I recently wrote a post called ‘the lifelong student; deconstructing my racial biases’. It was a post that was intended to address a lot of the anti-blackness that is propagated within the south Asian community. In this post, I took ownership over some of the things that I said and did during a time where I was really poorly informed of how inherent some of the racism can be within this diaspora. I wanted to bring these things to light so that more south Asians could be aware of their own such biases. I wanted to inspire others to start their own introspection. Shortly after it was uploaded I received a message from a friend who advised that there was a great deal wrong with this blog post. Sharing some of the things I had previously said or more importantly not said and then repeating them on a public platform did spark some inspiration from others entrenched in the Asian culture who have begun to question these massive constructs we’ve been complicit in… but it came at a huge cost. And that cost was, effectively, how damaging that post was and how hurtful it is for black people to be reminded of what I and others have said and done in our collective past to fuel the absolute trauma that black people have been facing for centuries.
I want to publicly apologise now to anyone whom I may have hurt with the post that I wrote. I am SO sorry. I also know apology isn’t enough. I’ll never understand your pain or the extent of your collective trauma. I should have known better and it should absolutely NOT be the job of a black person to educate me on how this isn’t actually activism or allying with my black brothers and sisters. It just perpetuates something painful that black people don’t need to be reminded of.
On a personal level, being made aware of this has been triggered so many emotions, bringing them to the surface for me to examine. But that’s not something I’m going to do on a public platform anymore as far as the issue surrounding race is concerned. This is for me to do alone, in my journal or in a safe space held by people whom I trust and whose own traumas don’t risk being triggered by my words.
I will leave my fellow south Asians with this note; however, so as not to lose the flavour of my last post entirely.
Guys: together we need to start doing the following things:
1. Challenging our aunties and uncles on our deeply held racial biases.
2. Putting an end to microaggressive statements towards our black friends. This is so fucking damaging; it needs to END.
3. Educating ourselves better, overall, in general and NEVER relying on the black people in our lives to educate us. That’s not their job.
4. Challenging colourism on every level and embracing our own dark skin and those with skin even darker for how absolutely beautiful we all are. Whiteness being equal to beauty is something that just has to be deconstructed because of how oppressive it actually is
5. Don’t use and challenge anyone who uses the words ‘kaali’ or ‘kaala’ and for that matter even ‘gori’ or ‘gora’. It’s just not excusable.
6. Striking a well informed balance between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.
I hope that I’ve articulated the above in a way that is safe, trauma informed and resonates. And once again, I am truly sorry for my last post.