White man shouts “get out of my country” — who will be the next victim?
My parents should NOT have to worry about their kids being victims of hate crime just because of the color of their skin.
It’s breaking my heart thinking about how worried my mother must get every time a brown person gets shot or harassed or bullied. They don’t have to be Indian for her to be worried; they just have to be brown-skinned. Every time a brown brother or sister is a victim of hate crime, I think that could’ve been me, my brother, or someone I know.
The current administration and its supporters have the luxury of dismissing this as just another drunk person with a gun and ignoring the bigotry and xenophobia that motivates current immigration policy in DC and therefore the worldview of (a vast majority of) its supporters across the United States. Because this incident does not support the administration’s Islamophobic narrative, this hate crime, like other underreported hate crimes against people of color across the country since Tangerine Tyrant’s election, will get brushed under the rug as a one off incident that occurred in a vacuum. The shooter might even get dismissed as mentally unstable or being an alcoholic. Because only white people seem to have that privilege — a POC only has to be a POC to get written off as a criminal or a terrorist for far less than premeditated murder. Then comes the argument along the lines of #notallwhitepeople — at which I have to laugh because statistically (btw, everyone who is contributing to normalizing the Drumpfsterfire — this is the Merriam-Webster definition of a statistic) -
I can’t even begin to unpack my mother’s message — “be safe”. What more do we need to do be safe?! Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were at a local bar getting a drink, not engaging with the shooter Adam Purinton. How could they have practiced this blanket recommendation to “be safe”? Should they not have been there at all? Should they have decided that the color of their skin would get in the way of a successful future away from home and never left India?? Beats me! What am I supposed to do not be a victim of hate crime? How can I protect my brown brothers and sisters?
I am also extremely upset at the South Asian community today. During the election there were family members and friends in the Indian/Indian-American community who decided that racism, sexism, bigotry, xenophobia, and links to white supremacists were not deal breakers in electing the next president of the US. Unless you’re extremely wealthy or white, your well being in this country is at risk! Our complacency in accepting the “model minority” epithet was foolish, and a betrayal of support that is needed for our imperiled minority counterparts — Muslim, Arab, African American, LGBTQ+, and women (I’m sure I’m missing someone please forgive me).
To end on a hopeful note (such a thing is possible) — the day after the election a random man hollered at me outside my own house that I’d get deported any day now. Another man at Starbucks came over to my table and thanked me for not bombing his country. I didn’t react to either situation from a mix of being dumbfounded and out of self-preservation. These, unfortunately run of the mill incidents since the election, of hate speech and harassment motivated me to ask my colleagues and peers that voted for TinyHands how they could convince me I was safe in this new administration. Just when I had determined that they can’t, Ian Grillot’s selflessness in trying to block the shooter has given me hope. I can safely say that on behalf of brown people in America who no doubt feel threatened, we are so glad he is recovering from his injuries and grateful that he was able to be an ally in a crucial situation! If you are able to, please consider contributing to Ian Grillot’s, and Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s family’s GoFundMe pages to help them with recovery and medical expenses.
Meanwhile, please keep praying for Sweden. No one loves the Swedes more then I do, no one. I am the biggest Swedish fish you know.
This is a micro-rant and not a full fledged opinion piece. I wanted to express my outrage hoping to reach someone that isn’t in my “woke-circle” on Facebook/Twitter/life-bubble. If I have missed providing evidence it’s because I wrote this on my phone the minute I got my mother’s message in a rage spiral. Call me out for unsupported facts (not facts you disagree with because it doesn’t support your system of belief(s) ) and I will either source the evidence or correct myself if I can’t). My mother has never not worried about us and won’t stop now. But I wish I could assuage the fears of parents who send their kids so far from home to see them flourish that we will “be safe”.