hi, i normally don’t like talking about my problems i usually resort to god but i think this is something i need to share and i apologise if i will come here frequently but i will try my best to turn to god before seeking help from this site. i am an indian girl but i was born in seattle and i have an accent it sounds more austrillian/british for some reason not indian. all my life i’ve been told “you’re pretty for an indian.” or “curry” or “go back to your country” “you smell like curry” and as a religious person i believe that this is my faith that whatever is happening to me is happening for good but somedays i think a lot about things ppl have said to me and things that are happening around the world and it gets a little to much. i want to be a very nice and righteous person since i was not a very good person last year so i try my best to control my anger and be a nice person, i believe in donating and i always give whatever i have, and i believe that you always have something to give. but i was watching the news recently and i saw a video of an african american man getting ended by the police, it was absolutely brutal and the man did nothing wrong. i felt my heart sink because i didn’t understand why god is letting things like this happen. i read more and i found out that an indian man was pushed off a train by a caucasian woman because he was a terrorist and when she later found out he wasn’t muslim she felt sad that she didn’t killed a “terrorist” the man died on the spot and it broke my heart because this guy had a wife and children. i read more and than i found an article saying that “reverse racism” doesn’t exist and it was how caucasian ppl are playing the victims and that it’s not possible to be racist to them and while reading the article i got a little mad and i started feeling a little hate over caucasian ppl and i did not want to feel that because i believe its wrong but it’s getting too much. my friend who was telling me about things that are happening said that until racism ends she believes that ever caucasian person is racist and i tried to deny the fact that, that was true but deep down in my heart i agreed. i don’t want to feel hate towards anyone because that’s not what god died for. for us to be like animals where we should be brothers and sisters. and i know ppl think that coloured ppl can be racist but if i wanted to be racist which would be horrendous if i was i could. this is because back in india where my grandad lives he would go on this train for work and he would always talk, my granddad is a very social person, one day he missed the train and he was a little disappointed and then he finds out that the train had a bomb in it and the ppl he talked to or anyone who he probably knew on that train lives sadly ended. my grandad could’ve passed. my mum was watching tv in america and she found out that bombing happened and she got so scared but later found out my grandad was safe and well, now i don’t condone racism and i never will but if i wanted to i could feel hate towards muslims since on the news they were the ones who did the bombing but i didn’t, i looked at that as human beings. i forgive them and i feel like everyone is the same. before this happened i never felt hate towards caucasians but right now im starting to.
- You have so much weighing on your mind. We are always here to help you, and commend you for bringing all of these very complex thoughts and questions to us here at Teen Central. You deserve to be treated with respect, and your frustration about these comments is absolutely valid.
- While there is no “quick fix” for racism and discriminatory behavior, there are several routes you can take to ensure that you are caring for your physical, emotional, and spiritual self as you battle with these thoughts. Check out these ideas:
- Limit exposure to social media and news exposure – While it is important to be well-informed, sometimes constant exposure to negative stories can be draining. You can take structured time away from the news and social media, or limit your research to a specific amount of time per day in order to monitor yourself. It can feel really good to press the reset button and refresh off the screen.
- Engage in self-care – Being exposed to, and considering the effects of discrimination can be exhausting. Taking good care of yourself may make it easier to more adequately handle this stress. Self-care looks different for everybody, there are some resources on the LEARN and TOOLS tabs, as well as a few blog posts in WHAT’S NEW that may help to guide you.
- Validate yourself – It is vital to understand that all of your feelings of anger, frustration, and confusion are completely understandable given your history of negative and traumatic experiences. Your value does not come from the words and actions of others.
- Empower yourself – Research your resources, and seek out local leaders who advocate for justice and positive change. It is important to let your voice be heard and can be a good outlet for stress and anxiety to know that you are making a difference; be sure to ask trusted adults around you for safe and effective ways to go about doing this.
- Racism is a learned behavior, and anything that can be learned can also be unlearned. How can you assist your peers, family, and community in learning the depth of hurt that happens when these inappropriate and discriminatory comments are made? While it is each individual’s responsibility to inform themselves of socially acceptable language and treatment of others, some may need a guiding light in this education. In what ways can you be a force for positive change? Who can assist you in this endeavor? In conversing with others about your anger and frustration you may find more peers with similar plights, especially in places you least expect it.
- There are several times that you mention wanting to be a good and kind person, and this should be supported! You have excellent instincts about wanting to remain positive despite the hurt that others inflict with their words and actions. Break this down a little bit, and over the next several days make note of every positive interaction you have, whether it is with people of the same color and religion, or within diverse populations. Just as the actions of the Muslim individuals (who committed the train bombing that thankfully did not take your grandfather) do not define the religion as a whole, the same is relevant for other races and creeds. Take note of the common threads between every interaction, notice what type of people you feel nurtured by and drawn to, and make an effort to further connect with more of those individuals.
- It can be very difficult to respond to negative personal comments in a productive way. It is clear that you already lean into your faith for support in times of need. Are you able to find a stronger support system in your faith community? Reach out to the leaders in your congregation, be a sponge, and soak in all they have to say regarding remaining resilient by using your faith as a form of comfort and power. It is normal to question “why” God allows negative things to happen to His people, and it may be necessary in this time to further explore these questions with individuals who have built their lives on sharing His teachings. Write a list of leaders in this community, and take time to reach out to them in the next several days.