We Will Not Be Deterred

Novem­ber 9, 2016
Con­tact: Suman Raghu­nathan, suman@saalt.org


Dear Friend,
At South Asians Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT), we have been alarmed and dis­mayed by the divi­sive mes­sages and poli­cies that have typ­i­fied the elec­tion debate over the past year. Our com­mu­ni­ties, immi­grants, Mus­lims — indeed huge swaths of our nation — have been tar­get­ed, scape­goat­ed, and attacked. Our faith and alle­giance to the US as well as our very place in the nation has been ques­tioned, yet we are remind­ed that our com­mu­ni­ties are vibrant and have a cru­cial and long­stand­ing place in the US. I am writ­ing to you now to say we will remain unde­terred.

Today and in the days, weeks, and months to come, SAALT will con­tin­ue to fight for racial jus­tice, equal­i­ty, and civ­il rights for our com­mu­ni­ties and indeed for all Amer­i­cans. We pledge to redou­ble our efforts to ensure every­one, regard­less of their race, real or per­ceived reli­gion, eth­nic­i­ty, or immi­gra­tion sta­tus can pray in peace, walk in safe­ty, and live with the lib­er­ty and equal­i­ty enshrined in our Con­sti­tu­tion. We will hold the line on jus­tice for our com­mu­ni­ties in Wash­ing­ton, DC and we will chart a path for­ward.

South Asians made their voic­es heard in many ways this elec­tion sea­son, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to the bal­lot box. Our voic­es and our pri­or­i­ties will con­tin­ue to be nec­es­sary in the com­ing weeks, months and years. We are 4.3 mil­lion strong, we are the fastest grow­ing demo­graph­ic group in the Unit­ed States, and we have real pow­er.

SAALT will con­tin­ue to work with you, our com­mu­ni­ties nation­wide, and our part­ners in the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions to unite, ampli­fy the voic­es of our com­mu­ni­ty and part­ners, and pro­vide resources to demand our place in this nation. One impor­tant way to do so is by con­nect­ing with a local South Asian orga­ni­za­tion in your com­mu­ni­ty, and I encour­age you to do so by reach­ing out to a mem­ber of the NCSO close to you.

We remain con­cerned by the prospect of esca­lat­ing hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic rhetoric tar­get­ing our com­mu­ni­ties. We’ve heard from many in our com­mu­ni­ty, par­tic­u­lar­ly Mus­lim and Sikh-Amer­i­cans, who have expressed con­cerns for their safe­ty and for their chil­dren at this chal­leng­ing time. We stand unequiv­o­cal­ly with you in the face of these attacks and call on pol­i­cy­mak­ers, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, and law enforce­ment to ensure that our com­mu­ni­ties are safe, our con­cerns are heard, and our rights are pro­tect­ed. We need to hear from you about hate vio­lence inci­dents and xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal rhetoric as they occur. Report these inci­dents via our data­base and social media using #Track­Hate.

Final­ly, we know many of you may want to be in com­mu­ni­ty with oth­er South Asian Amer­i­cans nation­wide. SAALT is ready and will­ing to pro­vide a space for this nation­al con­ver­sa­tion — join this dia­logue by reach­ing out to us on Face­book, Twit­ter, and our web­site by using the hash­tag #Con­ver­SAsian.

Our coun­try is deeply divid­ed, more than we had thought. Yet we grow even more unit­ed in response. We ask you to join us — the time is now to begin the work of the future.

With deter­mi­na­tion,

Suman Raghu­nathan,
Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, SAALT