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Uther Mimidragon @Miminality
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
My possibly-lukewarm take on the whole #SmashBrahminicalPatriarchy debacle? It’s not that the Twitterfolk did NOT want to smash Brahminical patriarchy at the moment of taking that photo, it’s just that they’re backtracking now that they found out how deep that chasm goes. 1/
This is one of the things people/organizations from developed nations have always done towards poorer nations that they don’t much care about. Throw some money at feeding poor kids etc, you get a “safe” cause. Nobody does NOT want poor kids to be fed. 2/
You fill your good deeds quota, some *extremely* disadvantaged people get helped—it’s a win-win without you having to do any actual engaged labour for the cause. This is the stuff organizations like Peaceworks pretty much thrive on. 3/
What Twitter is doing here, it’s the kind of reaction I regularly receive from white (and other non-South Asian, including POC) Americans when I talk to them about caste. First, they’re surprised that this discrimination still exists, and to the extent it does. 4/
You give them the numbers and kinds of attacks that happen, they dutifully gasp and agree that this is wrong wrong wrong. Some of them have never heard of caste before. Some have, but vaguely believed that it was a thing of the past. But they agree it shouldn’t exist.

Until they find out that some of their own Indian friends and colleagues are casteist, and have always been; they just didn’t notice it all this time.

Then they suddenly turn coy. Uh. This is a bigger problem than they thought, isn’t it? It’s actually getting personal. Oops. 6/
This is obviously disappointing, because privileged people with toxic POVs—private people, not politicians or other public persons—can often only be made to change if their friends, family, employers etc hold them accountable. 7/
*They* don’t care about activists, and often activists can’t touch them, because activists can only condemn a person when their toxic actions affect public life. A private person whose toxic views are supported and tolerated by their social circle gets away with everything. 8/
They’re also usually unaffected by the people or communities against whom they discriminate, because no one in their social circle is from those communities. Or at least no one consequential.

These are marginalized people anyway. They have much less power to affect anyone. 9/
And because of the way current social justice language is structured, these non-South Asian liberals—the people I’m talking about are all liberals—get a very convenient leeway to NOT hold their casteist Indian friends accountable. 10/
Instead of having to admit “I don’t care; not my problem; I couldn’t be bothered to take up this inconvenience,” they get to say “I don’t know enough about this culture; I’m not a member of it; it isn’t in my place to pass a judgement”... and still retain their liberal cred. 11/
So the casteists thrive well and completely unaffected among liberal non-South Asians—especially (but not only) among liberal white people—passing as liberals, progressive, minorities, people proud of their ethnic culture, etc. All these nice, liberal-approved labels. 12/
It’s infuriating (and eventually devastating) to me the number of not-even-covert Indian/origin casteists in the US who receive solidarity and empowerment in POC networks. Vocal Democrat here, supports BJP or RSS back home. Nearly half the Indian community in the US is that. 13/
White people don’t mind them at all. (Also not other non-South Asian POC.)

Sometimes they don’t even mind when pointed out. Because really, it’s not their problem.

I’ve had this exact interaction SO many times that now I can see it coming before the words are even spoken. 14/
“Yeah yeah, casteism is really bad, so sorry you had to go through that, yeah uh I have to go to the bathroom.” And so on.

So really, it would’ve been news to me if the Twitterfolk did anything *else.* This? This isn’t news. It’s (the same) old news to me already. 🤷🏽‍♀️
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