We have to do our part as South Asians in solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters. It’s not enough to just “not be racist”, we have to actively be “anti-racist” and that begins at home.
Whether you’ve already put some thought into how to approach your loved ones about systemic racism or avoided the topic altogether for fear of having an “uncomfortable” conversation, it’s evident that now, more than ever, we have to talk about it. We have to have unfiltered, real, heart-to-heart conversations with our parents, aunties and uncles. We have to reframe the South Asian perspective. We have to act.
Only once we start examining our lives, our thoughts and our feelings can we begin to understand how, consciously or not, we may be propagating beliefs deeply ingrained in our culture. Here are three steps to navigate the topic of systemic racism in your communities:
1) Be Informed - Do your research and ditch assumptions. Listen and learn from each others’ experiences. Educate yourself so you can educate others in your life. Identify the ways that racism and anti-blackness exist in your social circles and reflect on how we as a community can reframe our perspectives. Knowledge is power, and it’s important that we know our own history. For example, @southasiansmh recently shared a post that explains how the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s opened up the doors for Asians to enter the US. We also recommend following @southasians4blacklives for resources to help educate ourselves on dismantling anti-Blackness and confronting our own community’s biases.
2) Be Proactive - Act now to fight ignorance. Screenshot, share, and repost articles and resources with your friends and family. Whether it’s initiating a conversation at the dinner table or supporting black-owned businesses (www.supportblackowned.com), find ways to come together in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Converse with empathy. Both relatable and shareable. We love this art by @shebanimal on how to engage with your Desi family in solidarity.
3) Be Patient - Keep an open mind and meet others where they are. It’s okay to disagree. Remember to first seek to understand each other’s views and be mindful of personal boundaries and sensitivities. This movement is ongoing and change takes time. Involve your siblings, cousins, and friends because we are stronger together.
Here’s what’s top of mind to us: How can the South Asian community support our Black brothers and sisters, today, tomorrow, and for generations to come? Feel free to give us ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a DM @lukhstudio. We’d love to hear from you.
On Wednesday, June 3rd, we’ll be tuning in to listen to @southasians4blacklives x @browngirlmagazine x @seemahari discuss internalized racism and anti-blackness at home and with our families. (Wednesday, June 3rd at 9PM EST / 6PM PST join in on Instagram Live.)
About the Author
Pallavee Trehan aspires to establish supportive communities at the corner of empathy and creativity. At the core of all of her passions, is connectivity. Whether it’s connecting people, ideas, moments, words, images, or visions - she believes that life is much more magical when it is shared. Today, she is the Community Intern for LUKH. In her spare time, you can find her in the garden or on the dance floor.