It’s Captain America in a turban.
Imagine doing something just like that. Doing something, showing somebody, anybody, that things don’t have to be the way they usually are. That not everything is static–especially us. That we can stretch, and move, and change.
As a Sikh American, Mr. Singh had reason to be nervous about walking the streets of Manhattan in a red, white and blue leotard and… turban. “I’ve grown accustomed to a Pavlovian response to my presence. Stares. Verbal assaults.”
But as the day wore on, on Puerto Rican Day, no less: “Hundreds of strangers came up to me. And we were able to lay to rest any anxieties or inhibitions in those moments — about other people, about the unknown, about ourselves, about violating other people’s personal spaces or not understanding their beliefs. We could simply meet. Say hi.”
He put himself out there. He was earnest. He saved the world.
‘“They’re trying to trace your genealogy and figure out what your qualities are,” he said. “They’re looking in your face, they’re looking in the slope of your nose, the shape of your brow. There’s an effort to discern the truth of the matter, because all whitenesses are not equal.” In other words, they weren’t rejecting the category, they were policing its boundaries.’
via Has ‘Caucasian’ Lost Its Meaning? – NYTimes.com.
A long time ago — 19 years ago, in fact — I was working for a gentleman, editing an article about child welfare policy. He he was using the word “Caucasian” to describe “white” populations, as he didn’t want to use a word denoting color for one group of people and a word denoting ancestry for another (e.g. African American).
I said to him, “But I’m technically Caucasian. Wouldn’t ‘white’ reflect what you want to say more accurately?”
And he said, “Yes, I know you are technically Caucasian. And that offends me. The word has lost its meaning.”
I think it was at that moment that I learned the up-side of being offensive.