google-site-verification=mJzyi0LLw_FWwr1InYHKOiQyiKv2jqaHPMXbshTnDjk Despite large presence, Indo-Caribbeans are just a number is USA- Shabana - Indian Diaspora


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Despite large presence, Indo-Caribbeans are just a number is USA- Shabana

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  • Despite large presence, Indo-Caribbeans are just a number is USA- Shabana

    Shabana B is an activist and her thoughts often cover issues related to the Indo-Caribbean diaspora. Here she writes how despite a huge presence of the Indo-Caribbean in USA (New York, specifically), how this large community is often under-represented in South Asian affairs and events.
    Here are Shabana's thoughts:

    When Being Indo-Caribbean is Just a Number

    I live in New York City. One of the most diverse cities in the world, you don’t need me to tell you. Most of the activist work I do is in NYC and centers around South Asian communities. Here’s something interesting: (largely Indo-Guyanese)

    There are smaller groups of Indo-Caribbeans who migrate here from other countries, mainly Trinidad and Jamaica.
    Despite this, I can say with complete honesty and even regret, that not a single South Asian space I have ever been in has been run by Indo-Caribbeans.
    Not a single South Asian space I have ever been in has had more than 3 Indo-Caribbean participants at a time, myself included.
    In comparison with the few Indo-Caribbean specific spaces there are, to the many general South Asian spaces there are, the numbers are low and disheartening.
    There is an abundance of Indian, Bengali, and Pakistani participation in South Asian activism, which is great. But what does it say about the subcontinental diaspora when, although we outnumber them, they have access to greater amounts of resources? What does it say about how little Indo-Caribbeans are regarded as “real” South Asians when the solidarity South Asians seek and mission to build a community never reach us?

    I do not feel in solidarity with my diaspora. I do not feel like we are yet a whole community.

    I have always known, as my family has always known, and as I’m sure many other Indo-Caribbeans have always known, that subcontinentals have several issues with including Indo-Caribbeans in the diaspora and community spaces. This ranges from ethnic bigotry, to anti-blackness, to casteism, to just a pure lack of knowledge in their own history.
    Whatever the reason may be, to find out that there are empirical numbers that prove what we’ve all long suspected to be true, is sad to say the least.
    To all the South Asian organizers, activists, and leaders- Do more. Do better.
    The history of the painful colonization of the country you call home, is living, breathing, and manifesting in every Indo-Caribbean. Do your best to remember that. Use the tools and resources which you have privileged access to, to include Indo-Caribbean communities in your South Asian activism, otherwise call it “me activism”. Because without Indo-Caribbeans, that’s what it is.

    It hurts me to say this. It hurts me to acknowledge that even after fighting our way halfway across the world, and then some, my people are still not seen as good enough.
    South Asian solidarity can never exist, as long as the diaspora keeps pretending Indo-Caribbeans don’t either.

    - Shabana B (