Thursday, July 25, 2024

Increasing Racism against Indians in America

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Recently, a 26-year-old Aaditya R. Adlakha who was a four-year doctoral student of molecular and developmental biology graduate program died at UC Medical Centre, according to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office. He was found shot inside his car at the intersection of the Western Hills Viaduct and Central Parkway on the morning of 11 November. On that fateful day, he was driving on the Western Hills Viaduct at about 6:20 a.m. when the gunfire erupted and struck his four-wheeler several times. The driver’s side window had at least three bullet holes in it.

This isn’t a first, Jaahnavi Kandula’s story is also an unfortunate example. she was fatally struck by a city police officer car who was caught passing casual inhumane comments referring her of being of “limited value” in the body camera footage. So far, there have been 298 gunshots in Cincinnati itself as of November 3. These inhumane remarks like “go back to your country”, “limited value” would have been what Deepak Rai a 39-year-old Sikh in Kent, Washington, heard before being shot and these were the last words that Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a software engineer who had recently immigrated to the United States from India heard. He was gunned down in a Kansas bar after being called racial slurs all evening.

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Why are Indians / Indian Americans subjected to such abuse?

One of the main reasons is that Americans have this sense of superiority and have been exercising their “white man’s burden”. This bias has been evident even in their dramas like Disney Channel’s

Phineas and Ferb or the recent Mindy Kaling’s show “Never Have I Ever,” series on Netflix. Where the protagonist just wants to be a ‘normal’ teenager and that “normal” has been reinforced time and again from the lens of a western view – going on parties, getting drunk with boys, having a nonchalant attitude towards prayers (as they don’t believe in religion or god in the name of science).

The way the television shows portray Indian culture and Indian Americans is not only racist, but provides a depressing image for youngsters.

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This relentless attack in the name of comedy has real world repercussions- bullying, violent aggressiveness and further reinforcement of bias in others. Also such misrepresentations in the name of dramas or comedy portrays their “white man’s burden” and binary thinking of 0 and 1, that is, what they know is absolute and what they don’t, it doesn’t exist. The same is in the case of academic research wherein anything contrary to their belief is dismissed, labelled and considered as an “attack” when in fact any science or social science subject can never be static for there’s always scope of new findings in research.

According to the FBI’s 2022, hate crime statistics, bias motivation for victims of single-bias incidents in 2022 was 59.1% on account of biases with respect to race, ethnicity or ancestry and 17.3% on account of religion. This biasness/ stereotyping, stems from their superiority complex and “white man’s burden” for they don’t try to understand other cultures or traditions let alone respect them.

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Another major problem is poor enforcement of law and order. It has been 50 years since the US signed the ICERD, nearly 30 years since it ratified the Convention, still there are many important areas where compliance is difficult to achieve—such as reparative justice, discrimination in the US criminal justice system, the use of force by law enforcement officials, discrimination in the regulation and implementation of immigration control, and glaring differences in access to health care and economic opportunity. In American society, structural racism and xenophobia continue to be strongly ingrained and considering the high inflation rate in America and the consequent job loss. Americans may despise Indians more for having high end jobs. Thus, in view of this, America may no longer be as the land of dreams.

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