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Ed Posting 2

swati's picture

i wasn't on time for this posting ...  because this thought process only came to me this morning and it took me an entire day to put these words together. so here it is! 

i am thinking about how indians get so caught up in identity politics. sure, i don't see myself on american tv a whole lot. when we do see someone who represents us and our struggles, it becomes "ground-breaking". forget all the nuances and complexities behind it! i'm talking about aziz ansari's Netflix show Master of None, and i'm also talking about mindy kaling (her real last name is Chokalingam...). when master of none aired on netflix, everyone was talking about it and in particular, they were talking about the episode entitled 'Parents' which starred aziz and his real parents as his tv parents and tells the story of their immigration from india to america. while i cried and had to call my mom and dad and sister to tell them to watch it and i talked to my friends excitedly about its accuracy in the immigration areana, some things stuck out to me. aziz and his family are represented as Hindu, even though they are Muslim in real life. how would their story be shown differently if they were shown Muslim? that was clearly a conscious decision - would they be talking about islamophobia rather than model minority myths? was it easier, safer, simpler to show Indians as Hindus? 

the second - which always, always has to come up - is this. aziz's character says: "People don’t get that fired up about racist Asian or Indian stuff. I feel like you only risk starting a brouhaha if you say something bad about Black people or gay people…I mean, if Paula Deen had said, ‘I don’t want to serve Indian people,’ no one would really care. They’d just go back to eating the biscuits.” wtf!!!!!

this isn't a comment to be brushed aside because it's indicative of larger issues (isn't hypervisibility is a shortcoming of it's own?). i don't have clear and formulated thoughts on this subject but i definitely think the positionality of NBPOCs is something we haven't yet and should explore in this 360.