Jai Singh

[00:00:00] Jai: Learning different perspectives and getting rid of my own negative thoughts. In that sense it’s changing expectations.

[00:00:16] Alan: Where did you grow up?

[00:00:32] Jai: I grew up in the south in Decataur, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta Georgia.

[00:00:33] Alan: When you were growing up how did you what was your answer interactions and sort of perceived notions of African-Americans when you were growing up.

[00:00:42] Jai: So in Atlanta there’s a large African-American population so I grew up surrounded by a large African-American population but I grew up in a I went to predominantly European-centered Eurocentric school that taught a lot of European history and it was a private school so I wasn’t exposed to African like the African-American community as much. And so in the Asian American sort of the South Asian American community that I grew up in it was it wasn’t I think it sort of held that stereotypical racist mentality towards African-Americans so I really had to do a lot of learning in that sense kind of.

[00:01:55] (inaudible question.

[00:01:55] Jai: I think it’s like the white supremacist mentality. I would say Yeah.

[00:02:05] Alan: I think I’m being more specific like what was your when you were growing up with particular images of what black folks were African-Americans were like what what were those more were those qualities that you sort of would immediately like assume like you’re black therefore X..

[00:02:20] Jai: Right. [00:02:20] So it’s it’s a lot of fear associated with African-Americans. Like, there was one incident where my uncle you know had…was stabbed. He worked at a store, and so that sort of left an impact and an impression on my family. And so it was that that stereotype of African-Americans of being you know violent and just scary in general that sort of perpetuated in my family [34.4] and and and so yeah I mean I think my family specifically has a lot more. I feel like there are a lot more progressive. We have to do a lot more unlearning compared to other families. But yeah I think that’s one example.

[00:03:16] Alan: Sort of pivoting sort of from that personal experience I like bigger picture what do you feel like and you’ve talked about it about learning and learning and your own family. What do you feel like the role of not just Asian-Americans but perhaps South Asians in particular in your own community. What is that. What is the role of your community to in in sending in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

[00:03:42] Jai: I think it’s getting outside of our communities. I mean I think also one one thing I think is just educating our communities on what it means to be in solidarity and sort of demolishing like white supremacy that white supremacist mentality and then also getting outside of our communities and showing solidarity attending rallies. You know I guess doing whatever we can to to support marginalized communities in African-American communities especially by like fund raising and just educating ourselves on that issue.

[00:04:38] Alan: I have one more final question and I’ll let you go. What kinds of conversations between individual people like within your community you’re taking an action right like that political action made by groups of people and that’s really important. What kind of conversations do you think need to happen between people to sort of confront anti anti blackness within within your own community.

[00:05:04] Jai: I think I mean individual conversations are very critical when we’re at the dinner table when where or you know prayer services or whatever. I think that that’s sort of it starts there with our own families of folks that we see every day or regularly that we love. I feel like that’s where we have the most impact and and it can be difficult because those relationships can be fragile. And so it’s for me it’s hard for me to admit it’s really hard to have those conversations with close folks that I’ve known for a long time and I know that and because it can it can break really easily if if we get there. So but I think we have to be brave and commit to those conversations to sort of demolish this anti-blackness. [57.2]

[00:06:03] Alan: Yeah thanks so much for doing this. Really appreciate it. My recording with the beginning with asking your name and permission there is like a lot of sound in the back so I just want to record that one more time if that’s OK. Just like the same thing earlier like could you just tell me your full name please.

[00:06:20] Jai: My name is Jai Singh.

[00:06:22] Alan: And Jai gesture I have it on tape. Can I have your permission to record this interview edited. Archive it.

[00:06:28] Jai: Yes you have my permission. And I guess the last thing is is any how would you like to identify yourself like graduate your graduate student or.

[00:06:36] Jai: Yeah I would say I’m a graduate student and of South Asian descent.

[00:06:43] Alan: Thank you so much. I appreciate