African-American women mistreated in India

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  • #3580

    Claire H.
    Member

    My sister took a business trip to Hyderabad, India, two years ago and was treated with much disrespect and hatred. People would not speak to her or acknowledge her presence. although they would speak kindly to her white male co-workers. She said the customs officer in Mumbai acted as if she was a criminal trying to get into the country. After some time, he finally stamped her passport with such force that it made it quite clear that she was not a welcome visitor. If Indians are prejudiced against African-American women, then her boss, who is Indian, should have warned her so she would have been mentally prepared. Why was she treated differently from her white male coworkers?

    Meanwhile, on the last episode of the TV show “The Great Race,” the two African-American women could not enlist anyone’s help with directions while in India. They were also sexually assaulted on the train. One women said she was pinched on the buttocks at least 15 times. Because of the hostile treatment, these women reached the check-in post last and therefore were eliminated from the race. Are these situations in India a case of racism or sexism?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Claire H., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Age : 45, City : Cincinnati, State : OH Country : United States, Occupation : Instructor, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #42667

    A
    Member

    As an Indian myself, i am sorry to say that I do get the impression that many Indians are prejudiced against black people (but i have trouble getting Indians to admit it). This might have something to do with the millenia-old caste system in India which effectively made lighter-skinned people the ‘upper’ (privileged) castes and darker-skinned people ‘lower’ castes. Another consequence of this mentality, i believe, is that we allowed a handful of white (British) people to rule over millions of us for four centuries. About the pinching of the buttocks: i have heard about it happening to indian women also. But perhaps your friend got it worse because she was african-american. So i guess, to surmise, your friend’s experience was a consequence of sexism, racism and general boorishness.

    User Detail :  

    Name : A, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Asian, Religion : Christian, Age : 25, City : champaign, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : engineer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #40112

    Brenda
    Participant

    I would like to know that, too. I am married to an Indian man and he is darker than I am. I have noticed things about their ideas and culture that sadden me. Most of them do not approve of darker skinned people. Even ones of their own race! You will see mothers telling daughters that the are too dark- its just undersirable. In my sister in laws wedding she had globs of powder caked on her face to brighten it. Perhaps it goes back to the days when India was first colonized by the Europeans. the ligher you are, the prettier you are. My husbands family is nice to me, but others do not look twice. when we are out in public , they don’t smile or speak to me or my husband–but if some white guy is behind us . . . they are all smiles.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Brenda, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 32, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, 
    #24533

    Maria
    Member

    I assume that it was mainly racism, though obviously sexism played its part. Blacks are considered to be the lowest of low, all over the world.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Maria, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : not religious, Age : 18, City : Washington, State : DC Country : United States, Occupation : student/mentor/tutor, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #40793

    Anna-M
    Participant

    Ok, I am a white female, so of course I am no expert but… I attended an international university in London, England and while I was there I got to know many Indians and Pakistanis. From what I saw the lighter your skin was the better you were in their eyes. So, maybe that is why African American women tend to be treated badly, due to their darker skin tone.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Anna-M, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 26, City : Lima, State : OH Country : United States, Occupation : Marketing Assistant, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #37304

    Marie
    Member

    Clair, I was in Hyderabad around the same time. It is such a small town you were probably the only black person in the whole city. Their education is only from the media. With not many black or white people in India they may not have know how to act. You felt probably how the Arabic feel about coming to the US now. Not everyone in India acts that way. Not everyone in the US acts that way.

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    Name : Marie, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 21, City : Southfield, State : MI Country : United States, 
    #43209

    lish25679
    Participant

    generally, if you are a foreign woman travelling in india, and are obviously foreign, you have to be prepared and on guard from mistreatment. especially so if you don’t travel in a tour group, are alone, and are away from normal touristy areas. simply because you are foreign, and a woman, therefore to hooligans, vulnerable and have no protection of culture and indian ethnicity. racism or sexism? yes, a combination of both, mostly due to cultural mindset. after colonization of many years, and bombarded by the media and social perception as more ‘superior’, of course white men are better treated. probably a white woman would face the same mistreatment. there has also been cases of scams and swindles conducted by black people that were highly publicised by the media. not good for the general image of black people. believe me, all this happens not just in india but other countries as well, and not just towards the blacks either, but other peoples. that aside, if social propriety and non-aggression is used, one would probably meet some very friendly, genuine people as well. every nation has their bad and good apples

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    Name : lish25679, Gender : F, Race : Asian, Age : 20, City : KL, State : NA Country : Malaysia, Occupation : student, Education level : High School Diploma, 
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