Post 9–11 Backlash

Like many oth­er com­mu­ni­ties, South Asians have long expe­ri­enced xeno­pho­bic rhetoric, bias, and vio­lence. Many of those who first immi­grat­ed to the Unit­ed States were sub­ject­ed to anti-immi­grant rhetoric and dri­ven out of towns where they set­tled. After 1965, South Asians often expe­ri­enced bias in the work­place includ­ing the glass ceil­ing and dis­crim­i­na­tion against those who had accents. South Asian work­ing class immi­grants who moved to urban areas also faced tar­get­ing and alien­ation in the 1980s. For exam­ple, dur­ing this time, a hate group called the Dot­busters com­mit­ted numer­ous acts of hate, such as assault and van­dal­ism, against Indi­an immi­grants in Jer­sey City, New Jer­sey. Two of these assaults were so vio­lent that one vic­tim did not sur­vive and anoth­er suf­fered seri­ous brain dam­age.

Since Sep­tem­ber 11th, South Asian, Sikh, Mus­lim, and Arab Amer­i­cans have been the tar­gets of numer­ous hate crimes, as well as employ­ment dis­crim­i­na­tion, bul­ly­ing, harass­ment, and pro­fil­ing. In addi­tion, places of wor­ship have been van­dal­ized and attacked, includ­ing the trag­ic shoot­ing of the Sikh gur­d­wara in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin and the numer­ous alleged hate crimes in the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty that fol­lowed.

SAALT, along with our allies have been track­ing hate crimes against South Asian, Sikh, Mus­lim and Arab com­mu­ni­ties fol­low­ing the Paris attacks. This is a live doc­u­ment and is updat­ed dai­ly.

If you would like to report an inci­dent, we ask that you reach out to our allies at Stop AAPI Hate or OCA at this link. At present, SAALT is avail­able to assist com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers with spe­cif­ic trans­la­tion and legal requests, through our work with the South Asian Rapid Response Net­work. As a non-legal advo­ca­cy orga­ni­za­tion, SAALT is here to con­nect com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers with allies who can pro­vide spe­cif­ic resources.

In addi­tion, around the coun­try, xeno­pho­bic and anti-immi­grant sen­ti­ment has increas­ing­ly per­me­at­ed the media and polit­i­cal sphere. For decades, African Amer­i­cans and Lati­nos were sub­ject­ed to this rhetoric, but more recent­ly, South Asian, Sikh, Mus­lim, and Arab Amer­i­cans have increas­ing­ly become the tar­gets. These ver­bal attacks include xeno­pho­bic rhetoric aimed at South Asian polit­i­cal can­di­dates as well as a more gen­er­al por­tray­al of our com­mu­ni­ty as dan­ger­ous through state­ments by gov­ern­ment offi­cials and the media.

View this clip from SAALT’s award-win­ning doc­u­men­tary “Rais­ing Our Voic­es — South Asian Amer­i­cans Address Hate.” Con­tact to find out how you can host a screen­ing.


Ally Organizations