Updated: Oct 4, 2021
I just saw a Ted talk with these three inspiring women, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors. They are the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. With all that is going with Black Lives Matter, I’m trying to see what I can do to help my black brothers and sisters. I know I always blog about mental illness stigma in the Muslim community but I think I’m realizing there is even a bigger stigma around Black Muslims in the Desi and Arab community.
Stop Calling Her “Kali”
To begin with, Desi people use the word “kali” as an insult. Black skin color is seen as ugly and unattractive. Slip into a dawat of aunties and you will hear this subtle racism. If you can’t go to a protest, if you think you can’t do anything and feel sad and helpless, then there is one thing you can do: talk to your family and friends about the word “kala” if you’re Pakistani or Indian.
We need to have these conversations with our elders, ourselves and people younger than us. Do whatever you can, whether it’s sending a simple text in your Whatsapp groups and sitting down with your child and having this uncomfortable conversation.
The time is to act now. We can’t ignore this. If our black brothers and sisters are not free from police brutality, no one is.