My parents came to America seeking for more alternatives in life to attain a better future. Back in India, it was highly competitive and selective in both schools and workplaces; thus, not everyone could succeed under such pressure. Growing up, they always tell me I am so “privileged” in a way that no matter what I will do, there is a place for me in the U.S.
In school, all my closest friends are women of color. In an everyday setting that is predominately white, I inevitably feel the intimidation from an ethnic group that look distinctively different from me. This constant sense of insecurity changes the way I interact both with people and the surrounding, and most importantly, enables me to establish trust and intimacy with the people who share similar experiences.
In classes, I am constantly perplexed by a past that is so distant from me––the history of my origin. Although in World History class, we covered a few units of Mongol empire, which was part of India, the curriculum was taught entirely through the European lens. Every country that we learned outside the Europe was either colonized or devastated by the European force. We never knew prior to the transcontinental encounters, India, South Africa, and South America, were prosperous under their own reigns. It was not until the expansion of imperialism and colonialism, their cultures were eradicated, their people slaughtered, and each of them in ruins.
Later they were categorized as the “third-world” country in this hierarchy reinforced by whiteness. People need to understand countries like India, China, and Pakistan, only gained independence approximately 75 years ago. On the contrary, the U.S has enjoyed its independence and freedom for the past 245 years. The titled scale of power cannot be restored if we refused to support these countries who are only in the beginning stage of the U.S.
My American experience presents a world constructed under a single perspective established by force and violence. I think it’s time for people to hear all the perspectives, all the stories from each part of the world and each individual, and all at once.