Community Conversations Oct 2022
We all hear about a number of racially motivated incidents and hate crimes in the society. This month our community members talk about their personal response to such incidents.
Sunayana Kachroo Bhide
I am a firm believer of the philosophy that an incident of conflict can also be an opportunity for education and awareness. Rather than reacting I take a breath and reflect. There are always multiple sides to the same story and I like to know all the facts.
When I hear about any racial discrimination incident, I do feel sad as well as angry at the same time. We are in the 21st century living in one of the most developed countries in this world; but we still have people engaged in such activities. In my view this is also due to the divisive politics of our leaders. As an Indian American I do fear that I could very well be at the receiving end. That way, I am happy that we live in a state where such incidents are rare.
It can be frightening to hear about other people of color experiencing racism in what is deemed as one of the best countries in the world. Specifically, as an Asian-American, it shocks me whenever I hear about acts of violence committed to the elders we greatly respect in our communities. I remember my own grandparents who have led peaceful lives but may be subjected to violence merely due to their race.
Every time I hear about a case of racial discrimination, I think about the people who were impacted, and it makes me sad. Whoever is responsible for any racially motivated acts should be held accountable and made to realize the consequences of their actions. Nothing should keep us from recognizing that we are all humans, and that everyone is equal regardless of their race, gender, personality, or ethnicity. I hope that together, we can put racism behind us and move on to a better future.
No response is the best response in my opinion. Just walk away from the situation and do not engage in any sort of conversation. Call authorities anytime when physical safety is threatened. Mental health has deteriorated post pandemic and people need to be helped with basic education about such issues.
Generally I don’t react to such incidents. However there are a couple of thoughts that always cross my mind. First, such incidents could have been easily avoided if kindness was given a chance in the first place. Another that so much time has passed, we live in the modern world but whatever we’ve achieved doesn’t look enough to handle issues like racism and discrimination in general. Need to do more as the future generations need to feel safe as racism is not the only thing they are and will be dealing with.
This must end someday. So future generations will live in peace and harmony. Gandhiji has shown us a way to not suppress it but speak about it in a non-violent way, when he faced racial discrimination in South Africa. It’s definitely violence of the mind which throws light on some deep rooted problem. We must learn and teach to be accepting of who others are.
Should God have created all of us with the same color? Well, it definitely doesn’t feel like that when I look around. Everything is so different. All animals, trees, flowers, fruits.. everything is unique and coexisting peacefully. And why we human beings cannot follow the simple rule of living together? Probably that’s because of our limited thinking. We make biased opinions based on gender, race, and culture. It’s all in the mind.