On May 25th George Floyd was killed in a custody of Minneapolis officers who kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Police officers involved had already been fired and charged with murder, but this devastating tragedy has triggered worldwide series of protests including in Pakistan in form of tweets. Yes, you heard correct! Pakistani’s are tweeting with hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Why it sounds strange?
We are a nation that judge people based on their cast, language, beliefs and complexion and here we are using hashtag #blacklivesmatter. In Pakistan dark complexion means you must use whitening creams for fairer skin specially women because if you don’t have a fair complexion you will not get any Rishta. There are numerous examples, but let’s talk about our music and
television dramas and poetry. Yeah! They all support gora rang. Even though you might have noticed that our villains are usually darker in color. Well this might not be an extreme racism like in America and Africa, but we are racist because we do discrimination based on gora rang. People here don’t think before calling someone kala, choora and maila. Accept it or not but we are racist after all!
This preconception is deep-rooted in manner that beauty product companies gain profit from it. Like skin whitening creams and makeup products are extremely popular and not only for women. Bleaching products are also used to light complexion. Not only these companies but are traditions and customs like applying haldi or uptan on bride are all related to get gora rang.
Murder of Mr. Floyd is indeed a devastating event is the history of racism, which had shaken the western world brutally. But to stop this we must make changes within ourselves and surrounding which means we have to stop judging people on the basis of their complexion and language and try to see the world from different angle and that’s the only way of stopping racism!