Intersections of Marginalization
“8 of your Facebook friends have shared about the death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla.” All 8 of these friends were of Indian origin but none of these individuals spoke about the deaths of Charleena Lyles, Nabra Hassanen, or Philando Castile. Why is it that many people of color only talk about injustice when it only involves their own communities? The presence of a racial hierarchy & marginalization within races occurs and without acknowledging the racism within our own communities, we further contribute to the problem.
Often times the term, “POC”, refers to a number of marginalized identities grouped together based on melanin with a disregard to experience. A disregard to acknowledging differing experiences is a disregard and ignorance to the problems within colored communities themselves. By allowing an Indian uncle at the dinner party to spew racist remarks about the black community and tell the girl next to you to use Fair and Lovely, we further contribute to the problem. Sometimes it almost seems as if racism towards some marginalized communities is often used as a tool for assimilation for other colored communities which is an issue in and of itself.
Along with having varying experiences among different races, it’s essential to recognize intersectionality of experience within each race. I, as a cis-gendered, Indian-american woman have a gravely different experience than an individual who is a part of the LGBT spectrum within the Indian community. Although we’re both brown, the privileges we have and the issues we face are remarkably different. We’re both equipped with different tools to face society as I have a hammer, a screw driver, and a few nails to build a book case while they were only given a screw driver to do the same. But it’s also important to remember that some of the people in our communities aren’t even given the right to have a book case or the tools to build one. It’s essential to speak up and fight so that our communities provide equitable grounds for success within our schools, businesses, and other environments.
The failure to recognize racism within colored communities and intersectionality within our own communities hinders progress. In order to efficiently make progress and have it be inclusive, it’s important to realize that our experiences vary and that black lives matter and that the life of Charleena Lyles was just as important as the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla.