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

Civil Rights Coalition Denounces ACT For America’s Anti-Muslim Online Campaign; Calls on the President to #CounterACTHate

Wash­ing­ton – Civ­il rights lead­ers, faith based, human rights, and com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions con­demn today’s big­ot­ed, anti-Mus­lim online cam­paign by ACT for Amer­i­ca, report­ed­ly the nation’s largest anti-Mus­lim hate group.  This online cam­paign was sched­uled for just two days before the anniver­sary of Sep­tem­ber 11 to tar­get and man­u­fac­ture hatred for Amer­i­can Mus­lims at a time when vio­lence against Mus­lim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh com­mu­ni­ties is reach­ing his­toric highs.

ACT orig­i­nal­ly planned to coor­di­nate 67 anti-Mus­lim ral­lies across 36 states under the theme “Amer­i­ca First.”  How­ev­er, after thou­sands of Amer­i­cans came out in peace­ful resis­tance to white suprema­cy and racism in Char­lottesville and Boston, ACT decid­ed to call off its ral­lies and shift to today’s online cam­paign, a clear sig­nal that mes­sages of jus­tice and sol­i­dar­i­ty are drown­ing out mes­sages of hate nation­wide.

This is not the first time civ­il rights groups and anti-racist pro­tes­tors stared down ACT’s big­otry.  In June ACT held anti-Mus­lim ral­lies in 30 cities across the nation under the theme “March Against Shari­ah”.  This cam­paign was met with strong resis­tance from civ­il rights groups who held alter­na­tive events that telegraphed calls for love, fair­ness, and jus­tice. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion was silent in response.

ACT’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, has made her racism clear. She has said, “Every prac­tic­ing Mus­lim is a rad­i­cal Mus­lim” and has argued, out­ra­geous­ly, that Mus­lims are a “nat­ur­al threat to civ­i­lized peo­ple of the world, par­tic­u­lar­ly West­ern soci­ety.”  In a video mes­sage launch­ing the Amer­i­ca First ral­lies, Ms. Gabriel exclaims, “Let’s show our pres­i­dent that we are behind him in secur­ing our nation.” In accor­dance with the big­otry that ACT pro­motes, its pre­vi­ous anti-Mus­lim ral­lies have attract­ed a host of armed mili­tia-type groups and white nation­al­ists.

Like­wise, Pres­i­dent Trump has made no secret of his big­otry„ stat­ing on the record, “I think Islam hates us” and mov­ing for­ward with his administration’s dogged pur­suit of a “Mus­lim Ban,” among oth­er poli­cies.  The words and actions of the admin­is­tra­tion, includ­ing high-lev­el advi­sors who are known stan­dard-bear­ers for white suprema­cist move­ments, as well as the Pres­i­dent him­self, increas­ing­ly fuel and val­i­date vio­lence tar­get­ing Mus­lims and peo­ple per­ceived as Mus­lim. The FBI’s 2015 hate crimes sta­tis­tics, the most updat­ed data avail­able, show a 67% increase in hate crimes against Mus­lims in 2015, while vio­lence aimed at South Asian, Sikh, and Arab com­mu­ni­ties con­tin­ue to rise. The xeno­pho­bic state­ments by the Pres­i­dent and Gabriel run counter to the val­ues of jus­tice and inclu­siv­i­ty that we seek to uphold.

Peace­ful resis­tance by civ­il rights groups, immi­grant and faith com­mu­ni­ties, and com­mu­ni­ties of col­or has been the strongest coun­ter­weight to the insults and injuries of white suprema­cists and this admin­is­tra­tion. We demand this admin­is­tra­tion, and all elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials, con­demn groups that ped­dle hate in the strongest pos­si­ble terms, and back that con­dem­na­tion with swift action and poli­cies that con­tribute to the trans­for­ma­tion of our insti­tu­tions. The hatred must stop now. As a coali­tion of diverse orga­ni­za­tions rep­re­sent­ing com­mu­ni­ties of col­or and immi­grants at the nation­al, state, and local lev­els, we are com­mit­ted to con­demn­ing big­otry of all kinds and advanc­ing the prin­ci­ples of racial jus­tice.

Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er, said, “ACT for America’s racism and fear mon­ger­ing are incom­pat­i­ble with core Amer­i­can val­ues of jus­tice and equal­i­ty in a nation where peo­ple of col­or will con­sti­tute a major­i­ty of res­i­dents with­in the next two decades.  ACT’s deci­sion to shift from nation­wide ral­lies to an online cam­paign, while still tox­ic, is in no small terms a vic­to­ry and emblem­at­ic of the pow­er of stand­ing togeth­er, unit­ed from all faiths and back­grounds against big­otry. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion must end its anti-Mus­lim, anti-immi­grant cam­paign that embold­ens hate groups to com­mit hor­rif­ic acts of vio­lence against our com­mu­ni­ties. Silence is no longer an option. The Pres­i­dent, along with all elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials, must con­demn Islam­o­pho­bia and white suprema­cy and ensure that our com­mu­ni­ties can live in a just and inclu­sive soci­ety for all Amer­i­cans.”

SAALT Condemns President Trump’s Decision to Terminate DACA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), a nation­al civ­il rights and racial jus­tice orga­ni­za­tion, con­demns Pres­i­dent Trump’s deci­sion to ter­mi­nate the Deferred Action for Child­hood Arrivals (DACA) pro­gram, the lat­est in a litany of this admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-immi­grant poli­cies.  This morn­ing Attor­ney Gen­er­al Ses­sions announced the destruc­tive change, cit­ing DACA’s exec­u­tive over­reach as the main source of cri­tique, reflect­ing this admin­is­tra­tion’s amne­sia and its uncon­sti­tu­tion­al actions to date, not the least of which include the “Mus­lim Ban.”

“Amer­i­ca’s val­ues are found­ed on the ide­al that all peo­ple are cre­at­ed equal and deserve jus­tice. The Pres­i­den­t’s deci­sion to ter­mi­nate DACA puts 800,000 indi­vid­u­als at risk of depor­ta­tion from the only coun­try they’ve ever called home. End­ing DACA is the lat­est evi­dence of this admin­is­tra­tion’s utter lack of com­mit­ment to our nation’s found­ing val­ues of equal­i­ty and fair­ness,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT.  “Our cur­rent patch­work of immi­gra­tion poli­cies and pro­grams is bro­ken, and we demand Con­gress does its job to craft a com­mon­sense immi­gra­tion process 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.”

The Trump admin­is­tra­tion will phase out DACA after a six-month delay, punt­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty to Con­gress to craft leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect Dream­ers. Pass­ing the DREAM Act 2017 is an impor­tant first step, but what the nation needs is com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform.

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.

The CEOs of Apple, Google and Face­book and many oth­er busi­ness lead­ers have all staunch­ly sup­port­ed DACA and opposed its ter­mi­na­tion, cit­ing their need for tal­ent­ed work­ers in a direct rebut­tal to claims that DACA has hurt the Amer­i­can econ­o­my.

When asked about DACA in Feb­ru­ary the Pres­i­dent stat­ed, “We are going to deal with DACA with heart.”  Yet today the Attor­ney Gen­er­al called the ter­mi­na­tion of DACA a com­pas­sion­ate deci­sion, reveal­ing how tone deaf and incon­sis­tent this admin­is­tra­tion is to its past state­ments and Amer­i­can val­ues. The admin­is­tra­tion has announced sev­er­al per­mu­ta­tions of the “Mus­lim Ban”; con­tin­u­al­ly called for the con­struc­tion of a wall on the south­ern bor­der of the Unit­ed States; has rolled back Deferred Action for Par­ents of Amer­i­cans and Law­ful Per­ma­nent Res­i­dents (DAPA); sup­port­ed the RAISE Act that seeks to slash immi­gra­tion in half with­in a decade; and encour­aged, endorsed, and embold­ened big­otry, white suprema­cy, and hatred toward immi­grants, Mus­lims, and peo­ple of col­or across the nation. That is not the type of ‘heart’ this nation needs.

Since its incep­tion, this admin­is­tra­tion has demon­strat­ed a cru­cial lack of heart, com­pas­sion, val­ues, and respect for the law when it comes to DACA and immi­gra­tion.  It is time for Con­gress to step up and pass com­pre­hen­sive immi­gra­tion reform, and for all elect­ed and appoint­ed offi­cials to defend our com­mu­ni­ties through words and actions.  We are here to stay, we have the same rights to Amer­i­ca as any­one else, and we are not going away.

Con­tact:  Vivek Trive­di — vivek@saalt.org

This Week In Hate: August 25 — Hate Violence Post Charlottesville

Pre­pared for SAALT by Rad­ha Modi

As of August 22, 2017, there have been 150 hate inci­dents against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Mid­dle East­ern, and Asian. The new total sur­pass­es the pre­vi­ous year’s (marked as Novem­ber 2015 to Novem­ber 2016) total by 20 inci­dents, as shown in Fig­ure 1. With the sup­port from Don­ald Trump, after the events of Char­lottesville, VA, white suprema­cists, neo-Nazis, and white nation­al­ists feel encour­aged to con­tin­ue their vio­lence against immi­grants and com­mu­ni­ties of col­or. For exam­ple, on August 20, 2017, a neigh­bor­hood in Alame­da, CA, was strewn with swasti­ka-adorned fly­ers. These fly­ers depict­ed a swasti­ka over the image of a Mus­lim woman in a hijab with the words “Help me kill you, stu­pid.” Don­ald Trump’s lack of unequiv­o­cal denounce­ment of white suprema­cists leads to wide­spread endan­ger­ment of many mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties.

While the pat­terns of the most com­mon type of hate inci­dents have not changed from pre­vi­ous reports, Fig­ure 2 illus­trates that these types of inci­dents are steadi­ly increas­ing week by week. In par­tic­u­lar, there are 53 inci­dents of phys­i­cal assaults against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Arab, Mid­dle East­ern, and Asian that have been report­ed over the last nine months. Just this past week, in Cleve­land, OH, an immi­grant man was phys­i­cal­ly attacked and expe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant head and face injuries after being vio­lent­ly knocked out. To learn more about this and oth­er report­ed hate inci­dents, refer to SAALT’s Acts of Hate Data­base.

Most hate inci­dents are being report­ed in the west­ern and east­ern regions of the U.S., mak­ing up about two-thirds of all report­ed hate vio­lence, as shown in Fig­ure 3. Addi­tion­al­ly, the high­est pro­por­tions of reports are from the states of Cal­i­for­nia and New York where there are greater num­bers of immi­grants and com­mu­ni­ties of col­or. In future reports, we will pro­vide an inter­ac­tive map of all hate inci­dents across the U.S., as doc­u­ment­ed in the Acts of Hate Data­base.

Combating Islamophobia — SAALT welcomes the 2017–2018 Young Leaders Institute cohort

From July 19–21, SAALT wel­comed the 2017–2018 class of the Young Lead­ers Insti­tute (YLI) at a con­ven­ing in Sil­ver Spring, Mary­land. This year marks the sixth cohort of young adults SAALT has trained in lead­er­ship skills for social change on cam­pus and in our com­mu­ni­ties. The 2017–2018 cohort includes 16 out­stand­ing, diverse youth who have devel­oped cre­ative and thought­ful projects focused on this year’s theme of Com­bat­ing Islam­o­pho­bia in South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties and broad­ly through civic engage­ment.

Fol­low­ing a com­pet­i­tive appli­ca­tion process, YLI Fel­lows took part in a three-day train­ing work­shop where they learned the his­to­ry of immi­gra­tion and Islam­o­pho­bia in Amer­i­ca, built orga­niz­ing and direct action skills, con­nect­ed with activists and men­tors, and explored social change strate­gies around issues that affect South Asian and immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties in the Unit­ed States. Learn more about each Fel­low’s respec­tive YLI project here. See pic­tures from the con­ven­ing here.

SAALT is thank­ful to the train­ers who pro­vid­ed vital insights at the YLI con­ven­ing, includ­ing Dr. Maha Hilal (Insti­tute for Pol­i­cy Stud­ies); Ter­ri John­son (Cen­ter for New Com­mu­ni­ty); Noor Mir (D.C. Jus­tice for Mus­lims Coali­tion); and Darak­shan Raja (Wash­ing­ton Peace Cen­ter).

“I had an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence at YLI,” stat­ed Shilpa, one of SAALT’s YLI Fel­lows. “I met a great com­mu­ni­ty of South Asians com­mit­ted to social jus­tice and com­bat­ing var­i­ous forms of oppres­sion in the com­mu­ni­ty.  I also heard from amaz­ing orga­niz­ers who taught us about direct action, the his­to­ry of the war on ter­ror, and how we can move for­ward with­in our com­mu­ni­ties.  Going for­ward I want to car­ry all that knowl­edge with me back to George­town and build com­mu­ni­ties of South Asians com­mit­ted to social jus­tice on my cam­pus.”

Check out this video on Islam­o­pho­bia and how the Young Lead­ers Insti­tute empow­ers young peo­ple to com­bat it on cam­pus and in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Sania, anoth­er YLI Fel­low, not­ed, “The rea­son I took part in the Young Lead­ers Insti­tute is because when I’m old­er I want to be involved in com­mu­ni­ty orga­niz­ing. YLI was the per­fect first step in find­ing my way there.”

Rakin, a YLI Fel­low who will work to repeal House Bill 522, an anti-Sharia leg­is­la­tion in North Car­oli­na, stat­ed, “Through YLI, I was able to gain access to edu­ca­tion­al resources that helped con­tex­tu­al­ize what it means to be a South Asian in Amer­i­ca. YLI helped me under­stand the broad­er his­to­ry and dynam­ics of the South Asian Amer­i­can iden­ti­ty.”

SAALT would like to thank our sup­port­ers and donors who make the Young Lead­ers Insti­tute pos­si­ble, and to our YLI Fel­lows, who are the lead­ers of tomor­rowand who inspire us with their com­mit­ment to tak­ing on Islam­o­pho­bia on cam­pus­es and in com­mu­ni­ties.

Please con­sid­er mak­ing a gen­er­ous dona­tion to SAALT. Your help will ensure that the Young Lead­ers Insti­tute con­tin­ues to train tomor­row’s lead­ers today, for a more jus­tice and inclu­sive soci­ety for all Amer­i­cans.

In part­ner­ship,
The SAALT Team

This Week in Hate — August 11 — The Significance of Intersectionality in Hate Violence

Pre­pared for SAALT by Rad­ha Modi

 

 

There are now 141 doc­u­ment­ed hate inci­dents against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab since the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump (fig­ure 1). Of these 141 hate inci­dents, almost half (59 inci­dents) are ver­bal and writ­ten assaults, an addi­tion­al third (49 inci­dents) are phys­i­cal assaults, and about a quarter (33 inci­dents) are prop­er­ty dam­age (fig­ure 2). The total num­ber of ver­bal and writ­ten assaults post-elec­tion have already sur­passed the pre-elec­tion total. Prop­er­ty dam­age will soon sur­pass the pre-elec­tion total with the ongo­ing attacks on mosques. The total num­ber of phys­i­cal assaults is steadi­ly increas­ing.  About half of the phys­i­cal assaults are against Mus­lim and immi­grant women (fig­ure 2).

Women by far are the most com­mon tar­get of hate inci­dents. Thirty-three percent of the 141 doc­u­ment­ed hate inci­dents are against women who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab (fig­ure 3). Women wear­ing hijabs are, in par­tic­u­lar, vul­ner­a­ble to hate vio­lence. 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 instance, Noor Tagouri, a Mus­lim Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist, who wears a hijab, was told to “kill her­self” by a fel­low pas­sen­ger as she board­ed a domes­tic flight in the US[1]. This form of rou­tine dehu­man­iza­tion is not only root­ed in Islam­o­pho­bia but also misog­y­ny, xeno­pho­bia, and racism. While men seem less vul­ner­a­ble, they are also a com­mon tar­get post-elec­tion. Eighteen percent of hate inci­dents are against men who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab (fig­ure 3). For men, as well, inter­sec­tions of mul­ti­ple fac­tors con­tribute to how they are per­ceived and treat­ed by oth­ers. Recent­ly, Farid el-Bagh­da­di, a brown-skinned food truck ven­dor sell­ing Mid­dle East­ern sand­wich­es, was pelt­ed with eggs mul­ti­ple times in Queens, New York. One of the eggs had a note attached to it that read: “F**k Arabs and F**k Mus­lims”. The per­pe­tra­tors used Farid el-Baghdadi’s skin col­or, occu­pa­tion, and name to pro­file and tar­get him.

The third major tar­get of hate inci­dents is young peo­ple. Twenty-one percent of hate inci­dents involved stu­dents and youth. Inci­dents not only occur on the streets from strangers but also in schools where they are vul­ner­a­ble to bul­ly­ing. Anoth­er com­mon tar­get is mosques or Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tions mak­ing up about a fifth of hate inci­dents. On aver­age, about 3 to 4 mosques or Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tions are tar­get­ed month­ly with some mosques hav­ing mul­ti­ple attacks this year. Just this past week, Dar Al-Farooq Islam­ic Cen­ter in Bloom­ing­ton, Min­neso­ta was bombed by unknown assailants. This is the sec­ond time in the last 30 days that a Min­neso­ta mosque has been tar­get­ed. Despite the inces­sant vio­lence against Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties, the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has yet to release a state­ment denounc­ing the bomb­ing[2] and thus indi­rect­ly sanc­tion­ing the vio­lence against mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties.

Remember Oak Creek — They Still Stood Strong

- Sus Ri Kaal — Salaam Alaaaikum — Namaste -

When I was 8 years old, my Papa died before my eyes. I was so con­fused why he left me. I used to ask every Sar­dar­ji (tur­ban wear­ing reli­gious elder) I walked past if they knew my Papa, if he told them any jokes, or if he men­tioned me. The image of a Sar­dar­ji is one of love, ser­vice, and com­pas­sion.

Every day that has passed since 9/11, I feel as though I am bare­ly hold­ing onto the many parts of my iden­ti­ty, my com­mu­ni­ty.. and with every sto­ry on social media of an uncle being beat­en up or killed — of a store being van­dal­ized or mosques being burnt — I feel like those same parts are slip­ping from my shak­ing grasp. The con­stant vic­ar­i­ous trau­ma from the media and its ongo­ing forms of PTSD shake me.

One more part of me, one more piece of safe­ty slips from me with every news update, pray­ing it is not tar­get­ing a Sikh or Mus­lim. With every 9/11 remem­brance over the past 16 years reminds me of Bal­bir Singh being shot to death after he was look­ing to buy flags for his store. He was an immi­grant who want­ed a bet­ter life for his fam­i­ly, work­ing hard with­in the Amer­i­can Dream only to be shot cold in a busi­ness he start­ed from noth­ing just days after 9/11. I remem­ber the fear that day, for us to quick­ly buy any flag stick­er, stand, cloth and adorn it on our res­i­dence and vehi­cles. It was ter­ri­fy­ing how quick­ly this fear swept across the nation. Was his flag not up fast enough? We had to PROVE we are Amer­i­can, we had to LABEL our­selves as Amer­i­can, why were we ever put in that sit­u­a­tion?

This past week­end I flew out to Oak Creek on a red eye. I was not expect­ing to go, but I felt I had to, as a Sar­dar­ji ka beta (daugh­ter of a tur­ban wear­ing reli­gious elder). I had to. At 8am I checked into the hotel, loaded my back­pack up with a sec­ond change of clothes and a hood­ie not know­ing what to expect with Mid­west weath­er. I got into the Uber with a pun­jabi uncle who shared how close he was to the peo­ple who died. We talked about my father, about how hard it is to be brown in Amer­i­ca — but he remind­ed me that the love of the com­mu­ni­ty is what will get us through all the hard times. I went into the tem­ple, per­formed muth­na taak­naa (respect­ful prayer) and ate the par­shaad (holy sweets) look­ing at this small prayer hall with eccen­tric pink and gold, full of love. I found myself in tears, this was where peo­ple had died, where Papas were last seen, where lives had trans­formed for­ev­er. There was blood on this car­pet once. I saw the bul­let hole in the door they had left as a reminder to peo­ple of their per­se­ver­ance.

I walked into the lun­gar hall (com­mu­nal food hall) and saw all the amaz­ing aun­ties prep­ping the free food for the 5K guests tomor­row and the week­end of 48 hour prayer. They were laugh­ing, smil­ing and mak­ing sure I had one of every­thing they made. They did not know me, but they had so much care for me. I sat down next to a younger girl who was per­son­al­ly affect­ed by the death of her father and we talked about how los­ing your father can trans­form your life. I shared the mile­stones I had that I found dif­fer­ent ways to memo­ri­al­ize my Papa — my high school grad­u­a­tion, my col­lege grad­u­a­tion, and soon how I will hon­or him when I mar­ry Naseer. I told her how strong she was to have gone through some­thing so hard and still be able to even step foot into the Gur­d­wara and do hours of char­i­ty work here, but told her she nev­er need­ed to be put in a sit­u­a­tion to need to per­se­vere. So many miles apart and we were con­nect­ed through loss. I began talk­ing to all of the peo­ple in the Gur­d­wara, all the aun­ties, the uncles — labored for hours in the kitchen help­ing them do seva, wiped the floors, threw the trash — and drank bot­tom­less chai.

Through­out the week­end I could feel out­siders ask­ing details about where the aun­ties and chil­dren were when their hus­band, wife, moth­er and father died, did they die in front of them, how was the funer­al, was their blood on the car­pet? My heart sank, I felt the need to pro­tect these peo­ple who I just met hours ago. The memo­r­i­al must have been so hard on them, and then with the ques­tions it must have been so much hard­er. Peo­ple want to know the exot­ic inves­tiga­tive side of Oak Creek.

How­ev­er, we should ask them about their com­mu­ni­ty, ask them how non-Sikhs sup­port­ed them, how it was going back inside the tem­ple, how did they get the courage to step back in — what were their favorite mem­o­ries of their father and moth­ers? What is their favorite pho­to? If they could say some­thing to them now, what would they say?

I took a step back and I real­ized I am a trau­ma, grief and loss ther­a­pist — and not every­one responds that way. I don’t want Oak Creek to be seen as a tragedy, it is a sto­ry of not just resilience but per­se­ver­ance, that when they lost their entire sense of safe­ty, they still stood strong and found the courage to con­tin­ue lead­ing the lives they hoped for.

When I was leav­ing for my flight, all of the aun­ties came and hugged me and prayed I had a safe jour­ney. They loaded me up with six bags of Samosas, a con­tain­er of snacks, two bags of bur­fee, and chips. There is so much love in Oak Creek, they need to be remem­bered for how com­pas­sion­ate­ly the com­mu­ni­ty came togeth­er.. of how Amer­i­ca should act — not remem­ber it as a scene of a crime.

It was hard to cap­ture the love and con­nec­tion I felt amidst the mourn­ing of their loved ones, so felt it was only appro­pri­ate to cre­ate a video to help you enter the week­end with me.

Since 9/11 — every Sikh uncle I pass, I take a moment and make a duaa for them:

“May Rab pro­tect them from the injus­tices of the world”
May they get home safe­ly with­out being killed.
May Rab give them courage when the micro aggres­sions and ver­bal assault is too hard.
May some­one not use their ruby tur­ban as a trig­ger for pro­tect­ing Amer­i­ca.
May their chil­dren nev­er have to have a day with­out their Papa.”

Ameen.

Rab­hi is a trau­ma ther­a­pist, activist, ethno­graph­ic researcher, and for­mer YLI fel­low. As a fel­low, Rab­hi led the largest art as activism event in UCLA’s his­to­ry for domes­tic vio­lence and bul­ly­ing aware­ness. With pub­li­ca­tions in three dif­fer­ent out­lets, as a trau­ma ther­a­pist, she has worked with grief and trau­ma for 8 years now. As an ethno­graph­ic researcher at UCLA and Pep­per­dine, she led the way for research on the pow­er of sto­ry­telling for Sept 11th Vic­ar­i­ous Trau­ma — PTSD Islam­o­pho­bia sur­vivors — fur­ther decon­struct­ing the Medi­a’s War on Islam. Her research find­ings indi­cate the pow­er of shared sto­ry­telling sup­ports nor­mal­iza­tion and thus allows for a huge shift in the com­pas­sion and heal­ing of com­mu­ni­ties. Rab­hi cur­rent­ly works at CAIR-LA fur­ther advo­cat­ing the basic human rights for her AMEMSA sis­ters and broth­ers.

This Week In Hate — August 4 — The Complexity of Documenting Hate

Pre­pared for SAALT by Rad­ha Modi

SAALT, as well as oth­er nation­al advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tions, are tak­ing the lead in col­lect­ing and doc­u­ment­ing hate inci­dents across com­mu­ni­ties as fed­er­al agen­cies fall short on this front. Orga­ni­za­tions use news clip­pings as a com­mon way to col­lect and doc­u­ment hate inci­dents. Often hate inci­dents do not make it to the news cycle in real time, and orga­ni­za­tions only learn about some inci­dents weeks to months lat­er. In addi­tion, the report­ing of hate inci­dents is a dynam­ic process with shifts in the safe­ty, ease, and struc­tur­al access around report­ing for com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. Fur­ther, the defin­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing of what con­sti­tutes a hate inci­dent is also vari­able across orga­ni­za­tions and media out­lets. Con­sid­er­ing all of these com­plex issues, the num­ber of hate inci­dents against those who iden­ti­fy or are per­ceived as Mus­lim, Sikh, South Asian, Asian, Mid­dle East­ern, or Arab are in flux.

Recent­ly, SAALT dis­cov­ered past inci­dents that were not orig­i­nal­ly doc­u­ment­ed in the organization’s data­base. These missed inci­dents have now been cat­a­loged in an effort to bring our com­mu­ni­ties the most up-to-date and accu­rate num­bers in the dynam­ic land­scape of doc­u­ment­ing hate.

Per­sis­tent Pat­terns of Hate

It is impor­tant to note that while the num­bers have changed from our pre­vi­ous reports, the over­all pat­terns have remained the same. As shown in Fig­ure 1, the total num­ber of doc­u­ment­ed hate inci­dents post-elec­tion, tal­ly­ing at 135, has sur­passed the total num­ber of hate inci­dents of 130 that occurred dur­ing the year pri­or to the elec­tion (see below for clar­i­fi­ca­tion).

Anoth­er pat­tern that has remained con­sis­tent is the preva­lence of ver­bal and writ­ten assaults against com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. Fig­ure 2 illus­trates that the total num­ber of ver­bal and writ­ten assaults is almost dou­ble that of the pre­vi­ous year before the elec­tion (57 post-elec­tion ver­bal hate inci­dents com­pared to 29 pre-elec­tion ver­bal hate inci­dents). The sanc­tion­ing of hate rhetoric from gov­ern­ment offi­cials local­ly and fed­er­al­ly as well as the pass­ing of anti-Mus­lim and anti-immi­grant leg­is­la­tion is com­men­su­rate with the increased nor­mal­iza­tion of ver­bal abuse of com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers on the streets. On July 27, 2017, three Soma­li Mus­lim women were harassed by a white woman at a local Wal­mart near Far­go, North Dako­ta. The white woman screamed to the women that “Mus­lims were going to hell” and “We’re going to kill ya.” Threats such as these are becom­ing more com­mon­place as phys­i­cal assaults and prop­er­ty dam­age inci­dents also involve ver­bal or writ­ten hate filled harass­ment.

In addi­tion, as we remem­ber the five year anniver­sary of the mas­sacre at Oak Creek this week, the vio­lence against the Sikh com­mu­ni­ty con­tin­ues with the increased anti-immi­grant and anti-Mus­lim rhetoric under the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. This past week the body of 68-year-old Sikh man, Sub­ag Singh, was found with signs of trau­ma in an irri­ga­tion canal in Fres­no, Cal­i­for­nia. Sub­ag Singh went miss­ing on July 23, 2017, after leav­ing his house for a morn­ing walk. While local police have yet to assign the mur­der of Sub­ag Singh as a hate crime, the threat of hate vio­lence against local Sikh com­mu­ni­ties remains across the US.

The 130 total from the pre-election year in the current database does not match the 140 total hate incidents covering the some of the same time period in our Power, Pain, and Potential report. Two issues led to this discrepancy. First, the 140 total in the Power, Pain, and Potential report also documented the uptick in hate incidents one week post-election.The 130 pre-election number in our current database does not include the first week following the election. Second, a handful of incidents categorized as hate incidents are now categorized as hate rhetoric in the current database. As SAALT standardizes the distinction between hate rhetoric and hate incident, the database is consequently updated and reflects these changes.