Group Pushing for ‘Indian American Awareness Month’ to Counter Hate Crime Incidents
Indian American Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., was among the many dignitaries at an April 2 Indian American Awareness Campaign hosted by the Indian American Public Affairs Committee at the Hagan Community Center in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
The Indian American community, contributing greatly to U.S. socio-economic growth, has been wondering about the steps being taken to ensure the recent Kansas City incident is not repeated in other areas around the country, IAPAC said in a press release, referring to the allegedly racially-motivated killing in Olathe, Kansas, of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla in February.
Along with Bera, child welfare coordinator at Folsom Cordova Unified School District Scott Meyers and U.S. Federal Assistant Attorney General Nirav Patel were special guests at the event.
IAPAC representative Ashwani Dhall and Indian Association of Sacramento president Ajit Natu also addressed the audience.
Natu discussed the recent racial crimes against Indian Americans throughout the country, saying unity is not an option, it’s mandatory now.
Added Bera in his speech to the guests, “Everyone has to stand up, speak and push back these things, otherwise you will have no voice. President (Donald) Trump has to initiate more pushback the way past President (George W.) Bush did back in 2001 in response to the hate crime related incidents happened after 9/11.”
“Go to any state across this country, you have Indian American doctors, entrepreneurs, engineers working fully integrated into the community. So, we are a part of the fabric of America,” Bera added. “I think it's important for the community to come together and let America know that this is not okay. It's not who the U.S. is.”
Meyers noted the roughly 20 percent increase in hate crimes nationwide in 2016. Patel said U.S. federal laws cover all counties of California and that hate crimes, biased crimes and civil right violation incidents will be investigated by his team of attorneys and helping FBI and California state attorneys and local law authorities.
IAPAC said it will be urging different cities and state governments to announce ‘Indian American Awareness Month’, so that it can spread the word about how Indian Americans have been an intrinsic part of the American fabric for more than 100 years.
IAPAC is a grassroots organization of Indian American doctors, small business owners, hoteliers, IT professionals, executives and all industries formed to keep Indian Americans engaged in local political and social issues.