I wrote this on my Facebook today.
I share it with you. This is what I am, and I am what I am.
I often look in the eyes of my next-door black neighbors in Brooklyn, and I see mistrust. I see sadness. Their eyes tell me, “How could you Indians hate us so much, when we did so much for you?” They say, “Did you ever realize had we blacks not fought for passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you could not take advantage of the 1965 immigration law that opened the gates for you to come to America, and be equal, at least on paper?”
Their eyes silently admonish me.
They don’t know what I do, or what I write or talk about. They probably think I’m also one of those Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants, living our bodies here to make as much money as possible, while living our souls back in our home country.
Had there been a way to tell them how I feel, I’d say sincerely, “I’m sorry, man, I’m so sorry. Forgive me. Take me in. I am one of you.”
I’d say, “Give me a chance to share my life’s stories with you. You’ll know how similar they are, with yours.”
I feel your pain. I feel your suffering.
Do you feel mine?
Brooklyn, New York
December 11, 2014
Photos from New York Times article on police brutality and killing, December 3, 2014.