I’m sure we are all aware of the tragic murder of a man named George Floyd in Minneapolis, US. This awful incident occurred when Floyd was arrested for allegedly using a fake twenty-dollar bill in a shop. The police officer then proceeded to pin him down on the ground and kneel on his neck for eight minutes straight. Floyd told the officer ‘I can’t breathe’ many times however the officer did not care. Later, Floyd died on his way to the hospital and the officer got away with it at first. This is when the world said no – this man needs to pay for his dreadful actions in the murder of George Floyd and all of the immense pain he has caused. Many protests took place as well as petitions being signed and people raising awareness for justice for George Floyd. As a result, the officer has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
This tragic incident has caused many people to speak up about racism in their own lives in hopes of raising awareness and putting an end to this endless suffering once and for all. Specifically, in an Asian/Pakistani household, I am aware of the many ways in which racism unfortunately exists. One example is that, if someone is fairer skinned they are considered more beautiful than someone who is not.
In Pakistan, I have witnessed this myself because there used to be advertisements on the TVs there and the billboards for a skin bleaching cream known as ‘Fair and Lovely.’ The name of this product says enough about how people in Pakistan think about skin colour. This is ridiculous to me as they are basically saying that being fair is lovely and so people who have darker skin will fall into this trap and think of themselves as unattractive. This is why people in Pakistan use this product and on top of this, use makeup that is way lighter than their skin tone in order to look light skinned or in their minds ‘beautiful.’
I hope that we can one day fix this backwards mentality that exists amongst Asian/Pakistani households. I hope that the people of my culture realise that God created us in different colours for a reason – so that we treat each other equally and consider all skin colours to be beautiful.
By Noor Hussain