Friday, March 24, 2017

Report documents increase in hate vs. South Asian/Americans

SOUTH ASIAN AMERICANS Leading Together (SAALT) held a Congressional briefing Thursday (March 23) to address the uptick in hate violence nationwide and highlight recommendations for change, as outlined in its recent report, “Power, Pain, Potential.”

a national South Asian civil rights organization, was joined by eight members of Congressional leadership and community partners in an urgent discussion on combatting the surge in hate violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans across the country.

“As President Trump continues to test-fire Muslim bans, this administration appears intent on intensifying efforts to ignore and provoke hate violence,” stated Suman Raghunathan, SAALT's Executive Director. 

 “The President has a sworn duty to protect the rights and safety of all Americans. Today’s briefing with Congressional leaders is an important step in making sure President Trump doesn’t escape his responsibilities.”

The South Asian/American communities have experienced devastating violence in recent months, including deadly shootings in Kansas and Washington State, numerous arson attacks and vandalism of mosques, businesses, and homes nationwide, and mounting fear by our communities across the country.

"It remains critical for elected officials to speak out early, loudly, and often against hate violence and policies that fan the flames," said Rep. Grace Meng, D-NY.

These tragedies are building upon the historically divisive Presidential elections, which, as documented in “Power, Pain, Potential,” saw over 200 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric against our communities nationwide. Notably, 95 percent of incidents were animated by anti-Muslim sentiment and 1 out of 5 xenophobic comments emanated from then-candidate Trump. This is a 34 percent increase in these incidents in less than a third of the time covered in our 2014 report, “Under Suspicion, Under Attack.”

Members of Congress who joined the briefing include: Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; 
Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ-3), Co-Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus; Rep. Ami Bera (CA-7); Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41); Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6); Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7); Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8); and Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17).