"When desis come to the United States in large numbers, I argue, they sign a social contract with a racist polity by making a pledge to work hard but to retain a social life at some remove from U.S. society (one that is sanctified as specially spiritual and thus an acceptable, even if lesser, lifeworld). When the desis find that the racist polity simply wants their labor but does not care too much for their lives, the social retreat sanctioned by U.S. orientalism provides a space to develop a life, even if this is a space under constant threat from educational and other institutions. The claim to a higher spirituality (and civilization) allows desis to be positioned in such a way that they are seen as superior to blacks, a social location not unattractive to a migrant in search of some accommodation in a racist polity. The tragedy of this social compact is that it perpetuates and reproduces antiblack racism."

Vijay Prashad in the preface of The Karma of Brown Folk

[bold emphasis added by me/indigocrayon]

(via indigocrayon)