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I’m A Dirty, Dark Tamilian

Oh, she actually meant dirty. From IndiaTV:

A US diplomat was caught in a row after her remarks of “dirty and dark” Tamilians, prompting the American consulate [in Chennai] to term them as “inappropriate”.

“I was on a 24-hour train trip from Delhi to Orissa. But, after 72 hours, the train still did not reach the destination… and my skin became dirty and dark like the Tamilians,” US Vice-Consul Maureen Chao said, going down the memory lane two decades ago when she was a student.

So, of course, that IndiaTV article shows a rare picture of many dark-skinned Tamilians getting dusty while traveling by foot in the hot sun.

Why would Maureen Chao, who otherwise seems like a fairly decent person say those words and in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, for cripes sake? And what the hell was she thinking saying this in a country in which self-loathing about skin color is #1 pastime after cricket pathology? (Has anyone made a bar chart of Fair And Lovely sales by Indian state yet?)

Kuzhali Manickavel puts it the best. [Inserting reminder to self to get her new short story.]

… I am also very much louing the illustrious people who are taking the high road on this one, kindly educating the rest of us on how us Indians should consider that an apology has been issued so that makes everything ok, it was ‘just a joke’ and most importantly, we should remember that all of us want to study in America and then live there forever and ever and that is FAR more important than some diplomat saying something about Tamilians being dark and dirty. You’ll never get that green card honey if you upbraid US consulate peeps. Come on now, eyes on the prize.

Meanwhile, in England, rioting “whites have become black” and The Help is screened at the White House.

Better get on making those mixed-race babies and quick.

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