Dr. Rahul Parikh, a San Francisco-area physician, writer, and sometime CNN contributor, responds to Joel Stein’s “My Own Private India“:
So … because you weren’t funny or incisive, what’s your point? Are you trying to make Indians prove our worth to the fraternity that is America? Is your essay part of some kind of hazing? Put up with your callous insults, and we’ll be able to live in the frat house?
What litmus test do we all have to pass to become bona fide? Does our God have to wear a big white beard and have only two arms? Do we have to turn in the dots on our foreheads for a baseball cap with “N.Y.” stenciled on it? Trade in our samosas and chai for potato chips and Bud Light? Should we make our parents throw their Hindi language newsmagazine in the garbage and subscribe to Time?
If it’s about fitting in with your standards of Americana, please, allow me to prove my culture’s utility to you.
Some of us have become wildly successful. We run Fortune 500 companies, have been elected to political office and have won Pulitzer prizes. Many of us work 40-plus hours a week to pay our mortgage. Some have paid their dues serving this country in war. Still others struggle to pay the bills, keep their children fed or their marriages together; and yes, there are those of us who are criminals locked up in jail. In other words, we’re just like everyone else.
Read the full colum here: Column vilified, insulted Indian Americans