Aug 30 2011

South Asian Americans Continue to Face Racism, Intimidation, Ten Years After 9/11

As we approach the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States, South Asian American communities throughout the country are reflecting on the decade long wave of fear and intimidation which they faced in the aftermath. During the week immediately following September 11th 2001, there were 645 reported incidents of bias or violence directed toward Americans perceived to be of Middle Eastern descent. South Asians were highly targeted because of their appearance and were involved in 81 percent of the reported incidents. One of the most egregious hate crimes was the killing of Balbir Singh Sodhi a turban-wearing Sikh and gas station owner in Mesa Arizona who was gunned down by Frank Roque on the morning of September 15, 2001. The Bush Administration’s Justice Department contributed to the fear-mongering and scapegoating by creating a profiling system which targeted young men from South Asian, Middle Eastern and predominantly Muslim countries. The so-called “Special registration” requirements were eliminated in 2004. But the last of that program’s provisions were finally dropped as recently as April 2011. Even though it has been ten years since the terrorist attacks, hate crimes continue to occur against South Asians and Arab Americans. According to the FBI’s 2009 statistics, Muslims are the second most targeted group because of their religion. With Los Angeles having the second largest population of South Asians of both Muslim and non-Muslim descent in the US, it is important to ask what the city’s residents have experienced over the past decade. A town hall meeting organized recently by the South Asian Network to address the discrimination endured by the South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities attracted over 150 people, including Congressmember Judy Chu, State Senator Lou Correa, and Assembly members Mike Eng and Warren Furutani. According to Eng, “many South Asians are still living with the lingering effects of racism and anti-Islamic fervor.”

GUEST: Manju Kulkarni, the Executive Director of the South Asian Network

Find out more at www.southasiannetwork.org. Read a reportback from SAN’s Townhall meeting here: http://southasiannetwork.org/2011/08/22/ten-years-after-911/

One response so far

One Response to “South Asian Americans Continue to Face Racism, Intimidation, Ten Years After 9/11”

  1. PHILIPon 30 Aug 2011 at 3:57 pm

    ALL ASIANS face racism in the United States. THAT’S A FACT