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US Has 'Informal Apartheid' With Whites at Top, Followed by Asians & Blacks: Gandhi's Grandson

Pallbearers recess out of the church with the casket following the funeral for George Floyd, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool)

Pallbearers recess out of the church with the casket following the funeral for George Floyd, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston. (Godofredo A. Vásquez/Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool)

Arun Manilal Gandhi said after George Floyd's death, people of colour were angry, but white Americans were more shocked than angry -- "they cannot believe a white person would be so ruthless".

The US has an "informal apartheid" system where the whites were at the top of the pyramid, followed by Indians, Asians and blacks, Arun Manilal Gandhi, the New York-based grandson of Mahatma Gandhi feels.

Gandhi, an Indian-American socio-political activist also does not agree with the slogan 'Black Lives Matter', which has taken hold internationally amid protests around the death of George Floyd, allegedly at the hands of police.

Gandhi told the South African weekly Post on Tuesday that after Floyd's death, people of colour were angry, but white Americans were more shocked than angry.

"They cannot believe that a white person would be so ruthless. They are oblivious to the brutality of their kind towards the black race," Gandhi said.

Gandhi said while he understood where the slogan created by the Afro-American community originated from, it perpetuated the divided society that people have created. "I believe that all lives matter. Therefore, we should all work towards creating that kind of respect for all life,' said Gandhi.

"The US has an informal apartheid system where the whites were at the top of the pyramid, followed by Indians and Asians and blacks," he said. Gandhi was born in Durban and lived in the Phoenix Settlement, which his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, established there in 1904.

He was debarred from returning to South Africa after he met and married his wife Sunanda in India in 1956. Now 86 after retiring as a journalist, Gandhi spends his time advocating Gandhian non-violence in lectures to diverse groups.

Gandhi also told the weekly that people often misunderstood the philosophy of Satyagraha (non-violence).

"They think that as long as they don't use physical violence, or hurt or kill human beings, they are non-violent. That is wrong. Violence against property is equally abhorrent," Gandhi said.

President Donald Trump also came in for criticism from Gandhi, who said he believed that the violence following Floyd's death was partly generated by the police to end the Black Lives Matter campaign.

"It serves (Trump's) purpose to generate this violence and add to the frustrations of blacks so they can boycott the elections. That would improve his chances of winning," Gandhi said.

"He is the most divisive president in the history of the US. He continues to divide," Gandhi concluded.