Note: I originally wrote this as a sort of "diary entry". But then, I thought it could have potential as something more, took the premise, expanded my ideas and edited out insignificant personal information. The following is an actual conversation that I have participated in. All names (besides mine) have been taken out for privacy.
G: Are there many blacks in your school?
Me: Our school is very diverse, so yeah.
G: (suspiciously) And how are they? Are they good? Do they study well?
Me: Some do, some don't. Just like in all races.
G: (nodding, clearly she didn't hear my last sentence) And are you friends with any of them?
Me: (shamefully) No.
What is this? Talking about them as if they're a different species! We're all human, that's all that matters to me. But not to them, apparently. No. Black people are all ghetto, live in the streets and do drugs. I know what this is. I know exactly what this is.
White people are most powerful. Indians see them as more powerful, though stupid, but powerful. We can thank Great Britain for this. Light skin has always, until the turn of the century, determined social status and social class.
You know all those Bollywood actresses?
All white, all fair. Only recently have people started to realize that beauty comes in all colors.
It's white supremacy. Or in this case, lighter skin. Indians tend to have lighter (but not by much) skin than African-Americans. So we see them as inferior. Africans. They're dirt, mud, low-class losers. We're smarter than them, we're lighter than them. They're not worth our time.
Mothers keep their children away from blacks. Fathers do not negotiate with blacks. Blacks are bad, they do bad things, think they're above the law. Ew. You're black, I'm leaving now. Bye, and hope to never see you again. They lived in rural America and now, they are rural America. They look different, they speak with that horrible black accent. So they are different. We Indians better stay away from them. Don't smile at one walking down the street! Point and whisper. Roll your eyes. Ignore them. They don't belong here, they belong in the gutter.
Preeti, you cannot like a black man. If you do, we will disown you. We will stay away; we'll be too scared to go near him! There's no telling what a black man will do. He will take a gun and shoot you for your money. He will bring home drugs—marijuana, cocaine, PCP, the whole thing. He will rape you before your time. And then, he will leave, leaving you pregnant with his ugly child. Black men are all dishonest; you can't trust a single one.
This country, America, is crazy for allowing all these blacks to wander around like free men. White men are okay, Preeti; you can trust them. But not those blacks. They are all in gangs and go around shooting each other and killing each other and committing all these crimes that black men commit. And don't believe those black women, either! They're whores, prostitutes, low-class with that horrible dialect and vulgar way of life. No. Don't go near black people. They'll stink up your life and you'll end up dead or worse…
There are certain points in our lives when our eyes open and we finally see the imperfections that make us human. We stumble, we fall, we fail. Failure is inevitable and at our lowest times, we want to compare ourselves to something, or someone, to boost our morale and raise our self-esteem. So we turn to the traits that are innate, that we're born with, and we feel pride. Look! My skin is white! I was never oppressed in America, oh no! All the people who took part in the slavery and segregation systems can't be wrong, right? No, they were right: blacks are horrible. They're not good for anything except for hard labor, like the Mexicans, with their tribal Spanish.
Oh, the Mexicans! How horrible! They're uneducated, they're sick, they're dirty. They're brown, but an uglier brown. Not like us Indians. Indians try and look fair, and we're smart. Not Mexicans. Have you ever been to Mexico? It's dirty, full of dust and disappearing goodness. Disease fills their streets, and not just viral diseases but they have a sort of social disease that no one dares to speak of. And in California, they're overrunning the place. They're laborers, they pick oranges and apples. That's all they can do. They travel California by trucks, dirty pick-up Fords, wearing their dirty white T-shirts. They're almost as bad as blacks: twisted minds that wander with every woman they see! The women and men are nothing like us. They're not smart. They're not educated. They don't know anything. They pick fruits for a living. They live in huts. They clean our houses. They steal from us. They're not worth the title "American".
America is a white country. It was made by white people. And these white people are nice enough to let us Indians on their land and give us opportunities. Why do you think everyone in India wants to come here? Soon, we will rule alongside with white folks. The atrocities of the blacks and Mexicans will be eliminated. The blacks and the Mexicans. All losers. Look at the white men, follow the white men. They're the ones that are successful. Follow the Indian men. They're the smart ones. Everyone else is just in between.
America says that it recognizes no specific race, religion or language. It claims to be a land for immigrants. So why do these immigrants always get oppressed and discriminated against? Contrary to what we believe, racism is still a large part of this country today. Just because we don't see it, us living in safe and sheltered neighborhoods in liberal states, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. What happens to one race affects us all. Their freedom is our freedom, just like their struggles are our struggles. We can never be free as long as we judge by skin color. We can never be free as long as the Ku Klux Klan exists. We can never be free as long as we stick to what we know and don't open to new people. We can never be free as long as we believe in "white culture" and "black culture". We can never be free as long as we consciously note a person's skin color in our minds. Strive for racial freedom! Strive for racial justice! If we stop seeing the differences and start seeing only the similarities, then, and only then, can we be free.