Indian-Americans voted en masse for Trump. They held rallies, and collected money for Trump’s campaign. With many of them being entrepreneurs, they naturally gravitated to the Republican party. And as many readers know, they also shared Trump’s virulent anti-muslim sentiment.
Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the U.N. and former South Carolina governor appears to be a poster child for Indian immigrants. Although Nikki Haley, has changed her name, married out of her immigrant roots and changed her religions, she can’t run from being a daughter of an Indian immigrant in the U.S. Surely, Nikki has some affinity (if nothing else) for her Sikh heritage! No?
And here’s the actual problem statement, most racist Americans glop Indians – especially Sikhs – with their anti-Muslimism!
Yes, we all know there is animosity in India, between Hindu’s and Muslims. But in the U.S., most racist Americans are simply ignorant about all this. To them there is no difference.
Sikh men grow long beards and wear turbans as a commitment to their faith, and many Americans mistake them for Muslims. Don’t take my word for it. Here are some interesting events or cases.
There’s Ms. Morgan, a Candidate for Governor in Arkansas: If you hate Muslims, love guns, and are giddy at the prospect of a holy war pitting Christians versus Muslims, then there’s only one logical thing to do: Run for governor of Arkansas. There are other things you could do with that pedigree, such as appear regularly on Fox News or write for Breitbart. Morgan, who is the spokesperson for the grassroots organization Citizens for Trump, came to infamy in 2014 when she proclaimed that Muslims would not be permitted into her gun range, declaring it a “Muslim-free zone.” Morgan’s view is that every Muslim is such an inherent threat that Muslims can’t be allowed to learn how to shoot guns because of course Muslims will use them to commit acts of violence. Although it appears Morgan’s Muslim-radar may be a bit jammed because she also banned two Hindu men from her gun range even after one told her, “I’m not Muslim, I’m just brown.” Well, Morgan was not taking any chances, she kept them out!
Then consider Prabhjot Singh: Prabhjot Singh had a sit down with his 4-year-old son Hukam recently, and tried for the first time to explain the horrific incident that altered the Manhattan family’s life. “A few years ago, a few men hurt me because of what I looked like, because they thought I was bad,” Singh said. Hukam stared back, confused. “Why?” he asked. “Their hearts were asleep and they were not thinking about Papaji as a person,” Singh said, using a Punjabi term of respect for father.
On the night of September 21, 2013, Singh, this highly accomplished doctor and professor, was walking with a friend on 110th Street near Central Park. Both men are Sikhs and have long beards and wear turbans. Singh heard someone yell: “Terrorist, Osama, get him.” Singh ran but not fast enough. A group of boys and young men on bicycles taunted him using racial slurs. One pulled his beard and then the attackers punched and kicked him repeatedly. He lay on the ground, waiting for them to stop, when passers-by intervened. Singh ended up in the hospital with a broken jaw, dislodged teeth and other gruesome injuries.
Then there’s the case of the Sikh gas station manager: About 16 years ago, right after September 11, 2001, an Indian Sikh immigrant was gunned down at the gas station he managed in Mesa, Arizona. It was the first revenge killing after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The assailant said he wanted to “go out and shoot some towel heads” for the actions of Osama bin Laden.
In the years since 9/11, hundreds of hate crimes have been reported, many of them described by police as cases of mistaken identity. Many Sikhs say they feel no safer in this country. A climate of fear surfaces every time shootings and terrorist attacks are blamed on Muslims.
Many feel the focus on immigrants in the 2016 presidential election has added to the hatemongering. “I definitely feel the uptick of more hateful rhetoric in the country,” says Singh.
As Nikki Haley warms up to Donald Trump, and is rumored to be on the short-list to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State; she continues to align herself with America’s number one agent of hate. And as Indian-Americans feel a kinship with the Republican party, let it be known that the Republican party has remained relatively quiet and is tacitly supportive of Trump’s racist rants.
As I keep telling my friends in America’s Jewish community, don’t think that this anti-Muslim hatred will stop at Muslims. I keep reminding them that Hitler did NOT start his concentration camps with Jews. They were rounding up other groups first. I tell them to listen carefully to the Charlestown (Nazi) demonstrations. They were shouting anti-Semitic chants. And Donald Trump called them ‘good people’.
Indian-Americans should NOT for a second believe that Trump’s recent statement referencing Haiti and Africa as a shit-holes, stops in Africa or the Caribbean. Trust me, for someone like Trump and his supporters, India qualifies as a shit-hole.
But most importantly, for Indian-Americans, the evidence (the facts) are plain to see. Indian immigrants have been killed in the U.S. as part of American expression of prejudice (and violence) against Muslims. They shouldn’t be happy or comforted when people attack Muslims in the U.S., Aligning with Republicans and their leader Trump, and these agents of hatred is in inherently stupid for Indian-Americans (indeed any immigrant community or minority in the U.S.).
Which brings me back to Nikki Haley. As Vanity Fair pointed out in their article on her, she marches in lockstep with Trump. But Trump is a F’ing moron (at least that is what Rex Tillerson believes). And now we have clear evidence he is a racist. Nikki Haley, is nakedly ambitious. Will her political ambition, trump her sense of dignity and integrity? My fear is, the answer is yes. Like so many politicians who have walked in her shoes, she has no principles, no morals, no real sense of values. It’s just unadulterated ambition and power that drives her.
This, my friends, is very dangerous for not only America’s community of immigrants, but U.S. national interests as the world unites against Donald Trump’s idiocy. She will walk alone. The U.S. will walk alone. The world is too intertwined for any country, even a super-power to succeed ‘alone’! Eventually voters will latch on to this, and Republicans will walk alone. Their brand, unfortunately, has been irreversibly destroyed. And, this Indian-American poster child will be an embarrassment! Instead of Nikki Haley walking away from her heritage, it will be Indian-Americans that will be denying she was ever (even partially) Indian-American!