A series of attacks against Americans of South Asian descent fuelled by racism in Kansas, South Carolina, and Washington State have scared and rattled communities there. And US president Donald Trump’s prolonged silence about these incidents has created further uncertainty and anger.
The South Asian American community keenly felt a rise in violence and hostility targeting them during the recent election cycle and since Trump took office. A community organization, South Asian Americans Leading Together, reported 140 incidents of violence and harassment aimed at South Asians in the US between Nov. 2015 and Nov. 2016—compared to 76 incidents reported to the group between Jan. 2011 and April 2014. According to South Asian Americans Leading Together, 132 of those 140 incidents—roughly 94%—were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment.
Gurjot Kaur, a lawyer and former senior staff attorney at The Sikh Coalition, an organization that works to protect the civil rights of the Sikh community in America, shared this revealing story about her parents who live in Florida on Twitter:
In tweeted responses, others shared stories of feeling similar fear and uncertainty.