I have been furious this week (and last week) after what happened in Ferguson I would imagine that the authorities would become "more" sensitive to treating human beings with humanity. Then two days back the Eric Garner jury decision not to indict was taken...I became a citizen here not so long ago (3 years to be precise) and even though I felt sad "renouncing my Indian Citizenship" I was proud being a part of a nation which gave me so much in terms of a feeling of Equality, Opportunities and Belonging.What stood out as I was preparing for my citizenship exam in 2011 was that in this country as a citizen everyone has a very basic personal right which is :
(1) Not to be killed.
(2) Not to be injured or abused.
So what happened to Michael and Eric....? What do I tell my 8 year old boy who is definitely not White or Black...just a different shade but born here in this nation and if you asked him what is his country he would say - USA. He eats Indian food sometimes, doesn't speak any Indian languages and loves Football, Pizza and Skylanders - my son has no sense that he is different because of the shade of his skin.
Truth be told I will be the first one to confess that due to my late assimilation into the American Culture, stereotypes do hold - I did come into this country with personal biases and proclivities. I was always aware of my accent, my skin tone (I have been called a cookie to someone's milk), used to the underlying attitudes ( asked quite a few times when I will go back to my country, am I an Engineer) BUT in the same breath I have got friendship, acceptance and opportunities here....so I am not using this as a soapbox to rant or vent.
I am however convinced that I can't turn a blind eye to "colorblindness" -- at some point my son will realize that he is different ( the good news is in his public school - there are a lot of kids from different cultures, so they are learning early about the differences) - I don't want race & ethnicity to be a taboo subject...he needs to understand, respect and accept these differences. Maybe race shouldn't be such a big deal in this country, but we know it is...too big a deal for me to ask an 8 year old to figure out by himself....so I will have the talk with K2 soon....what about you?