Ending the Normalization of South Asian Discrimination in America
By: Maahiyaa Datwani
In today's society, there is a lot of hate against South Asian Americans and its effects are detrimental. As people with so many resources and platforms, the youth must help stop the normalization of South Asian Racism in America.
What is the cause of south Asian racism?
One of the main causes of South Asian hate in America can be due to "othering", a process in which dominant racial groups normalize the idea that some races don't belong. This happens to Asian Americans frequently. Othering in America can be seen in the forms of white supremacy, xenophobia, and overall racism.
In America, South Asian racism became more normalized after 9/11. After the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, Americans of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern descent experienced racial profiling, discrimination, and hate crimes. People blamed the attack on South Asians as a whole, despite the terrorists being a select few people. Immediately after 9/11, 500 hate crimes against South Asians were reported. For example, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh American, was shot at a gas station by an airplane mechanic. Ever since 9/11, South Asians have been discriminated against and even considered dangerous. Prejudice against the South Asian community still exists today.
What effects does this discrimination have?
The implications of South Asian racism are the results of violence, hate crimes, etc. Between 2016 and 2019, over 484 hate crimes against South Asians were recorded. The psychological and physical effects that racism can have on a community include poor mental health, high blood pressure, stress, weakened immune systems, and the risk of developing long-term conditions. Research shows that the stress due to South Asian Racism can further lead to higher rates of smoking, drug use, alcohol use, and unhealthy eating habits.
Othering creates a dangerous perception of South Asians. Lack of job opportunities, frightening daily interactions, racial profiling, discriminatory law enforcement practice, stereotyping, etc. can all be effects normalizing South Asian racism.
Additionally, the normalization of south Asian racism can contribute to microaggressions, when people subtly discriminate against minorities. This has harmed the image of South Asian communities and has resulted in these groups feeling isolated. Racism dehumanizes them as well.
How can we stop the normalization of south Asian racism?
First, it is important to recognize in what way racism against South Asians occurs: it can range from microaggressions to hate crimes. It is essential to see how even small things can build-up; Second, it is our job to make sure that we do not racially profile or group South Asians based on stereotypes. Most of all, educating yourself and those around you about how your actions can impact the South Asian community. Spreading information can help stop the normalization of South Asian racism. Using social media platforms, such as Instagram, to bring attention to the problem can also help cause more public outcry against South Asian discrimination. Posting stories, symbols, facts, websites, and more on a platform can effectively educate large sums of people. Also, it is important not to downplay situations in which stereotyping and profiling are used. Volunteering in programs that help to raise awareness and donate to victims can also help. One of the most important things to do is to make sure to report all incidents and to make sure to speak out. Never look the other way.
"My name is Maahiyaa Datwani. I go to Carroll high school. I am apart of my school's debate and theatre programs. I am interested in bringing awareness to racial injustice, the BLM movement, and police reform. "