Today, in a very dangerous development, 34 California Senators showed their intent to target the state’s Indian American and Hindu constituents, harking back to the era of the Asian Exclusion Act. They have chosen to pass a law that will undoubtedly start to legally profile South Asians and Hindu Americans, based on data exclusively provided to them by hate groups and on the urging of foreign actors.
They did so despite any credible evidence of a caste problem in the US, as well as the dismissal of the Cisco case-which had been quoted as a pillar of the purported discrimination. The Senators disregarded the testimony of Dalit Bahujan groups and leaders who reject any assertion that Equality Labs speaks for them. And they did so, despite an outpouring of concern from their constituents, knowing fully well that many of the folks they choose to target are unable to even speak up or make complaints due to the decades they are spending in an immigration limbo.
And they did so in a secretive rushed process, meant to silence opposition and debate. A bill of this significance was rushed through appropriations on the flawed assumption of being zero cost and voted on today without any formal procedures for debate and public comment.
A moment of infamy in our nation’s history! Casteism notched a victory today and Equal Representation took a beating – ironically during AAPIHeritageMonth. But, as Dr. King reminded us, the Arc of Justice will ultimately bend again for justice.
For us at CoHNA, the fight is just starting and we hope you will join us.