On June 19, York University Assistant Professor Vidya Shah and education experts Jeewan Chanicka and Herveen Singh spoke in a brutally frank session titled “Brown Complicity in White Supremacy.”
While anti-Blackness is also rampant among Hispanics, East Asians, Middle Eastern people and any people who are neither white nor Black, “brown” here refers to people of South Asian ancestry and their diasporic communities.
In the artificial racial hierarchy created by Europeans who placed themselves at the top and enslaved Africans at the bottom, brown folks reside in the uneasy middle.
“We shift towards Blackness when it’s cool, when it demonstrates some sort of street cred or street smarts and then we shift right back to whiteness when we need to maintain access or mobility within the system,” Shah told the panel. “We’re chameleons.”