In a black day for California History, the Assembly voted 50-3 to pass SB403. The passing of a bill which is NOT facially neutral and written to specifically target Hindu Americans is the latest in a long line of unjust bills, (such as the Asian Exclusion Act), which were popular at the time of their passing and were used to target minorities of color. This bill will be no different and is indeed worse, since it ignored the mounting body of evidence about the overreach of California’s Civil Rights Department in the CISCO Lawsuit, the flawed data from a hate group that underpinned the whole effort, the championing of this bill by foreign actors and the rising numbers of Dalit and Bahujan voices speaking against it.

We thank the 3 brave voices who voted NO today and the MANY lawmakers who abstained. It takes true courage to stand against a popular witch hunt against a silenced minority and history will remember you kindly. The lawmakers are on record acknowledging this is has been one of the most contentious bills in their memory. They are on record saying they do not understand the concept of Caste and have heard many differing views on it-yet the yes votes, decided to define and legislate the issue without even proper study and by relying on bad faith actors with a vendetta against a minority faith!

Our nation’s checkered history has shown us that the path to progress is fraught with setbacks and today certainly represents a dangerous backsliding on the promise of equal treatment and justice for all-irrespective of their religion and cultural roots. Casteism and Hinduphobic profiling won today. But for CoHNA, the fight goes on. Ultimately, we are confident justice will prevail, even if it takes time.