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The Truth About Philadelphia

Chacko Sankarathil
Writer/Community Activist, Northeast

Question #4 In what ways is the city of Philadelphia hurting the most? What are the physical places in the city that are hurting the most? What needs to happen so that healing can take place?

Glenn: What do you believe, you know, the city has had a lot of troubles, tensions between different races. What do you believe is the secret to living together in the city peacefully?

Chacko: First thing, the education only bring, can bring up this situation better. Se...secondly, what I feel it -- people also should allow the understanding. If I'm a like I'm an Indian, I come from India to work here, I should know before going anywhere or doing anything, that I say I'm an Indian. I have the limitations. See here, this country, the people start to coming here from 200 years back or 300 years back. They're established here. All of a sudden I come here from India and say, "Hey, America is a country of freedom I want, want all the equal to you." The people that came here 200 years back it's very hard to adjust immediately. Slowly they'll adjust but it's hardly adjusting immediately and say hey, you are also my brother come on, you have the right like me. No, I can't expect that. The same way if the races ask the most problem race is the black and white, right. The blacks they are coming up, they are coming up, they're changes. I came 15 years back, that is not the situation here now. The blacks are coming up, I know many congressman. I used to go to Washington, the White House and all you know for the press conferences all when there was a, there was Rodney King. There was a problem and for Florida, immediately George Bush called me. I ... for newspaper, I even for press conference. He said educate the people. Tell them it's not anything anybody else purposely done it. This inci... happened incident I mean by, unfortunately this happened. So you can educate your community, that was the thing, message I got it. I went to the White House too as a first, first conference.

So what I mean to say, people have to educate, say, race, it's black and white, they're all human beings. They're the children of the God. So only the thing that by color. I see, I'll tell you, I, even if I do anything, I will never become white. Even in my children uh, take a birth here they will not be American, they'll be always Indian Americans for some time, but it take ... That is what the Ameri -- the whites, so called, I don't know who is even there, which country they came from too, I don't know. They came over 200 years back, they, they get credit of it, to tell you that is America. It took them for 200 years. So the blacks, just like -- and one more thing what I always tell, if you want to ..... you want to get all your rights, why can't you unite? See, if you - Jesse Jackson stand for, for President of America, the first two guy he is opposing is a black. Or if a mayor want to be a, a black mayor want to be in Philadelphia, the first two guys may be a black oppose him. That is what we are losing it. They should have unity.

The same thing in, in our community too. If I want to do something, the first two guys may be an Indian oppose me not other guy. That is all over the country. But, here, again, the racist, I can't even understand or imagine what is racist and why it is. The, the all, the reason I'm talking is that we are all humans, the children of God, and you see, maybe a different of weather or even atmosphere we have became the color, now what -- that's what I feel it.

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