We fight COVID-19 while Racism and Discrimination await their turn

May 25 saw the history of racism in US repeats itself. George Floyd died while he was arrested. Soon after, a video was released proving violence against him by the officers. This led to the beginning of protests in the city of Minnesota. The unrest has grown and President Donald Trump has threatened of violent retaliation.

“We are determined that justice be served,” As Trump announced an inquiry into the matter and ordered the Justice Department to expedite a federal investigation.

Trump has spoken with the family of George Floyd, said he wanted “to express our nation’s deepest condolences and most heartfelt sympathies.”

Racism is not new to the United States. From Rosa Parks to Barack Obama, we see the fight against the discrimination continue even today. The death of George Floyd sparked the fire that was dying down in the country.

This reminds me of an article I read regarding caste-based discrimination in our country. The News Minute reported instances of caste discrimination as a result of the stigma associated with coronavirus to Dalit groups. A Madurai-based NGO recorded around 23 caste-related crimes during the lockdown period, including six murders and 3 (honour-related) caste killings in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Caste system has deep roots in Indian society. We have for years thrived on the oppression of Dalits and Harijans by Brahmanical Upper Class. The reservation was an attempt to lift them up and improve their social standing. What it might have resulted in though is the increase in hatred and distancing them from the mainstream.

On May 25, 2020, Prabhat Khabar reported that four Brahmin migrant labourers staying at the quarantine centre of Hazaribagh, Banaso Panchayat, Bishnugarh Block, refused to eat food cooked by a Scheduled Caste (SC) person. The Brahmins demanded the administration to give dry ration instead of cooked food. Thereafter, separate dry ration was arranged for these four by the Mukhiya.

Everyone around the globe is fighting a common enemy right now. In the wake of the pandemic, the incidents of racism and caste discrimination establishes the ground that no matter the growth, no matter the situation, these social evils are here to stay.

Image Credits: cnn.com

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