SAALT Mourns the Murder of Eight in Atlanta and Calls for Investment in Community-Led Responses

On the night of Tues­day, 16 March, a 21-year-old white man attacked three spas in the metro Atlanta area, shoot­ing and killing eight peo­ple. Six of the eight vic­tims were Kore­an Amer­i­can women. This attack is the worst pos­si­ble out­come of the rise in coro­n­avirus-dri­ven anti-Asian hatred – anoth­er mass shoot­ing root­ed in white suprema­cy and goad­ed by politi­cians’ xeno­pho­bic rhetoric. 

The inci­dent is a hor­rif­ic peak in the big­otry we’ve all wit­nessed over the past year: once again, mar­gin­al­ized work­ing-class immi­grants are tar­get­ed at a time of glob­al cri­sis; once again, we wit­ness our nation’s inabil­i­ty to rec­og­nize the dom­i­nance of gen­dered white suprema­cist vio­lence and racism in all of its struc­tures; once again, our heal­ing is dis­rupt­ed.

Still, local police are not cat­e­go­riz­ing this mass shoot­ing as a hate crime, nor rec­og­niz­ing the sig­nif­i­cant role of both race and gen­der in the shap­ing of this tragedy. But we must be clear: sev­en of the eight vic­tims were women; six of the eight vic­tims were Asian Amer­i­can. It is clear the shoot­er (who has cit­ed “sex­u­al deviance” as his moti­va­tion for mur­der) also had some bias in his tar­get­ing, whether explic­it or implic­it. This, in turn, demands that we – as Asian and Pacif­ic Islander Amer­i­cans, as Amer­i­cans of col­or, as Amer­i­cans gen­er­al­ly – ques­tion how embed­ded anti-Asian rhetoric is in Amer­i­can cul­ture and how Amer­i­can cul­ture ben­e­fits from patri­ar­chal white suprema­cy and era­sure. And more specif­i­cal­ly, these inter­sec­tions point to the clear his­to­ry of dan­ger­ous sex­u­al­iza­tion of Asian women in the U.S. Last night’s shoot­ing can only be under­stood and approached as an act of race‑, class‑, and gen­der-based sex­u­al vio­lence.

Con­sid­er­ing these com­plex­i­ties, it is our respon­si­bil­i­ty as mem­bers and allies of the broad­er APIA com­mu­ni­ty to push for an inter­sec­tion­al analy­sis that under­stands the racism fac­ing Asian and Pacif­ic Islander Amer­i­cans, as well as the vio­lent and sex­u­al­ized misog­y­ny aimed at our East Asian and South­east Asian sis­ters. Our role in this moment is to both remem­ber the pain of our past com­mu­ni­ty expe­ri­ences with mass vio­lence, and hon­or and move towards the point of heal­ing and repa­ra­tion.

Below are some allies who have ties to the vic­tims, their fam­i­lies, and their com­mu­ni­ties; please fol­low them to stay updat­ed on calls to action and news.
- Asian Amer­i­cans Advanc­ing Jus­tice (AAAJ) — Atlanta
- Red Canary Song
- Sur­vived & Pun­ished
- Nation­al Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Wom­en’s Forum (NAPAWF)

If you’d like to direct resources and sup­port to vic­tims’ fam­i­lies as well as orga­niz­ers on the ground, please use this form (https://bit.ly/georgiaAAPIcommunitycare).

SAALT mourns the loss of our Kore­an Amer­i­can sib­lings’ lives, and in their hon­or, reaf­firms our respon­si­bil­i­ty to pro­tect­ing oth­ers from sim­i­lar harm.

SAALT Statement on January 6th Events

Yes­ter­day, white suprema­cy was on full dis­play at the US Capi­tol and at gov­ern­ment build­ings across the nation. These attacks rep­re­sent a bla­tant and ille­gal attempt to deter democ­ra­cy and pro­mote white suprema­cist beliefs ​— which harm every­one. All of us have a duty to respond, not only with con­dem­na­tion, but with sus­tained action against the insti­ga­tors and their sup­port­ers.

Though Con­gress has cer­ti­fied the results of the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, they must do more. They must call for the removal of Pres­i­dent Trump and begin impeach­ment pro­ceed­ings ​imme­di­ate­ly. Repub­li­can lead­er­ship must ensure there is a peace­ful tran­si­tion of pow­er on and past Inau­gu­ra­tion Day​, and all mem­bers of Con­gress who incit­ed, encour­aged, or par­tic­i­pat­ed in this attack must be expelled for break­ing their Oaths of Office. Those respon­si­ble for yesterday’s attacks must be held ​equal­ly account­able under the law.  

We must also be care­ful about how to char­ac­ter­ize yesterday’s events. SAALT’s work on nation­al secu­ri­ty and immi­gra­tion issues since 9/11 has made it clear that label­ing acts of extrem­ist vio­lence as ter­ror­ism is dan­ger­ous and paves the way for the tar­get­ing of Black and Brown communities​, as seen through the War on Ter­ror frame­work. We can ​and must stand vig­i­lant against yesterday’s attacks with­out resort­ing to such char­ac­ter­i­za­tions by demand­ing that what hap­pened yes­ter­day is ​char­ac­ter­ized as white suprema­cist vio­lence. SAALT stands with our Black allies, who are right­ful­ly point­ing out the dou­ble stan­dards in how the white suprema­cists behind yesterday’s events are being treat­ed, as com­pared to the peace­ful pro­test­ers dur­ing last summer’s upris­ings.

“For our own com­mu­ni­ties, who were retrau­ma­tized by yesterday’s events, we are with you. The past four years have been a relent­less surge of poli­cies and attacks against the bod­ies and rights of so many com­mu­ni­ties, ours includ­ed. SAALT will con­tin­ue to press for the rever­sal of these xeno­pho­bic and racist poli­cies from the Trump era and push for bold solu­tions that will improve the lives of every­one.”

Sim­ran Noor, SAALT Board Chair

As South Asians, we also have work to do with­in our com­mu­ni­ties. There are reports of Indi­an Amer­i­cans being present at ​and encour­ag­ing yesterday’s attempt­ed  coup. Giv­en what we wit­nessed from the ​2020 Howdy Modi event in Texas fea­tur­ing Trump and Modi, this is no sur­prise. We have work to do with­in our own com­mu­ni­ties to raise aware­ness about the links between Hin­du nation­al­ism and white suprema­cy, and the dan­gers of ally­ing with the ele­ments who orches­trat­ed yesterday’s events. Sim­ply put: We can­not con­demn one fas­cist and excuse anoth­er. SAALT calls on its entire com­mu­ni­ty to hold these truths and stand unit­ed against nation­al­ism, fas­cism, and impe­ri­al­ism on all its fronts.

SAALT will con­tin­ue to share news and cov­er­age of the vio­lence, as well as help con­nect those affect­ed by the chaos with local resources. Please reach out to sruti@saalt.org with any ques­tions or requests.


September 11, 2020

19 years ago today, 3,000 peo­ple were killed on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001. Our gov­ern­men­t’s response known as the “War on Ter­ror,” has cost more than 500,000 lives world­wide. This num­ber does not even include the lives lost to inter­per­son­al hate vio­lence ignit­ed by this state vio­lence.

Four days after 9/11, Bal­bir Singh Sod­hi, a Sikh busi­ness own­er, was plant­i­ng flow­ers out­side of his gas sta­tion in Mesa, Ari­zona when he was shot and killed. We lat­er learned that his shoot­er had report­ed­ly told a wait­ress at Apple­beesI’m going to go out and shoot some tow­el heads,” and “We should kill their chil­dren, too, because they’ll grow up to be like their par­ents.”

This was the first of 645 inci­dents of vio­lent back­lash aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, and Arab Amer­i­cans in the first week after 9/11.

Inci­dents of hate vio­lence tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties have con­tin­ued unabat­ed since since 9/11. SAALT has tracked 679 inci­dents since 2015 alone. Today we renew our com­mit­ment to fight­ing the deeply entrenched fed­er­al poli­cies that emerged from the “War on Ter­ror,” includ­ing the cur­rent Mus­lim Ban.

In those ear­ly days fol­low­ing 9/11, we didn’t stand by and watch as our com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers were harassed, tar­get­ed, and sur­veilled by the gov­ern­ment. We came togeth­er, raised our voic­es, and demon­strat­ed our pow­er. Out of that moment came the cre­ation of the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions, the Nation­al South Asian Sum­mit, and the Young Lead­ers Insti­tute and long stand­ing coali­tion part­ner­ships work­ing toward sig­nif­i­cant pol­i­cy wins like the end of the 2002 Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Entry-Exit Reg­is­tra­tion Sys­tem (NSEERS) pro­gram all the way to the recent House pas­sage of the NO BAN Act

In the midst of this cur­rent pub­lic health tragedy that has dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly impact­ed Black and brown com­mu­ni­ties and has led to the death of near­ly 200,000 peo­ple in the U.S., we’ve simul­ta­ne­ous­ly seen a dra­mat­ic rise in COVID-relat­ed hate vio­lence attacks tar­get­ing Asian Amer­i­cans. In SAALT’s forth­com­ing COVID-19 report, we mark the dif­fer­ent forms of hate vio­lence, once again ignit­ed by our gov­ern­ment since the pan­dem­ic, which you can pre­view here.

This cur­rent cri­sis, like all crises, has rein­forced that we don’t all expe­ri­ence moments of cri­sis equal­ly. Depend­ing on class, immi­gra­tion sta­tus, caste, reli­gious or eth­nic back­ground, South Asians are tar­get­ed at dif­fer­ent scales and mag­ni­tudes. At SAALT we’re ded­i­cat­ed to acknowl­edg­ing these dis­parate expe­ri­ences, but also what unites us across com­mu­ni­ties. Ear­li­er this month in Irv­ing, Texas, a South Asian fam­i­ly received hate mail say­ing if Indi­an and Chi­nese immi­grants don’t stop tak­ing Amer­i­can jobs, “we will have no choice but to shoot mer­ci­less­ly immi­grants of Chi­nese and Indi­an descent…” White suprema­cists don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly dis­tin­guish with­in our com­mu­ni­ties with the same effi­cien­cy as our gov­ern­ment, which is why build­ing col­lec­tive pow­er is so crit­i­cal.

On this anniver­sary, we hon­or all the lives destroyed by hate vio­lence and state vio­lence, and ask you to join us in fight­ing racism and white suprema­cy in all its man­i­fes­ta­tions.

Learn about the impact of 9/11 on South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties by…
- Fol­low­ing the ways in which post‑9/11 poli­cies have changed over the decades, and SAALT’s chang­ing advo­ca­cy in response.
- Watch­ing “Rais­ing our Voic­es”, a doc­u­men­tary about post‑9/11 xeno­pho­bic back­lash.
- Read­ing our month­ly hate reports.

Take a stand against hate vio­lence by…
- Par­tic­i­pat­ing in bystander train­ing.
- Learn­ing about abo­li­tion and strate­gies to com­bat vio­lence that do not involve police.

This Week in Hate: hate continues to rise, our communities continue to suffer

 

Ear­li­er this year, SAALT released our post-elec­tion analy­sis of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric called “Com­mu­ni­ties on Fire.” Dur­ing the first year fol­low­ing the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion (Novem­ber 7, 2016 to Novem­ber 7, 2017)—we doc­u­ment­ed 302 inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric aimed at our com­mu­ni­ties, an over 45% increase from our pre­vi­ous analy­sis in just one year. An astound­ing eighty-two percent of inci­dents were moti­vat­ed by anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment. Addi­tion­al­ly, One out of every five per­pe­tra­tors of hate vio­lence inci­dents ref­er­enced Pres­i­dent Trump, a Trump admin­is­tra­tion pol­i­cy (“Mus­lim Ban”), or Trump cam­paign slogn (“Make Amer­i­ca Great Again”) while com­mit­ting the attack.

Since Novem­ber 7, 2017, which marked one year since the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed 40 additional inci­dents of hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric. Three of the eight instances of xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric were anti-Mus­lim videos retweet­ed by Pres­i­dent Trump in a sin­gle day.[1]

Fourteen of the thir­ty-two inci­dents of hate vio­lence were verbal/written assaults, fol­lowed by twelve inci­dents of prop­er­ty dam­age, and six phys­i­cal assaults. The cumu­la­tive post-elec­tion total is shown in Fig­ure 1 below com­pared to the year lead­ing up to the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Emerging Trends

Property Damage

On Decem­ber 1, 2017, Bernardi­no Bolatete was arrest­ed for plan­ning to “shoot up” the Islam­ic Cen­ter of North­east Flori­da.[2] He told an under­cov­er detec­tive, “I just want to give these freak­ing peo­ple a taste of their own med­i­cine, you know? They are the ones who are always doing these shoot­ings, the killings.” Fol­low­ing this event, four more mosques were van­dal­ized around the coun­try. Mosques in Upper Dar­by, PA[3]; Clo­vis, NM[4], and Queens, NY[5] were van­dal­ized with “Trump”, “Terr-” “911” and oth­er anti-mus­lim phras­es.

In tune with the dis­turb­ing trend of Mosque van­dal­ism, Tah­nee Gon­za­les and Eliz­a­beth Dauen­hauer tres­passed the Islam­ic Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter of Tempe, Ari­zona. While on Face­book lives, the women stole the masjid’s edu­ca­tion­al mate­r­i­al and called Mus­lims “dev­il-wor­ship­pers” who are destroy­ing “Amer­i­ca.” The women also encour­aged their chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in anti-Mus­lim behav­ior.

Continued Targeting of Sikh Americans

Twen­ty-two per­cent of hate inci­dents we doc­u­ment­ed in “Com­mu­nites on Fire” tar­get­ed men who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab. Per­pe­tra­tors of hate crimes often use the reli­gious pre­sen­ta­tion of tur­ban-wear­ing Sikh men to tar­get them. Our report found over sev­en inci­dents of hate vio­lence aimed direct­ly against Sikhs Amer­i­cans, which reflect­ed a sig­nif­i­cant dis­con­nect between SAALT’s com­mu­ni­ty-report­ed and pub­licly-sourced data and data report­ed to the FBI.

In Jan­u­ary 2018, at least three inci­dents of hate vio­lence tar­get­ed Sikh men. In Belle­vue, Wash­ing­ton, an unknown per­pe­tra­tor took a ham­mer from his bag and swung it against the head of Swarn Singh, caus­ing his head to bleed.[6] At the AM/PM con­ve­nience store in Fed­er­al Way, Wash­ing­ton, a man threat­ened to kill a Sikh employ­ee and told him to “go back where you came from.”[7] Lat­er in the month, a Sikh Uber dri­ver, Gur­jeet Singh, picked up a cou­ple in Moline, Illi­nois.[8] The male sus­pect put a gun to Singh’s head say­ing that he hat­ed “tur­ban peo­ple.”

Addi­tion­al­ly, on March 3, 2018 Chad Horse­ly plowed his pick­up truck into Best Stop Con­ve­nience Store because he thought the store own­ers were Mus­lim; they were Sikh Amer­i­cans.[9]  On Feb­ru­ary 20, 2018, a Sikh gas sta­tion own­er was called a “ter­ror­ist” and told that he should “go back to his own coun­try.” When the vic­tim tried to take pho­tos of the vehi­cle license plate, Steven Laver­ty exit­ed the vehi­cle and tried to punch the vic­tim and took his phone.[10] On Feb­ru­ary 1, 2018, Pit Stop Gas Sta­tion in Ken­tucky, owned by a Sikh Amer­i­can, was found van­dal­ized with swastikas, “white pow­er,” “leave,” and “f**k you,” spray-paint­ed on its exte­ri­or.[11]

While we rec­og­nize that many instances of hate vio­lence or xeno­pho­bic rhetoric against our com­mu­ni­ties go unre­port­ed, we at SAALT remain com­mit­ted in refus­ing to nor­mal­ize hate. Down­load our report “Com­mu­nites on Fire”, to read more about our rec­om­men­da­tions on how to com­bat hate vio­lence and address the under­ly­ing sys­tems and struc­tures that pro­duce this vio­lence.

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-britain-first-retweet-muslim-migrants-jayda-fransen-deputy-leader-a8082001.html

[2] https://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/jacksonville-officers-man-planned-mass-shooting-at-islamic-center/658434170

[3] http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/11/30/upper-darby-anti-muslim-signs/

[4] http://www.krqe.com/news/new-mexico-mosque-vandalized-by-a-real-christain/1009337281

[5] http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/vandal-scrawls-graffiti-at-mosque-site/article_bd1eaf88-a7d6-5006–9244-a1175c21b3fe.html

[6] http://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/sikh-community-facing-rise-in-hate-crimes-seeks-help-from-cities/281–509640203

[7] http://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/sikh-community-facing-rise-in-hate-crimes-seeks-help-from-cities/281–509640203

[8] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/07/an-ex-deputy-rammed-a-truck-into-a-store-because-he-thought-the-owners-were-muslim-police-say/?utm_term=.96c4bbd6f212

[9] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/03/07/an-ex-deputy-rammed-a-truck-into-a-store-because-he-thought-the-owners-were-muslim-police-say/?utm_term=.96c4bbd6f212

[10] http://www.newsindiatimes.com/sikh-gas-station-owner-in-new-jersey-becomes-victim-of-hate-crime

[11] http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/indian-american-owned-gas-station-in-kentucky-vandalized-with-racist/article_ce755584-0b0b-11e8-949b-d30fdeef3b05.html

This Week In Hate: November 8- Hate Violence and Hate Rhetoric

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

Over the past week, six new inci­dents of hate vio­lence occurred against South Asian, Mus­lim, and Mid­dle East­ern com­mu­ni­ties mark­ing the end of the first year of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. The lat­est num­bers in hate show over the past 12 months, there have been a total of 205 unique inci­dents of hate; a 58% increase from the pre­vi­ous year.   

There is a per­sis­tent increase in all cat­e­gories of hate vio­lence as shown in Fig­ure 2. Ver­bal and writ­ten threats are by far the most com­mon cat­e­go­ry of hate inci­dents with 83 occur­ring over the past year. Five of the six recent hate inci­dents involved writ­ten hate rhetoric or threats against mosques and local politi­cians.

For exam­ple, over the past week, numer­ous threats have been direct­ed towards a mosque in Pat­ter­son, NJ and a mosque in Pas­sa­ic, NJ. Fur­ther, hate-filled fliers were found in Hobo­ken, NJ with a pic­ture of Ravi Bhal­la, a local Sikh may­oral can­di­date, stat­ing Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town! A day pri­or, unknown per­pe­tra­tors sent mail­ers to Edi­son, NJ res­i­dents attack­ing local school board can­di­dates.

 

The increase in ver­bal and writ­ten assaults points to a grow­ing trend of sanc­tioned and nor­mal­ized hate rhetoric that is xeno­pho­bic and Islam­o­pho­bic by elect­ed offi­cials includ­ing Don­ald Trump. The rise in state-spon­sored implic­it or explic­it hate rhetoric is encour­ag­ing the tar­get­ing of those per­ceived to be for­eign and Mus­lim as well as oth­er mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties. For instance, after the truck attack of bik­ers by Say­ful­lo Saipov, Pres­i­dent Trump tweet­ed out alarmist mes­sages that sup­port­ed his tar­get­ing of Mus­lim immi­grants: “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our coun­try after defeat­ing them in the Mid­dle East and else­where. Enough!”, “I have just ordered Home­land Secu­ri­ty to step up our already Extreme Vet­ting Pro­gram. Being polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect is fine, but not for this!, andCHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some peo­ple come in, and they bring their whole fam­i­ly with them, who can be tru­ly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!”. In com­par­i­son, Trump has yet to call out the extrem­ism of white shoot­ers in Las Vegas, NV and Suther­land Springs, TX. These tweets, undoubt­ed­ly, are meant to encour­age anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ments and nativist fears in the U.S.

 

THIS WEEK IN HATE: November 1- Continued Increase in Hate Violence

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

As of Novem­ber 1, 2017, there have been 199 doc­u­ment­ed inci­dents of hate vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern. Most notably, hate vio­lence this year has increased by 53% com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

The three cat­e­gories of hate vio­lence, phys­i­cal vio­lence, verbal/written threats, and prop­er­ty dam­age, have all sur­passed the totals from the year before the elec­tion as well. Ver­bal and writ­ten threats and hate­ful rhetoric are the most com­mon type of vio­lence with 78 doc­u­ment­ed inci­dents occur­ring since Novem­ber 8, 2016. A recent inci­dent of ver­bal assault occurred against a Mus­lim stu­dent, Fay Alwat­tari, at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cincin­nati by his music pro­fes­sor. The pro­fes­sor respond­ed to Alwattari’s assign­ment with a bar­rage of incen­di­ary com­ments such as: “The U.S. President’s first sworn duty is to pro­tect Amer­i­ca from ene­mies, and the great­est threat to our free­dom is not the Pres­i­dent, it is rad­i­cal Islam. Review this list of Islam­ic ter­ror­ist attacks and then tell me about your hurt feel­ings.” Uni­ver­si­ty of Cincin­nati is inves­ti­gat­ing the professor’s prob­lem­at­ic behav­ior. In addi­tion to ver­bal assaults, inci­dents of phys­i­cal vio­lence also con­tin­ue to rise with three new inci­dents occur­ring in the past week includ­ing an attack on a Hin­du Tem­ple by an unknown sus­pect in Lex­ing­ton, KY. Cur­rent­ly, the total num­ber of phys­i­cal assaults for this year are 68 inci­dents. Final­ly, prop­er­ty dam­age often con­sist­ing of van­dal­ism com­pris­es the third cat­e­go­ry of hate inci­dents with 53 unique inci­dents occur­ring since Novem­ber 8, 2016.

Just this past week­end, a four foot cross wrapped in bacon was left at a mosque in Twin Falls, Ida­ho. Local law enforce­ment are inves­ti­gat­ing this inci­dent as a hate crime.

Con­sis­tent with the num­bers from last week, women who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern con­tin­ue to be the most com­mon tar­get of hate mak­ing up 29% of hate vio­lence in the SAALT data­base. Hate inci­dents against men, youth, and Mus­lim places of wor­ship come in sec­ond with com­pa­ra­ble per­cent­ages. Nine­teen per­cent of hate vio­lence is against youth, a slight increase from the pre­vi­ous week. On Octo­ber 25th, Christo­pher Beck­ham harassed two Mus­lim girls wear­ing hijabs com­ing off of a school bus and threat­ened their father with a knife. He told them to “go back to their coun­try” and that he would kill them when he got out of prison.

This Week In Hate: October 25 — The Vulnerability of Youth as Hate Violence Continues to Increase

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

This week’s report on hate vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern high­lights two notable shifts in trends. For the first time, phys­i­cal assaults post-elec­tion have sur­passed pre-elec­tion num­bers. Addi­tion­al­ly, there has been an increase in hate inci­dents in the Mid­west region of the U.S., with per­cent­ages close to the West­ern and East­ern region­al per­cent­ages.

As we approach the close of the first year of Don­ald Trump’s pres­i­den­cy, the total num­ber of hate inci­dents have increased to 191 result­ing in a 46% increase from pre-elec­tion year to post-elec­tion year (see Fig­ure 1).

Of the 191 report­ed hate inci­dents, 65 inci­dents are phys­i­cal assaults, 77 inci­dents are ver­bal or writ­ten threats, and 50 inci­dents involve prop­er­ty dam­age (see Fig­ure 2). The most dra­mat­ic increase in hate inci­dents has involved ver­bal and writ­ten assaults over the past year. Recent­ly, a Delaware man, Ger­ard Med­vec, is fac­ing hate crime charges for spy­ing on and threat­en­ing his neigh­bors who he thought were Mus­lim. Post-elec­tion totals on phys­i­cal assaults have also sur­passed the totals from pre-elec­tion year. Phys­i­cal assaults include acts such as shov­ing, punch­ing, pulling, and spit­ting by the per­pe­tra­tors. On Octo­ber 7th, a 43-year old white man walked into a con­ve­nience store in Seat­tle, WA, and pep­per sprayed two men and one woman wear­ing hijab. This attack was pre­ced­ed by an anti-Mus­lim rant in the store. Final­ly, prop­er­ty dam­age often con­sist­ing of van­dal­ism com­pris­es the third cat­e­go­ry of hate inci­dents. Mosques are the most com­mon tar­get of hate inci­dents involv­ing prop­er­ty dam­age. For exam­ple, fig­ure 3 demon­strates that 21% of hate inci­dents involve dam­age or van­dal­ism of mosques and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty cen­ters. This past week, Dar Al Farooq Islam­ic Cen­ter in Min­neso­ta, which was bombed in August, was bro­ken into and bur­glar­ized.

The most com­mon vic­tims of hate inci­dents are often women. Twen­ty-nine per­cent of the 191 doc­u­ment­ed hate inci­dents are against women who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab (see Fig­ure 3). A major­i­ty of these hate inci­dents involve women wear­ing hijabs. Hate vio­lence towards women under­scores the role of inter­sec­tion­al­i­ty and the need for iden­ti­fy­ing these inter­sec­tions in doc­u­ment­ing hate.

The com­bi­na­tion of gen­der, reli­gious attire, skin col­or, accent, and oth­er fac­tors all play a part in how women are per­ceived and tar­get­ed in dai­ly life. For men, as well, inter­sec­tions of mul­ti­ple fac­tors con­tribute to how they are per­ceived and treat­ed by oth­ers. Twen­ty-two per­cent of hate inci­dents are against men who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab. Youth are also vul­ner­a­ble to hate inci­dents due to the inter­sec­tions of race, name, skin col­or, gen­der, and reli­gion with young age. Eigh­teen per­cent of hate inci­dents involved stu­dents and youth (Youth num­bers over­lap with per­cent­ages of hate inci­dents against women and men). Inci­dents not only occur on the streets from strangers but also in insti­tu­tion­al set­tings where oth­ers bul­ly and haze them.

A recent inci­dent stands out in high­light­ing the vio­lence that youth who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab face reg­u­lar­ly, and the men­tal health cri­sis that can result from that trau­ma. Raheel Sid­diqui, a young Mus­lim enlist­ed in the U.S. Marines, com­mit­ted sui­cide dur­ing train­ing this past March. Accord­ing to his par­ents, his drill instruc­tor inces­sant­ly hazed him for being Mus­lim. The instruc­tor report­ed­ly called him a ter­ror­ist and forced him to run laps until he col­lapsed. Supe­ri­ors denied Raheel Sid­diqui med­ical assis­tance and did not take seri­ous­ly his threats to com­mit sui­cide. With increas­ing hate vio­lence, com­mu­ni­ty groups will need to hold insti­tu­tion­al spaces such as schools, the mil­i­tary, and after­school pro­grams account­able in cre­at­ing safe space for all youth.

Last­ly, the rise in the num­ber of hate inci­dents is region­al­ly rel­e­vant (see Fig­ure 4). The West Coast and East Coast con­tin­ue to lead in hate inci­dents with slight­ly over half of inci­dents occur­ring in those regions of the U.S. Their lead, how­ev­er, has shrunk over the weeks as the occur­rence of hate inci­dents increased in the Mid­west. Cur­rent­ly, 25% of hate inci­dents have occurred in places such as Min­neso­ta, Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan, Ohio, Indi­ana, and Illi­nois. South­ern regions of the U.S. have the low­est num­ber of inci­dents mak­ing up 18% of the total.

This Week In Hate — October 11: The Spatial Spread of Hate Violence Pre and Post Election

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

At the 11 month mark since the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, there have been 184 doc­u­ment­ed inci­dents of hate vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern com­pared to the total of 130 from the year before the elec­tion. The rise in hate vio­lence this year is a 42% increase from the pre-elec­tion year. Fur­ther, SAALT finds that new inci­dents occur at the rate of four to five a week. For exam­ple, since the last SAALT hate vio­lence report on Octo­ber 3, 2017, there have been five new report­ed hate inci­dents.

Fig­ure 2 orga­nizes inci­dents of hate vio­lence into descrip­tive cat­e­gories and com­pares totals pre and post-elec­tion. The three cat­e­gories of hate vio­lence are inci­dents of phys­i­cal vio­lence, inci­dents of verbal/written threats, and inci­dents of prop­er­ty dam­age. Ver­bal and writ­ten threats and hate­ful rhetoric are the most com­mon type of vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern. Since Novem­ber 8, 2016, there have been 73 doc­u­ment­ed ver­bal and writ­ten hate inci­dents. While there has been a dra­mat­ic increase in hate rhetoric over the past 11 months com­pared to the pri­or year, many ver­bal and writ­ten inci­dents go unre­port­ed. Actu­al phys­i­cal attack due to hate and bias is the sec­ond most com­mon type of hate vio­lence against com­mu­ni­ties rep­re­sent­ed by SAALT. There have been 63 phys­i­cal assaults in the last 11 months. This total is on par with the total from the pre-elec­tion year. Final­ly, prop­er­ty dam­age often con­sist­ing of van­dal­ism com­pris­es the third cat­e­go­ry of hate inci­dents with 48 unique inci­dents occur­ring since Novem­ber 8, 2016.

The five most recent inci­dents of vio­lence occur­ring over the past week have tar­get­ed Mus­lim fam­i­lies, busi­ness­es, and places of wor­ship. On Octo­ber 5, Islam­o­pho­bic fly­ers were found on the West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Cam­pus. This is the third time in the last year that WWU has had fly­ers on the cam­pus tar­get­ing com­mu­ni­ties of col­or. On the same day, stick­ers threat­en­ing Mus­lims were found in a gov­ern­ment build­ing bath­room in Port­land, Ore­gon. A day lat­er, on Octo­ber 6, a Mus­lim owned store in Albu­querque, New Mex­i­co was van­dal­ized with the phrase “Kill em all.” Fur­ther, on Octo­ber 7, a bill­board for a local city coun­cil can­di­date in Raleigh, North Car­oli­na„ Zainab Baloch, was van­dal­ized with black graf­fi­ti stat­ing “Sand N******” and “Trump.” Then two days lat­er, on Octo­ber 9, a mosque locat­ed in Far­mville, Vir­ginia had the words “F**K God & Allah” scrawled on its walls. These inci­dents of hate rhetoric and prop­er­ty dam­age demon­strate the spread of hate vio­lence across the U.S. from the South­east to the North­west. The map below illus­trates the spread of hate vio­lence across the U.S. over the last two years using dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing pins between inci­dents that occurred pre-elec­tion (orange pins) and post-elec­tion (pur­ple pins).

Civil Rights Groups, North Carolina State and Local Officials Call For An End to Hate Violence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), issued the fol­low­ing state­ment sub­se­quent to SAALT’s Octo­ber 7 town hall on hate vio­lence in Cary, North Car­oli­na in col­lab­o­ra­tion with state and local offi­cials, law enforce­ment, and com­mu­ni­ty based orga­ni­za­tions:

“America’s high­est ideals are root­ed in the fact that we are all cre­at­ed equal and have the right to pray, love, live with free­dom. Nev­er­the­less, our com­mu­ni­ties con­tin­ue to be attacked and tar­get­ed via leg­is­la­tion based upon our real and per­ceived reli­gion. This has to end.”

“From three Mus­lim Bans to con­temptible sup­port of white suprema­cy, this admin­is­tra­tion has encour­aged and embold­ened hate vio­lence against our com­mu­ni­ties.  Since the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Trump, SAALT has tracked over 179 inci­dents of hate vio­lence aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern Amer­i­can, already sur­pass­ing totals from the year lead­ing up to the 2016 elec­tion.”

“In Feb­ru­ary 2015 three young Mus­lim Chapel Hill stu­dents and activists were mur­dered in their home by their neigh­bor.  In June 2016 Army Reserve offi­cer Rus­sel Thomas Lang­ford left bacon out­side of a mosque, harassed con­gre­gants in the park­ing lot, and then made death threats, which accord­ing to Capt. John Kivett of the Sheriff’s Office, includ­ed telling “peo­ple at the mosque that he would kill them and bury them behind the mosque.”  In May 2017, vul­gar Islam­o­pho­bic car­toons depict­ing a pig per­form­ing a sex­u­al act on top of a Mus­lim man were post­ed across the res­i­den­tial halls at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Char­lotte.”

“These inci­dents reflect increas­ing big­otry and divi­sion tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try. This admin­is­tra­tion has done noth­ing to pre­vent or con­demn vig­i­lante vio­lence or to denounce the views of die-hard racists, and has rather used the full pow­er of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment to refill our nation’s reser­voir of hate with every anti-Mus­lim, anti-immi­grant pol­i­cy and tweet it hurls.”

“In response to the uptick in hate vio­lence tar­get­ing South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern com­mu­ni­ties around the coun­try, SAALT is host­ing region­al town halls this year on key issues for our com­mu­ni­ties. SAALT thanks Attor­ney Gen­er­al Josh Stein, Sen­a­tor Angela Bryant, Sen­a­tor Jay Chaud­huri, For­mer Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rick Glazier, Far­ris Barakat, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue, the North Car­oli­na mem­bers of the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions (NCSO), and our allies and spon­sors for col­lab­o­rat­ing on this urgent town hall.

In this time of polit­i­cal and social divi­sive­ness, an answer to hate vio­lence seems impos­si­ble, yet the solu­tion remains clear: we must remain unit­ed for action and stand with each oth­er to demand that all Amer­i­cans are afford­ed full inclu­sion and jus­tice in our coun­try.  We must refuse to allow prej­u­dice to go unchecked as we work to form a more per­fect union togeth­er.”

*** 

Quotes:

Attorney General Josh Stein:

“Crim­i­nals who tar­get peo­ple with vio­lence because of who they are, where they are from, or how they pray must be con­demned. Hate crimes go against every­thing this coun­try stands for. I am com­mit­ted to strength­en­ing North Carolina’s response to hate crimes and work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly to pre­vent these crimes that incite fear and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty among our neigh­bors.”

State Senator Jay Chaudhuri:

“Amer­i­ca was found­ed on the ide­al that all of us are cre­at­ed equal. Hate vio­lence that tar­gets our com­mu­ni­ties tar­gets our coun­try’s found­ing val­ues. Amer­i­ca has no room for vio­lence based on some­one’s race, reli­gion, iden­ti­ty, and nation of ori­gin, and we must denounce these acts in the strongest pos­si­ble terms. I am com­mit­ted to work­ing with state and local author­i­ties, and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers, to make sure North Car­oli­na stands up to hate and not on the side­lines.”

Rick Glazier - Executive Director, North Carolina Justice Center

“A trust is placed in each of us-by future gen­er­a­tions not yet born-to ful­fill our main­te­nance oblig­a­tion to fight pover­ty and dis­ease, igno­rance and big­otry, and apa­thy and dis­trust.”

Chavi Koneru - Executive Director, North Carolina Asian Americans Together:

“As an orga­ni­za­tion bring­ing to light the issues fac­ing the Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty in North Car­oli­na, we are great­ly con­cerned about the rise in hate vio­lence towards mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ty who are Mus­lim or per­ceived to be Mus­lim. This town hall is begin­ning a dis­cus­sion we need to have in this state about col­lec­tive­ly address­ing the issue of hate vio­lence and sup­port­ing pol­i­cy changes that can bring it to an end.”

Ritu Kaur - Kiran Inc.

“Do you real­ize hate crimes and domes­tic vio­lence have sim­i­lar trau­mat­ic effect on the vic­tims and on the com­mu­ni­ty? Let us speak out.”

Farris Barakat - The Lighthouse Projects

“As prej­u­dice and dis­crim­i­na­tion threat­en more peo­ple and is nor­mal­ized in offices as high up as the pres­i­den­cy, an active and grass­roots effort to counter this dark­ness is a civic duty on the peo­ple of con­scious­ness.”

Kulpreet Singh - Sikh Gurdwara

“Each of us is a tremen­dous resource, and the world is a bet­ter place when we com­mu­ni­cate and work togeth­er because of, not despite, our dif­fer­ences.”

Chris Blue - Town of Chapel Hill, Chief of Police and Executive Director for Community Safety

“I am hon­ored to have been among the impres­sive pan­elists who spoke so pas­sion­ate­ly today about the nature of hate in our soci­ety and the deter­mi­na­tion and com­pas­sion that will be required of all of us to over­come it.  I am also heart­ened by the good work going on in North Car­oli­na toward mak­ing this a place of inclu­siv­i­ty for every­one.”

***

Con­tact: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

This Week In Hate: October 5 — Hate Crimes, Racial Profiling, and the Link to Systemic Discrimination

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

Between Novem­ber 8, 2016 and Octo­ber 3, 2017, there have been 179 doc­u­ment­ed hate inci­dents against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern com­pared to the total of 130 from the year pri­or to the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump. The increase in hate vio­lence dur­ing the last eleven months is symp­to­matic of the nor­mal­iza­tion and sanc­tion­ing of hate rhetoric by those in posi­tions of pow­er and influ­ence. Con­cur­rent with the rise in hate inci­dents and nor­mal­iza­tion of hate rhetoric, there is also fur­ther deep­en­ing of insti­tu­tion­al­ized vio­lence such as racial pro­fil­ing and dis­crim­i­na­tion against mul­ti­ple mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties.

Hate inci­dents fall under three broad cat­e­gories of: 1) prop­er­ty dam­age due to van­dal­ism, rob­bery, arson, or oth­er forms of destruc­tion, 2) phys­i­cal assaults such as pulling of attire, shov­ing, or punch­ing, and 3) ver­bal and writ­ten assaults either in per­son or through email or fly­ers. Of the 179 hate inci­dents against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern, 63 are inci­dents of phys­i­cal assaults, 71 are inci­dents of verbal/written assaults, and 45 are inci­dents of prop­er­ty dam­age. The most notable instance of phys­i­cal assault occurred in Hous­ton, TX, on Sep­tem­ber 21, 2017. A Lyft dri­ver assumed to be Pak­istani and Mus­lim was ver­bal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly assault­ed by the pas­sen­ger, Matthew Dunn.” The assault left the dri­ver trau­ma­tized and fear­ful of his life. The anti-immi­grant and anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment is char­ac­ter­is­tic of most hate inci­dents cap­tured in SAALT’s data­base. While ver­bal or writ­ten assaults are absent of phys­i­cal vio­lence, they are equal­ly trau­mat­ic for vic­tims. On Sep­tem­ber 15, 2017, a white suprema­cist wear­ing a “F**k ISIS” t‑shirt threat­ened to kill the patrons of a hookah lounge in Lake For­est, Cal­i­for­nia. Then three days lat­er on the 18th, van­dals spray-paint­ed mul­ti­ple hate mes­sages on a store owned by an Indi­an fam­i­ly. One alarm­ing mes­sage stat­ed: “Kill All Hin­dus.”

Con­cur­rent­ly, the vio­lence that is hap­pen­ing on the streets is also insti­tu­tion­al­ized through racial pro­fil­ing and dis­crim­i­na­tion of those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Arab, or Mid­dle East­ern. Racial pro­fil­ing is a com­mon insti­tu­tion­al­ized tac­tic used by law enforce­ment that unjust­ly tar­gets and ter­ror­izes com­mu­ni­ties of col­or. The ACLU reports that U.S. Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion (CBP) seized and searched the phones of the Alasaad fam­i­ly, who are Mus­lim and have Amer­i­can Cit­i­zen­ship, with­out a war­rant and held the fam­i­ly for hours at the U.S.-Canadian bor­der. More recent­ly, a Mus­lim man was arrest­ed, and his fam­i­ly was detained for three hours when he tried to deposit a check at his local bank in Wichi­ta, Kansas. The fam­i­ly feels trau­ma­tized by the encounter and wor­ries about their safe­ty in Kansas.

As hate vio­lence on the streets and the tar­get­ing of Mus­lims by law enforce­ment are rou­tinized, the sys­temic dis­crim­i­na­tion of those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim also deep­ens in major insti­tu­tions such as edu­ca­tion, labor, or hous­ing. A Face­book page sell­ing and rent­ing homes in LaSalle, Illi­nois, up until recent­ly asked mem­bers inter­est­ed in join­ing the Face­book group: “Are you Mus­lim or ter­ror­ist?” A pri­vate com­pa­ny, Ver­ly Pro Mov­ing Labor, set up the Face­book page and after com­plaints took down the ques­tion. Also, a uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor, forced to resign, is suing his for­mer employ­er, Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da, on grounds that he suf­fered dis­crim­i­na­tion as a Black and Mus­lim fac­ul­ty mem­ber. These are just some of the exam­ples that demon­strate how tar­get­ing of mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties is crim­i­nal­ized and insti­tu­tion­al­ized.