By: Denish Ghayal
I’m angry today. I mean really angry! I am sure many of you have found yourself sometimes on the internet just surfing. One of my favorite pass times is to go on Google and randomly search. Now, I’m not sure if you all know, but Google uses a special algorithm and has auto text when you begin your search. When you enter keywords in Google, the search engine refers to its database and displays all the results. The most relevant results are at the top of the list. So I decided that I would do some research on Indians (not Native Indians). So I began to search. I started to type in “why are Indians so…” and before I knew it, Google’s auto text began spitting out results based on their “highly sophisticated” algorithms. Just so you believe me, I’ve pasted below exactly what it displayed.
“Why are Indians so ugly?” Ok, deep breath. “Why are Indians so smart?”, “why are Indians afraid of dogs”, “Why are Indians vegetarian”, “why are Indians smelly?”, and the list goes on. Are all of these not stereotypes!? So is this what the Google system of algorithms are based on? Although the auto result “why are Indians alcoholics” is a huge stereotype, I believe it is directed towards Native Indians. If you don’t believe me, watch Dave Chappelle’s stand up on Native Indians (if he says it, it must be true. JK). So I did what any person normal person would do and clicked on the “why are Indians so ugly” link. I clicked on one of the related links and I saw a blog site with the following opinion.
Now, this was not the only post like it. There were many, many, and many…many more. I tried to look beyond the ignorance, and spelling mistakes, incorrect sentence structure, and lack of support for the claims being made, but could not figure out why or how people like this still exist. I mean, that post is still relatively new, dated 9/19/08. All opinions are not created equal and stereotypes like this will constantly remind us of how uneducated people really still are.
Now let’s talk about the second drop down before I snap. Although many Indians are smart, there are plenty who are just as dumb. I believe that the image of Indians being smart all began as Indians immigrated to the US with a work/education visa and had to work really hard to make it for family back at home and for themselves living in the US. If you haven’t already noticed, most Indians prefer to get a degree and get a job which doesn’t involve hard labor. The only way Indians could get anywhere in India was through school and facing intense competition, you had to be on top. Did I mention parents whooping their kids if they didn’t do well in school?
Let’s get to the good one. “Why are Indians smelly?” Now I would be lying if I told you I’ve never given off strong aroma of spices coming out of my house when I leave to hang with my pals, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m smelly. Because if I was, that would mean I eat smelly food, which is a serious insult. This smell is a wonderful aroma and is exotic. Yes, I agree, the spices are quite strong and can clear out your sinuses even in the severest of colds, but this gives no one the right to call Indians “smelly”.
This all really makes me upset. It is alarming to see over 200,000 to 3,500,000 results relating to these stereotypes. I really don’t know what to say and don’t want to put a conclusion to this article, because, there really isn’t one. I just hope that if you’re reading this, you go and check it out for yourself and create a blogger username and fight back. Ok, you really don’t have to do that, but let’s start spreading some honest and good words around about ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, that algorithm will eventually change to result with topics like “why are Indians so frugal”, “why Indians are not involved with any type of professional sports”, or “how did Indians become power negotiators”, etc. These are the real issues that need to be addressed.