DOJ urged to investigate recent attacks on hate crime

Rep. Pramila Jayapal and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley have introduced H.R. 192 in the House, the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) said in a press statement on March 13, 2017.

Pramila Jayapal. Photo courtesy:
Pramila Jayapal. Photo courtesy:

This is in view of recent attacks on South Asians, vandalism at Jewish centres, and a rise in hate-fueled violence across the nation. The resolution urges the Department of Justice to investigate these attacks as hate crimes.

The lawmakers have also expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to families of these victims throughout the United States.

“This resolution is an act of resistance to Donald Trump’s hateful vilification and ‘otherising’ of immigrants and communities of color,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Acts of violence rooted in racism have spiked since his campaign. From day one, Trump has used fringe extremist rhetoric to paint immigrant communities as criminals and terrorists, spurring senseless acts of violence that have no place in America.”

She also added “the DOJ must act, because no one should have to live in fear of racism-fueled violence.” 

Joe Crowley, democratic caucus chairman, connectedtoindia
Joe Crowley, House Democratic Caucus Chairman. Photo courtesy:

"What we see today is violence against those perceived to be foreign and a slew of anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies coming out of the White House,” said Chairman Crowley. “That toxic mix is causing a palpable level of fear in the Indian-American and broader South Asian community. I’m committed to doing anything within my power to stop these acts of violence.”

On February 22, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was fatally shot at a local bar in Olathe, Kansas by a patron who reportedly shouted, “Get out of my country,” before opening fire. Two others were injured in the shooting.

On March 3, a Sikh-American was shot and injured in Kent, Washington by a gunman who reportedly told him to “go back to your own country.”

On March 10, a 64 year-old white American attempted to set fire to a convenience store as he assumed

Richard Leslie Lloyd, who attempted to set fire to convenience store whom he assumed was owned by a Muslim. Photo courtesy: St Lucie County Sheriff Facebook
Richard Leslie Lloyd, who attempted to set fire to convenience store whom he assumed was owned by a Muslim. Photo courtesy: St Lucie County Sheriff Facebook

that the owner was Muslim. He told the police that he had “wanted to run the Arabs out of our country,” as he was angered by “what they were doing in the Middle East.” The storeowners were actually Indians.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) reports that levels of xenophobic rhetoric by political figures and hate violence aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Middle Eastern communities rose more than 30 percent in 2016 compared with a combined three-year period between 2011-2014. 

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.