I’m a first generation immigrant from Iran but being Kurdish, even in my birthplace, I am an ethnic and religious minority so I’ve been struggling with identity questions all my life.
It is only in recent years that I have been seeing myself from West Asia and I have been rejecting the “Middle East” concept as it refers to the British colonialism geography.
I’ve seen ethnic-based discrimination my whole life against my parents and I’ve witnessed how my parents and many other working-class families around us chose a more assimilative path just to create a better future for their children. They’ve been the “model minority” they were imposed to be, and frankly, for many years that made me think that it was the right way to integrate.
Then I saw how a ruling class uses this concept to maintain power and handpick a few tokens to create a colourful image. By labelling a community they maintain a rating competition for being the “best” immigrant, indigenous person, etc.
I think the key to combat this system is to educate, have empathy and understanding, and be in solidarity with all minority or discriminated people. Racism is there to divide white and the non-white working class. A united working class can beat that.
Collaboration:JE SUIS MTL x JÉ T'AIME
June 26, 2021