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.

SAALT Slams White House’s Immigration ‘Priorities’ List as Unacceptable; Calls on Leaders to Pass Clean DREAM Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

In response to the White House’s release of a series of hard-line mea­sures required in exchange for allow­ing DREAM­ers to remain in the Unit­ed States through the pro­posed DREAM Act, Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT, released the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“SAALT has vocal­ly sup­port­ed the pas­sage of a clean DREAM Act since the Trump administration’s deci­sion to ter­mi­nate the Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) pro­gram on Sep­tem­ber 5, 2017. In demand­ing a clean DREAM Act, we are stat­ing unequiv­o­cal­ly that any leg­is­la­tion must not include mea­sures to increase bor­der or inte­ri­or enforce­ment, no cuts to fam­i­ly immi­gra­tion, and no threats to legal immi­gra­tion. All of these unac­cept­able pro­vi­sions were includ­ed in the Administration’s pri­or­i­ties list issued this week­end.

Specif­i­cal­ly, these ‘pri­or­i­ties’ include ramp­ing up bor­der and inte­ri­or enforce­ment, includ­ing the con­struc­tion of a wall along the Mex­i­co bor­der, a fur­ther crack­down on sanc­tu­ary cities, an extreme cap on refugees and asy­lum seek­ers, and a deep slash to fam­i­ly and legal immi­gra­tion num­bers.

It is a patent­ly false con­struct to assume that ramp­ing up enforce­ment and cut­ting immi­gra­tion from every angle is a nec­es­sary step to ensure a leg­isla­tive solu­tion, one that is des­per­ate­ly need­ed after the inhu­mane rescis­sion of the DACA pro­gram by this admin­is­tra­tion.

Over 27,000 Asian Amer­i­cans, includ­ing 5,500 Indi­ans and Pak­ista­nis, have already received DACA. An addi­tion­al esti­mat­ed 17,000 indi­vid­u­als from India and 6,000 from Pak­istan are eli­gi­ble for DACA, plac­ing India in the top ten coun­tries for DACA eli­gi­bil­i­ty. These indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies must be pro­tect­ed through leg­is­la­tion with­out a bar­rage of uncon­scionable mea­sures attached there­in.

Immi­grants are not a threat to our nation­al secu­ri­ty. Instead, as numer­ous stud­ies have shown, they enhance our nation and give us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to live up to our ideals as a coun­try. More­over, two-thirds of Amer­i­cans sup­port the DREAM Act as well as over 50% of elect­ed offi­cials across par­ty lines.

With this pub­lic man­date behind them, our lead­ers must stay strong and ensure that this administration’s ‘pri­or­i­ties’ do not serve as a start­ing point for any bar­gain­ing at the expense of immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties. What we deserve is a clean DREAM Act root­ed in dig­ni­ty and inclu­sion for all immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties. We will not set­tle for any­thing less.”

***

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) is a nation­al, non­par­ti­san, non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that fights for racial jus­tice and advo­cates for the civ­il rights of all South Asians in the Unit­ed States. Our ulti­mate vision is dig­ni­ty and full inclu­sion for all.

Con­tact: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

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.

This Week in Hate: Sixteen Years after 9/11 and Hate Violence is on the Rise

Pre­pared by Rad­ha Modi

Sep­tem­ber 11, 2017 marked the 16 year anniver­sary of 9/11, and hate vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Mid­dle East­ern, and Asian con­tin­ues to rise. While the cam­paign and elec­tion of Don­ald Trump is her­ald­ed as the impe­tus for the grow­ing hate speech and vio­lence nation­al­ly, Islam­o­pho­bia, anti-Black­ness, and anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment had become nor­mal­ized and insti­tu­tion­al­ized in the U.S. over the last six­teen years: from pro­fil­ing by TSA to police bru­tal­i­ty to exces­sive delays in pro­cess­ing of immi­gra­tion appli­ca­tions. Trump as well as oth­ers would not have been able to advo­cate and sanc­tion white suprema­cy so deft­ly had it not been for the con­tin­ued embed­ding of these prin­ci­ples in the foun­da­tions of U.S. gov­er­nance.

The lat­est num­bers in hate show that in the ten months since the elec­tion, a total of 168 inci­dents of hate have occurred against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived to be Mus­lim or immi­grant. Fig­ure 1 illus­trates that the per­cent increase is up by 29% as com­pared to the year pri­or to the elec­tion which had a total of 130 inci­dents.

There is a per­sis­tent increase in all cat­e­gories of hate vio­lence as shown in Fig­ure 2. Ver­bal and writ­ten hate speech — at 68 unique inci­dents and prop­er­ty dam­age at 40 unique inci­dents  — have sur­passed the totals from the pri­or year. Acts of phys­i­cal vio­lence, now at 60 inci­dents, will soon exceed the total of 64 from last year. Recent exam­ples of these hate­ful acts occurred over the pre­vi­ous week. On Sep­tem­ber 4th in Ohio, a truck dri­ver fired a gun thir­teen times at a Mus­lim woman in her car. She was struck four times and is cur­rent­ly recov­er­ing at a local hos­pi­tal in Colum­bus, Ohio. CAIR is urg­ing police to inves­ti­gate this crime as a hate crime. Then on Sep­tem­ber 6, a Sikh Tem­ple in Hol­ly­wood, CA was van­dal­ized with hate speech. The words, “Nuke all Sikhs,” was scrawled on the walls of the tem­ple. Fur­ther, a Fil­ipino-Turk­ish man was beat­en by a white suprema­cist in a park­ing lot in Fuller­ton, CA on Sep­tem­ber 7th.

Fig­ure 3 demon­strates that the rise in the num­ber of hate inci­dents are region­al­ly rel­e­vant. The West Coast con­tin­ues to lead in hate inci­dents with a third of inci­dents occur­ring in that region of the U.S. The hate vio­lence occur­ring in the East­ern and Mid­west­ern regions make up about half of all inci­dents. South­ern regions of the U.S. have the low­est num­ber of inci­dents mak­ing up 16% of the total. The high­er pro­por­tion of doc­u­ment­ed hate crimes in cer­tain regions is due to a vari­ety of issues: 1) a high­er pro­por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion that is of col­or and immi­grant, 2) an ease and access to report­ing struc­tures, 3) the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the crime, and 4) the vis­i­bil­i­ty of the vic­tim.

SAALT’s Congressional Briefing on Hate Violence Sounds the Alarm for Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

On Sep­tem­ber 12, 2017, one day after the 16th anniver­sary of the trag­ic attacks of Sep­tem­ber 11, South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al civ­il rights and racial jus­tice orga­ni­za­tion, held a Con­gres­sion­al brief­ing to address the ris­ing tide of hate vio­lence aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern Amer­i­cans under the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion. SAALT was joined by five mem­bers of Con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship and nation­al part­ner orga­ni­za­tions to denounce this admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-Mus­lim, anti-immi­grant poli­cies that embold­en hate against our com­mu­ni­ties.

“Post‑9/11 has trans­formed into present-Trump, with hate vio­lence reach­ing lev­els that rival the after­math of the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “The White House has a sworn respon­si­bil­i­ty to con­demn and pre­vent all forms of hate. Today’s brief­ing with Con­gres­sion­al lead­ers is an impor­tant step in mak­ing sure this admin­is­tra­tion does not renounce its respon­si­bil­i­ties to our com­mu­ni­ties and nation.”

The cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion has been fun­da­men­tal to the growth and audac­i­ty of white suprema­cist and Islam­o­pho­bic move­ments in the Unit­ed States. The White House has unleashed numer­ous divi­sive poli­cies that have awok­en and embold­ened hate against our com­mu­ni­ties, includ­ing sev­er­al per­mu­ta­tions of the “Mus­lim Ban,” rescind­ing Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA), and sup­port­ing the RAISE Act, among oth­ers.

Since the elec­tion, SAALT has doc­u­ment­ed over 150 inci­dents of hate vio­lence against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, South Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab Amer­i­can, already sur­pass­ing totals from the year lead­ing up to the 2016 elec­tion. Accord­ing to the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, anti-Mus­lim hate groups grew by 197% in 2016, and, accord­ing to the FBI, anti-Mus­lim hate crimes increased by 67% in 2015.

“SAALT, along with our nation­al part­ners, will con­tin­ue to demand and strive for a just and inclu­sive soci­ety for all Amer­i­cans,” stat­ed Ms. Raghu­nathan. “We stand ready to work with Con­gres­sion­al lead­ers to mount a deci­sive oppo­si­tion to big­otry and divi­sion of all kinds and to rein­force our com­mu­ni­ties’ impor­tant place in the fab­ric of our nation.”

——

Co-Chairs, Sponsors, Speakers, Partners, and Quotes:

Honorary Co-Chairs of the briefing include: 
Sen­a­tor Richard Blu­men­thal (CT);
Sen­a­tor Ben Cardin (MD);
Sen­a­tor Tam­my Duck­worth (IL)

Member Co-Sponsors of the briefing include: 
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Judy Chu (CA-27);
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Max­ine Waters (CA-43);
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bar­bara Lee (CA-13);
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal (WA‑7);
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ro Khan­na (CA-17)

Members of Congress who joined the briefing include:
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Judy Chu (CA-27);
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal (WA‑7);
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ro Khan­na (CA-17)

Partner organizations include:
South Asian Net­work;
Desis Ris­ing Up and Mov­ing;
Sikh Coali­tion;
DACA Net­work

Representative Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus:
“Thank you to South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er for orga­niz­ing today’s brief­ing and being such a strong leader in the fight to defeat hate. Since the 2016 Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion we have wit­nessed height­ened xeno­pho­bic and anti-Mus­lim rhetoric and vio­lence tar­get­ing com­mu­ni­ties of col­or across the nation. This hate, rhetoric, and the vio­lence is par­tic­u­lar­ly alarm­ing because it is rem­i­nis­cent of what we saw in the after­math of Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks, when Mus­lims, South Asians, Sikhs and oth­ers became the tar­gets of hate. In 2017 we’ve seen racial ten­sions come to a head, which has been large­ly fueled by white suprema­cists. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s dan­ger­ous polit­i­cal rhetoric has explic­it­ly tar­get­ed South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Arab, and Mid­dle East­ern com­mu­ni­ties, such as the Pres­i­den­t’s ill-con­ceived and un-Amer­i­can Mus­lim trav­el ban. But the xeno­pho­bic sen­ti­ment is also being dri­ven by xeno­pho­bic poli­cies such as Pres­i­dent Trump’s deci­sion to ter­mi­nate the DACA pro­gram, and its desire to upend our fam­i­ly based immi­gra­tion sys­tem. Our nation’s val­ues affirm that all peo­ple deserve to be wel­comed and to feel safe no mat­ter what they look like or who they wor­ship. Hate has no place in Amer­i­ca, and we have to con­tin­ue to remain vig­i­lant in pro­tect­ing the rights of all Amer­i­cans against this ris­ing tide of hate vio­lence.”

Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-7):
“The hate vio­lence we are fac­ing in 2017 is not new. But what we are fac­ing, what it feels like, is a sanc­tioned hate that comes from places like the White House. We ask that the Pres­i­dent cease his incen­di­ary rhetoric that helps to fuel many of these hate crimes. It is crys­tal clear that we still have a tremen­dous amount of work to do, and that work must come from lead­ers in Con­gress and from our com­mu­ni­ties insist­ing that we are not a coun­try that con­tin­ues this anti-immi­grant xeno­pho­bic rhetoric. You can tie a direct thread between every­thing that has been hap­pen­ing and the lead­er­ship that comes from the White House. It isn’t enough just to be speak out, there needs to be account­abil­i­ty that actu­al­ly takes direct action to ensure that the Pres­i­dent under­stands that he is the Pres­i­dent of all of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. Let’s see every defeat as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow our move­ment, and let’s see every win as a vic­to­ry in our step to push for that more per­fect union.”

Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17):
“It’s time that we, togeth­er as a nation, speak open­ly and respect­ful­ly about how to end any hate and vio­lence direct­ed towards Mus­lim, Arab, and South Asian com­mu­ni­ties. I will always stand up against racism and vio­lence. To those who have faced prej­u­dice know that you are not alone and we are with you.”

Con­tact:  Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

Minority leader Pelosi joins CAPAC and Asian American DREAMers to demand immediate passage of the DREAM Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al civ­il rights and racial jus­tice orga­ni­za­tion, ful­ly sup­ports calls by Rep. Nan­cy Pelosi, Rep. Judy Chu, and oth­er mem­bers of Con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship for the imme­di­ate pas­sage of the DREAM Act. These demands come on the heels of last week’s deci­sion by the Trump admin­is­tra­tion to ter­mi­nate the Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) pro­gram, the lat­est in this admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-immi­grant poli­cies that puts 800,000 peo­ple at risk of depor­ta­tion from the only coun­try they’ve ever called home.

“This administration’s heart­less, end­less efforts to tar­get and mar­gin­al­ize immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties makes the imme­di­ate pas­sage of a clean DREAM Act all the more urgent,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT. “SAALT joins Con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship in staunch sup­port of the imme­di­ate pas­sage of the DREAM Act, and we call on all elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials to defend our com­mu­ni­ties through their words and actions.”

At a press con­fer­ence on the DREAM Act, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nan­cy Pelosi not­ed, “It’s an hon­or to be here with DREAM­ers, who are advanc­ing the Amer­i­can dream. With their courage, with their opti­mism, and with their inspi­ra­tion, they make Amer­i­ca more Amer­i­can.”

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Judy Chu stat­ed, “It was only last week that Pres­i­dent Trump issued one of the cru­elest orders he ever could, the end of DACA, forc­ing 800,000 peo­ple to face depor­ta­tion to coun­tries that they do not even know. We are here to say, ‘We will fight for our DREAM­ers.’”

Chi­rayu Patel, Co-Founder of the DACA Net­work and a DREAM­er him­self, stat­ed, “I have built a life here: gone to ele­men­tary, mid­dle school, high school, and col­lege. The deci­sion by Pres­i­dent Oba­ma in 2012 to enact the DACA pro­gram was a con­se­quen­tial day for me, as I believed this was the first step to earn my Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship. Last week’s deci­sion by Pres­i­dent Trump turned my life upside down. We will not be used as bar­gain­ing chips in polit­i­cal games­man­ship between the par­ties. We are call­ing on Con­gress to pass a clean DREAM Act now. Now is the time for Con­gress to make a deci­sion on whether they’re going to sup­port us or if they’re going to stand in the way of progress.”

Over 27,000 Asian Amer­i­cans, includ­ing 5,500 Indi­ans and Pak­ista­nis, have already received DACA. An addi­tion­al esti­mat­ed 17,000 indi­vid­u­als from India and 6,000 Pak­istan respec­tive­ly are eli­gi­ble for DACA, plac­ing India in the top ten coun­tries for DACA eli­gi­bil­i­ty. With the ter­mi­na­tion of DACA, these indi­vid­u­als could face depor­ta­tion at the dis­cre­tion of the admin­is­tra­tion.

Our immi­gra­tion laws are bad­ly bro­ken — dis­re­gard­ing our val­ues is not the answer to fix­ing them. We call on Con­gress to do its job and imme­di­ate­ly pass a clean DREAM Act that cre­ates a roadmap to cit­i­zen­ship for aspir­ing new Amer­i­cans. This is the only way to align our immi­gra­tion laws with the val­ues Amer­i­cans hold dear.

CONTACT: Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org