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