A(nother) proposal to stop exploiting POC pain

Yes, we know India is burning. Stop poverty/disaster porn, find a way to help instead.

What’s going on in India? (From the perspective of an Indian abroad)

Skip ahead if you already know.

See something, DO something

News media has crowded on the situation in India like vultures (what’s new?), burning drone footage of overflowing cremation grounds onto our retinae. Social media contacts I didn’t know to care about anything much are spouting random bouts of concerned activism by sharing triggering videos of an overburdened healthcare system in one of the world’s most populated countries. Videos of very sick people and their relatives on the street are this week’s uninvited guests on social media, shared not so much by Indians themselves anymore but by ‘helpful foreigners’ asserting their worldliness on the global stage.

  1. Share to raise awareness, call for transparency and accountability, and to evoke a sense of responsibility to help, not to sensationalise, show off your wokeness, or feel good you shared something
  2. Drive your audience (and yes, you have an audience) to actually do something: donate, sign petitions, search for more ways to help, and oh, did I mention donate?

A proposition

We need to learn new ways to develop empathy for those in need. We need to find ways to rebuild narratives around POC and their countries that don’t involve depicting them at their most vulnerable moments or as pawns of corrupt governments. We need to learn to see people of colour not as props or products of broken systems that are their own fault anyway (as the privileged person’s argument goes), but as human beings who deserve the same level of individual dignity as those in economically better off countries.

Colonialism and white privilege are still an issue

India and so-called third world countries have long suffered from the sleights of foreigners on their cultures. Colonialism manifested in a hundred ways, a few of which include:

Final words

You’re a thinking, breathing, caring-for-your-fellow-human being. Make your actions count. Let’s shift the narrative.



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