On striving for civil conversation

In this polarized environment, a note to readers.

Issue #5

Dear readers —

Since I resumed Red, White and Brown posts and newsletters this fall, it’s been so heartening to receive so many emails, calls, iMessages and WhatsApp messages. People are wanting to talk about important political and cultural issues in South Asian Americans’ lives, and I’m thrilled to facilitate these conversations. Thank you for participating.

While much of the debate and discourse has remained civil and productive, that has not always been the case. Politics and culture topics often include hot-button issues that we’re all passionate about.

I want to reiterate that I maintain journalistic ethics and principles top of mind. I will always keep accuracy the #1 priority. Accuracy includes sharing facts and figures that reflect reality. Accuracy includes making sure the sources I’m linking to are reputable.

My goal is not to be partisan and divisive, but to facilitate fact-based, nuanced, inclusive discourse. There’s enough name-calling, hate and superficial conversation by partisan pundits across all corners of the internet and cable TV.

My goal is also not to be afraid of “cancel culture” or of taboo topics, but to have difficult conversations Asian American communities have swept under the rug for far too long — and to surface topics that communities are hungry to discuss in a nuanced forum. And not everything will be heavy — there’s plenty of room for lighter issues.

I’m not always going to be perfect in striving for these goals. I’m human, too, and always still learning. But as we have these conversations, I hope folks keep all this in mind.

We need more love, kindness and respect for each other. It’s only then that we can move forward together.

And as the 2020 election results continue to be resolved, it’s an important reminder that at the end of the day, we’re ultimately all on the same team.

As always, thanks for joining the conversation,

Vignesh Ramachandran
Co-founder of Red, White and Brown Media

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Red, White and Brown first launched on Medium back in 2016 before the previous presidential election and was re-focused in 2018 with renewed vigor to spark conversations about culture and politics in the United States through the lens of South Asian American race and identity. Now in 2020, please tell your friends and family to subscribe to this newsletter and follow the latest posts on Medium.

Follow @VigneshR on Twitter.