An Indian-American Councilmember in Seattle leads a BLM protest


Indian Americans, often held up as a model minority, has made it big in almost every sector of our economy. But, unfortunately, the community has shown little interest in building alliances with African American community, to whom they owe a great deal.

But this time it has been different. Many Indian American and South Asians, have come out of their comfort zone to stand for their African American brothers and sisters.

In such one case, a 46-year-old Indian-American software engineer turned socialist is at the forefront of “Black Lives Matter” protests in Seattle.

Her idea is to permanently oust city police officials from the downtown area that has now been designated the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ), according to media reports.

Kshama Sawant, a Seattle City Councilwoman, is encouraging activists in the CHAZ “to hold out on giving back the precinct to cops or allowing officers inside the barricaded region”, according to Fox News.

Pune-born Sawant urged protesters to hold strong to the six-block region they’ve designated a “no cop” zone, the report said.

Sawant has said she will introduce legislation to convert the precinct into “a community center for restorative justice.”

On Friday, she tweeted that, “Our movement needs to urgently ensure East Precinct is not handed back to police, but is turned over permanently into community control. My office is bringing legislation to convert East Precinct into a community center for restorative justice.”

Terrorizing the public for the same reason they are protesting is counterproductive. The US needs drastic changes that shifts focus from making the US a police state to making it a more community-friendly place.

On Tuesday, she participated in demonstrations calling to defund the police and allowed over a thousand demonstrators into City Hall in a late-night protest calling for Mayor Jenny Durkan to resign. She said she did it to show City Hall belongs to the people and she wanted the diverse group of demonstrators to be heard.

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people, but the silence over that by the good people.”

People like Kshama Sawant, who are taking decisive action and not just standing with crowd makes a big difference and shows how far the Indian American community have come from being a silent supporter to an active change maker. Yet, there is still a long way for Indian Americans to go shed their innate bias.