This submission is influenced by fellow Medium member Indi Samarajiva’s “Brown People Are Racist Too”, an honest and enlightening piece on an issue that gets very little attention, if it even resides in the psyche of those who perpetrate it. Ironically, that article came off the heels of aTwitter exchange with a Japanese contact with a congenital aversion to the notion that racism is as rampant a function among Asians as among whites. It is one of those conversations that when approached cannot be won. After a few courteous tweets between us, the contender opted to block my account.
But it would also not be too off the mark to say that a significant number of black people themselves alienate racism from other People of Colour. Heck, that is why we habitually address the issue with the inclusiveness of our fellow suffering “other people of colour”. We articulate fighting racial discrimination against “black and brown people”, much to the chagrin of those of us who know otherwise.
Again, what accounts for the many African and Caribbean peoples who see the encroaching Chinese takeover as fraught with good intentions — the arrival of big brother to wield his sword against historical racism? Big brother all the while expropriating land and resources along the way. Indeed the image of Chinese benevolence is the race card that is winning China’s subtle, not so subtle imperialist machinations.
Racial discrimination, racialization centralized around white people, to the omission of “People of Colour” has proven to be not only harmful but is worth resisting the same way we resist white supremacists. Racism has no exclusive racial identity. To overlook that fact is misleading, equally baleful and perhaps do even more harm because it goes undetected and provides no going forward in the issue of race relations.
Arabs in Libya (POC) in 2020, have revived the ghosts of the East African slave trade; selling African migrants into slavery because of the same racialization of dark skin people.
Jews in Israel secretly sterilized their own Ethiopian Jews because “ethnic cleansing” was a more tolerable alternative to the proliferation of dark skin in Israeli society — — “ a cancer” in Israel’s blood declared Foreign Minister Miri Ravi in reference to Sudanese refugees. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-gave-birth-control-to-ethiopian-jews-without-their-consent-8468800.htmlhttps://www.huffpost.com/entry/miri-regev-sudan_n_1543079
Racialization by other POC is why in India, cricket crowds toss banana peel at Caribbean players and make monkey chants. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/oct/18/cricket.india .
One West Indian player was disappointed to discover that racism existed in India. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/oct/18/cricket.india) It does exist and racial slurs such as “monkey” can roll as easily off the tongue of a Chinese or Indian man or woman as it would a white bigot in reference to a black person.
In 2016 there was social media outrage over a Chinese detergent advertisement when a black man’s advances towards a Chinese woman could only be returned after she “washes” him a different colour.
This was not the first time that Chinese racism against black was exposed in advertising. A brand of toothpaste called Darkie had to be rebranded because of racial insult.
If we are to speak truth to power, then we cannot start by being selective by permitting discrimination on discrimination. When we do, we stay rooted right here where we are — no progress. White supremacists have long borne that label — — maybe they have been more vociferous. Maybe that has masked the fact that racism is a chronic socioeconomic indiscriminative disease. For certain, it has caused the Others to fly unaccountable beneath the radar — -their acts of racial hate going unnoticed — unchallenged. At least not as aggressively condemned as we do those of white racists. However, if we are to have an honest conversation, all the race cards must be placed on the table and not just the colourless one. So, yes as Indi Samarajiva so honestly observe, “Brown people have a deep and abiding hatred of blackness”.