I Am Not A Person Of Color. I Am An Indian!
Group identity is a critical weapon in American politics, if not worldwide. It is easier to fight for or against a similar group of people than individuals. For example, you are either white or a person of color in the USA. In the past, persons of color essentially meant black folks, but now it encompasses everyone who is not white. I always wonder how white is not considered a color? Scientifically it’s a combination of all the colors in the visible light spectrum. People-of-color term general points to how a group of people (all people-of-color) are victims of white supremacy in the western world.
I do not want to be included in the people-of-color group. I would instead be called an Indian because that is my true identity. No matter where I live, I will always be an Indian. Yes, I do and behave in a certain stereotypical Indian way. And that is more acceptable to me than to be diluted in a group of people based on skin color. I do not share as much with black folks or people from Latin America or other brown-colored nations as with another Indian, even if he is from the polar opposite part of India. I am also not a victim of the things that people-of-color are associated with. I do not think, in general, a white person with a similar level of education or wealth has any more privileges than I have. Does he get an extra orange? Or does he gets more free books from the public library? Or does he pay less for the gas, health insurance, rent, and public transport? Indeed, we all have an unfair advantage in some aspects of our lives because of our education, our family, or the country we belong to. But just because I am not white doesn’t make me a victim automatically.
My unfair advantage is that I do not have any student loans to be paid off. In contrast, many of my white colleagues are still paying off their student loans well into their late thirties and some even in their mid-forties. Ever since I was in the USA or in the UK, I have been helping my white friends financially and otherwise as my Indian friends back home. And I find them as vulnerable and subjected to the entropy of life as us, the so-called “people of color.”
However, American politics constantly enforces that people of color (collectively) are disadvantaged. Which I think is an attempt to boost their agenda by pooling people from multiple backgrounds under one umbrella — to gain statistical significance rather than addressing the ground truth. So, yes, there are genuine victims and proponents of racism, and those individuals should be addressed individually, not collectively.
I have never come across any Indian struggling financially or socially in my inner and wide circle in the USA. Yes, the immigration system is a pain, and I wish I don’t have to deal with it as much. But all the Indian families I know are well educated, pay their taxes, their children go to good schools, can afford healthcare, and continuously progressing in both professional and personal lives. Look at the newly minted Indian CEOs of all the big tech companies in the USA — and many more to come. How can we then include Indians in the people-of-color category to justify that they are going through the same ordeal as a black person in the USA? It seems both unfair to black people and factually incorrect.
I find it offensive to be included in the people-of-color group. If I am to be labeled, please call me an Indian.