the President of the school just on the basis of a speech he gave in his class assembly and his quiet and accepting nature. Even though we were only a few months old in that country and that community! That was the America that I lived in 2008-2009.
That is the REAL AMERICA, a land of equality and human dignity that existed before the Trump era.
I have read with dismay many articles recently from various parts of America wherein young Chinese children are mocked at, even beaten by their classmates and called Chinese virus. And of the spread of a sinister virus of greater intolerance towards visible minority children in schools and colleges, more deadly then Covid-19 can ever be as it lives and grows inside for ever and decays our soul. These are children, our children and this is the world we are creating for them by our silence and surrender to the Trumpian monster.
This USA Presidential election is about restoring human dignity. Let Trump and Trumpians values see the very dust they seek for us so that future leaders realize that power through hate mongering is never going to last for long. We owe at least this much to our future generations.
Make America, America again!
Posted in Times of India on 26th October 2020. Link below-