South Asians, Islamophobia, anti-blackness and the internalization of racism

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Originally Posted in: Consented
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One facet of the white domination of ethnic minorities in Britain has been divide and rule. Instead of ethnic minorities all uniting together against oppressive white racism, some ethnic groups look to align themselves with white people, in order to gain certain privileges.

This is not always the fault of said communities, but more a reflection of the way people are forced to internalize their racism within this model of “multiculturalism”. Proximity to whiteness is seen as desirable within a society where structural racism makes it difficult for those who are not white to progress.

One community that has done this more effectively than most is the British Indian community, particularly Hindus and Sikhs. They have taken on attitudes of anti-blackness and Islamopbobia, to gain proximity to whiteness and the acceptance of many British people. Part of this springs from colonial ideals of “chosen races”.

I remember when I was studying my undergraduate degree at SOAS, one imperialist white class-mate spoke to me about how his grandfather fought alongside Sikhs, as if this was something we should bond over and as if this was something I should be proud of. Good old Sikhs, following the white man into battle. Yet rather than being something to be proud of it is a sign of how South Asian’s were enslaved by the British and forced to fight under the pretence of “liberation” and “democracy” despite the fact their own country was occupied.

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