By Suraj Kulkarni, Founder of Only Being You, a nonprofit that aims to empower minorities through sharing stories and resources
It’s quite interesting to see that the polarization between minority groups is still prominent within our society, even though we believe that we live in such a different world today. Unfortunately, prejudice of any kind--whether it is based on race, gender identity, or sexual orientation--has never been solely limited to the oppressive attitudes exhibited by a majority towards a minority; rather, it has always extended to the interrelationships between two groups, regardless of characteristics, which makes it so systemic in our society.
From classism outright exhibited between Brahmins and Shudras within the Indian caste system to struggles between the Black and Asian communities in setting aside their prejudices and fighting for each others’ rights in our modern-day society, prejudice within oppressed groups has never ceased. It certainly seems odd to understand why this is so. Is it because minority groups have to always struggle for power within society to gain some level of superiority against their majority counterparts? Or is it to leave their niche within society and occupy something larger, of which they feel was wrongfully stolen from them? Indeed, it’s hard to find out for sure, but these are a few of the many questions that come to mind.
Now that we have established that prejudice amongst minority groups hasn’t ceased and is quite rampant, how do we solve it? Sadly, there is no “correct” or “short answer” to this question. Yet, one approach-- spreading awareness about each others’ struggles--might help. Time and time again, spreading awareness in unity and with understanding has proven to be quite a useful tool to combat prejudices. From the Black Lives Matter movement to LGBTQIA+ social movements, movements within society that have focused on spreading awareness have always been successful. While spreading awareness is no “quick fix” to the centuries of deep-rooted systemic oppression and attitudes that many minority groups have had towards other minority groups, it can undoubtedly help tear down those feelings and help us all understand each other with empathy, love, and respect.
Let’s celebrate our differences, embrace our unique identities, and uplift others unconditionally. This world needs love and support more than anything. We are all special and deserve to be celebrated.