Why being a bystander is not an option

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Photo: Harsh V.

My column Personal Political published in the Cambridge Chronicle, June 8, 2017

Beena Sarwar

“You don’t even speak English,” comes a male voice across the fading evening light.

We glance past Cambridge Public Library’s main entrance. The man is bending close to someone sitting on a bench on the other side. A couple of homeless guys slightly drunk, ribbing each other?

The voice breaks through the dusk again. “This is not your country. Why don’t you go back?”

I jump up and walk purposefully towards them, suppressing a reminder that I’m a small brown woman heading towards an unknown situation.

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The importance of history and being human

With rising racial tensions in the USA exacerbated by bigots like Trump and easy availability of weapons, I wanted to share my friend Jaspal Singh’s recent ‘Reflections’ that he emailed to a few friends from his base in Cambridge MA (visuals added). Also see this post by Partha Banerjee, an activist friend in New York City, on the racism of South Asians (he talks about Indians but it applies equally to others in the region) and the need to contexualise injustice and violence and demand “justice for all the sufferers” and “punishment for all the criminals”.

Andover PD-Jul 8-2016

#Edhism #BlackLivesMatter #Kashmir #Police We could all use a bit more humanity. A powerful little story shared on Facebook by the Andover Police Department about what happens when we see each other as human beings first.

REFLECTIONS

July 10,2016

By Jaspal Singh

A wave of protests against police brutality has engulfed the US. Thousands of people have come out in the streets against the killing of black men by police in several cities. In Dallas Texas, a sniper killed five police officers.People are demanding that these police officers who are killing black men with impunity , be brought to justice and be punished. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the plight of the black people in the US.They can be killed by the law enforcement officers without any accountability as black lives are not considered to have any value. Every year hundreds of black men are killed in police shootings and nothing comes out of it, no police officer is punished. People are incensed against this kind of impunity. Continue reading

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