I am only second class….maybe, third!

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By Nazarul Islam, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO : Two weeks ago, the popular American TV show Saturday Night Live was hosted by a white comedian. Today’s new term ‘Woke’ denotes a left-wing movement, demanding fair play and justice in the US. The comedian stated, correctly, that wokeness was actually meant for people of colour in the US. Until white women hijacked it and came to stand right on top of the woke grievance line.

What grievances did white women have, asked the comedian? Amongst them, and primarily: Oh, my SUV seats are not heated enough, she said. For nearly four centuries lamented the comedian, white women have been soaking in blood money. And now they are suddenly so aggrieved. He went on to say that whenever a white woman sneaked out to have sex with a black man, and she was caught in the act, she would claim that it was non-consensual sex. Guess what happened to the poor black man.

A Bangladeshi publisher was visiting the US and felt inclined to do something to ensure that my book appealed to liberal whites, that is…the white ‘wokes’. I told him that there is no difference between the white left and the white right. For them, immigrants from the subcontinent of India are just pure, dark people. That comment resonated with the publisher. I, an American citizen of Asian (non Latino) descent, have often wondered about my status in America.

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In 2001, my younger brother Dr. Tariq was thinking of going to America. He also had the option of joining an Post graduate studies in medicine, in the US or Canada. He was conflicted, and so got in touch with some of his friends who had crossed the SMLE barrier, and had worked at hospitals in the US. My brother had asked one funny question: Will I be treated as a second class citizen in America? Obviously, I had raised my right eye-brow.

Twenty-five years in America and I am not even considered a citizen of the country, even if I put my real status in bold black letters on top of my resume. So forget about being a second class citizen. I am just second class. Or maybe third?
As a writer, one is often asked by publishers and literary agencies what my platform is. One way of making a platform is by writing for national newspapers. But American papers carry articles related to India or Pakistan or Bangladesh—only when they bash India, or the countries in the bad neighbourhood.

At the outset of the pandemic, the most eminent American paper carried two articles critical of Pakistan, when this country was handling it much better than America (and still is).

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Even if I were to write an India bashing article, my ‘non-Western or Muslim’ name is an obvious turn-off for the editors of American papers. Fed up, I had taken on a Christian nom de plume, but just yesterday a Literary agent had called my attention to to doing something of the equivalence of stealing someone’s identity, which is a federal crime and could land me in jail(?). I have no idea whose identity it was that this agent was referring. Get lost, I said to myself!

The Black Lives Matter movement has become intensely controversial in the US. Donald Trump has made it into some sort of a black panther movement, of violent black men who will invade American suburbia and hurt white women. Actually the aim and the activities of the movement are noble. They are only protesting, mostly non-violently, the injustices against blacks in America.

But here too, white ‘wokes’ have hijacked the movement. They want to protest with the black BLM protestors. The black BLM protestors are suspicious of such white woke allies. After the police officer Derek Chauvin slayed George Floyd in Minneapolis, the expectation, after a crime so heinous, was that a majority of whites would atone and initiate police reform. But the out-and-out right-winger Donald Trump keeps praising his cops and exhorts them to commit more atrocities.

U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris

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Faced off against him is the woke-duo of Biden-Harris, or should I say Harris-Biden? Kamala Harris is the woke-woke! To me, Biden is more moderate.

Biden is promising the earth, police reform and a green new deal and a lot more. Actually a green new deal is much closer to a white woke’s heart than any sort of police reform. So if Biden wins, expect a green new deal to go through and police reform to fall by the wayside.

Trump’s tenure has been a disaster for India and her allies in the bad neighbourhood. China is bullying India and Trump has said nary a word against China. Barack Obama too did not do anything for India or Pakistan. George W. Bush, with the Indo-US nuclear deal, is the only US president to have done something substantive for India.

Expect Biden to do little bit for India, even though Harris is of Indian descent. Harris practically hides her Indian origins, playing up her black heritage instead. India has gone into a tizzy over her, but she doesn’t seem to have gone into a tizzy over India. Nor will she were she and Biden to win.

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Biden has said very little about India. He let his sidekick Kamala, take care of that in person. This would include the foreign policy in general, even though he has decades of experience in it. Let’s not don’t expect a Biden-Harris administration to do anything for India. India will have to learn to cope with China on its own.

And of course….there will be no permanent seat on the UN Security Council, for India under Biden!

Compiled and Curated By Humra Kidwai

Also, Read, More By Nazarul Islam: America’s Changing Symbols of Heroism

Nazarul Islam

Nazarul Islam

The author is a former Educator, based in Chicago (USA).

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