Orientalism

I had no idea where I wanted to begin with this topic. It seems this was the one topic I had no opinion or strong belief about. Maybe this is from ignorance, or ethnocentricity. Probably a little bit of both, with laziness mixed in, unfortunately. In grade school we only really learned about U.S. history (but if it painted us in an unfavorable light, forget about it)… who cares about everyone else?  I feel like that is the mentality we were taught. That our country was the best, so why bother teaching anything outside of that? Which is awful. I know zilch about other countries history or about the voices of the people unheard, besides the superficial. I didn’t realize how much the Indian people had struggled, because we never focused on them. I can go on and on about Martin Luther King Jr. or slavery, because not only were we taught it in abundance, but because that struggle is the history of my people and the story of our freedom. It always held the most importance to me, so I listened more, and educated myself more. I see now that battle is more than just U.S. oppression. Because, the mentality of white supremacists can be found worldwide… Specifically, in India.

I noticed a lot of parallels between Gandhi’s story and MLK’s. Both surpassed the expectations of their racial box by becoming highly educated, speaking out against racial injustice with strong oratory skills, and the belief non-violence would create a stronger impact and desired outcome. In the film Gandhi, there was a scene where the crowd Gandhi had formed in protest approach policemen on horses when the policemen start charging them and the Indian people all lie down in the dirt, because “the horses won’t trample [them].” I thought it was ironic that they had faith an animal wouldn’t try to hurt them, meanwhile the white policemen were for sure to inflict pain. It is very sad when humankind alike becomes less trustworthy than a strange animal.

The black vs. white battle is more than just a U.S. issue. It starts to become an East vs. West difference. It starts to become less surprising as history repeats itself within almost every country. Instead of learning from the unfortunate events that happen in neighboring countries, the world still seems to be doomed to find problems instead of peace.

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