Guest post by RUPANDE MEHTA
Chances are you have heard about Sureshbhai Patel, a 57 year old man, beaten and left temporarily paralyzed by Alabama police. His only crime: while he was out for a walk, a neighbor reported a ‘suspicious’ and ‘skinny black guy’ in the neighborhood causing him extreme distress and nervousness to leave his wife alone at home.
Several elements of this case bring back the ghosts of Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner, two black lives taken away by police brutality – despite being unarmed, Sureshbhai was subjected to “extreme force” and suspected not because he was Indian but because he resembled a black guy – but also bring to the forefront the enormous emotional and financial support generated not only from Indians but also Americans who rallied behind Sureshbhai and the injustice meted out to him. In a matter of six days, donations worth $190,000 were garnered to help the Patel family with medical bills. The incident also provoked Alabama’s governor to apologize for police’s use of “excessive force” and to initiate an investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, along with the one being conducted by the FBI. Continue reading India’s Obsession with Elitism is Leading it to Ignore the Marginalized: Rupande Mehta