Are Indians Racist?

Seriously, let’s talk about it.

Recently, while returning home from a Jill Scott concert, I decided to be frugal and take an Uber pool. I rarely use this feature, but hey, it was late and I didn’t have very far to go, so why not save a few bucks? Instead of going to my home, I had the uber driver drop me off at a Harris Teeter near my home so that I could pick up a few items before heading in. Nothing abnormal about any of this. I mean, the driver was a little eccentric, and the Indian woman next to me had never heard of Jill Scott, but hey, I let it all go. However, when the driver asked me where exactly I would like to be dropped off I informed him to drop me off at Harris Teeter. This is where the ride takes a sharp turn. The Indian woman next to me–I am specifying her ethnicity because it is crucial to this story–says, are you going to Harris Teeter to go to work? Now, anyone who has ever met me is fully aware that I was raised in a household where the importance of presentation matters. This is significant because prior to going to the concert I was attending a friend’s 30th birthday/Housewarming gathering, so I was pretty dressed up. I replied with a sharp ‘no’ which caused the driver and the other passenger to laugh awkwardly. Now, just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with working at Harris Teeter. The issue here is, if I weren’t Black would she have asked me that question? I think not.

For the sake of clarity, I am not foolish enough to claim that an entire group of people is racist, but I do want to question some cultural norms that might influence perceptions and interactions.

I understand that India operates on a caste system, but that’s hella problematic and isn’t a worthwhile excuse to treat people poorly or perpetuate stereotypes.

What exactly is a caste system? A simple answer is it is the way that people are divided within a society. A more detailed explanation is provided by BBC:

A documentary I watched recently covered this same topic.

Simply put, my question is, how do we tackle racism at every front?

-Ms. Malcolm Hughes

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela


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