Do you face racism where you live? If so, how do you deal with it?

My DiscussionDo you face racism where you live? If so, how do you deal with it?
Ikram Naqvi asked 14 years ago

I have lived in western countries for many years. I tend to agree with Kamal.I belive that you get back hat you give. We need to adopt to new ways if we want to live in western countries. Otherwise we will be outcast.Racial prejudice is within all of us. In fact e discriminate in Hindu,Muslim,Shia and Sunni etc.

Ikram Naqvi replied 14 years ago

My technique to deal with racism has been to avoid such people.Having positive attitude is also very affective.Knowing that discrimination,particularly on the basis of religeon is much worst where we come from, also makes me more tolerant of any racism in the western countries.We need to take interest in things (eg.sports,social activities)that these people do.
Have you experienced racism and how do you deal with it?

Anand Raj replied 14 years ago

I do not believe that racism exists. In many situations, where I have come across business challenges working with the Western folks, people started to advise me that these challenges happended because you are from India. And my answer has been simply – No. It’s true – it’s all in our minds. We find reasons to justify the failures and racism comes in very handy for every situation. So keeping the positive attitude, doing the right things without worrying about the results and harming others in the process, helps in keepong away from the racism thought – because it doesn’t exist.

safia Khan replied 14 years ago

I apologise but have to disagree with Anand.In my experience ‘racism’exists every where even in Amroha!We encounter the racial divide in Amroha in terms of religion, in the color of our skins even. My not so ‘gori’ sister finds it hard to find a suitable spouse and similarly my brother faces the same issue.In Britain where I lived for most of my schooling,from very early on I was often isolated with no friends because I was the only one at that time with a “brown skin’.Nobody had heard of India let alone Pakistan. Most people thought we had ‘lived in trees’ back home, not knowing that we had a rich culture much older then theirs with highly educated people.This ofcourse has changed dramatically in the past 50 years and people of brown/black skin colour and differnt cultural background dominate the British landscape.My father who left home many years ago and attended the University of London as a teacher encountered numerous ‘moments’of racism,not only at his place of work but also trying to buy a house for his family or going to the shops. As we(my brother and I) attempted to move up the career ladder we were confronted with many situations which were definately racist. Frustrated I left London for the ‘Land of opportunity and the land of freedom’. Even here in the academic world that we move in we have felt insistences of definate racism. Post 9/11 it has gotten worse because my children face it, in fact my son who was born here and for all intent and purposes is American, has often been told to ‘go home’.My brother who decided not to move here from London, because he loved cricket and rugby(?) reached a senior position at IBM after completing his education at the University of Cambridge but could not or was not allowed to reach the very top, decided to start his own company.His children do face some difficult situations and there fore are forced to make difficult choices because of their culture. I agree that post 9/11 situation is not the normal situation however we have to be real. You may ask ‘so how do I deal with it’? We accept it because, yes we have come to their country and yes we are taking jobs that should be their’s. Would you not feel the same way if they came to our country and took all the top jobs? We are here to ‘better’ ourself and with that we should take ‘raceism’ with a pinch of salt.The wonderfull thing about this country is that ‘hard work pays off’ all be it we often have to work twice as hard. I am happy to read Anands comments, obviously we face a variety of situations and the lesson to learn is to be positive and not to let our experiences in our chosen country make us lose site of our goals and the reasons why we came here. We are here to stay!!

Anand Raj replied 14 years ago

I agree with you Safia with respect to these challenges that people face in their day to day life. But will it be appropriate to put them under the Racism bucket. Lot of these challenges are related to normal human conditions. Putting them under the Racism bucket (or Branding) has a much wider impact on the next generations. Generally, the first generation folks fight these challenges as normal hurdles and get their dreams realized. But if somehow a feeling is developed that because we are so and so and that there is no way in the world we should be doing such and such in this country ? then this thought puts a wall around our possibilities and comes in our way of realizing our full potential. Not accepting these challenges as racism keeps us FREE and then we deal with them as they come.

I called these challenges as normal human conditions because people like certain type of people around them. Even in a small family, let us say someone wants to start a new business and wants to select the team to run it from within the family. Most of the time, people will like to bring the folks to the team who they feel most comfortable with ? let us assume that the head of the family selected 2 persons out of 6 to run the business. We don?t call these actions racism within a family but the other persons who were left out of the business may very well feel that way. In this analogy, the family could be a big organization like IBM, Microsoft or a country for that matter.

So I agree with you that these challenges exists and will remain as long as the human being continue to exist ? so let us deal with them and also put them in appropriate bucket so that our next generations do not limit themselves and open up for the possibilities that exists irrespective of any of these challenges. Putting them in the racism bucket in my mind is dangerous for the next generations.

Kamal Naqvi replied 14 years ago

I tend to agree with both of you to some degree. For me, we all have a range of prejudices. It is just human nature to gravitate towards people who are similar. Raciscm is just one of many such prejudices. The issue is not that prejudices exist but the degree to which one is allowed to overcome them. Moden Western society generally has become better at this than most others, but is clearly still far from perfect. The key, I think, is not to use the existence of such prejudices as an excuse for failure. Over time, the vast majority of people will allow you the chance to prove yourself despite their own prejudices. The real question is whether you have the right attitude to oversome intial resistance.

Just look at British muslims. There is generally more freedom and opportunity in Britain for them in all areas of life than, just about, anywhere else in the world. But yet, a significant minority has elected to see themselves as oppressed and disenfranchised. This is their choice and not the system. They have used racism as an excuse.

Ram Chand replied 14 years ago

I have suffered racism in promotion to a senior position.But I also know that discrimination in India is much worst.In general western people are quite tolerant.We need to adopt to their ways if we want to integrate in the west.Would lve to hear from other Amrohivis about their experiences.

Shariq Hasan replied 14 years ago

I have lived in London for some years. One can sense racism, particularly among older english people. In generalI find english people very tolerant of others.London is probably the most cosmopolitan city in the world.

Ram Chand replied 14 years ago

I share Anand and Safia’s views. We can imagine all kinds of “isms”.I believe that you get back what you give.If we are honest we should accept that we discriminate all the time.In my experience western people are more tolerant than us.What do you think?

Tanvir Ali replied 14 years ago

I am sure that we have all encountered some kind of discrimination.We ourselves disciminate because we are conditiond from childhood. It takes life time to get rid of it.My experience is that you get back what you give. Simple smile when you meet somebody goes long way to receive positive response back. What is your exprience?

Ram Chand replied 14 years ago

My worst experience of racism was in the promotion to a senior position.