How do we respond when someone yells ‘Go back to your own country?’
We cannot leave OUR country but we can take some prudent steps to respond!!
Dear Esteemed Members of Our Community:
The results and sentiments of our latest election spilled out into the open as witnessed by several racially motivated recent events across the country. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in hate crimes against recent immigrant communities and anti-Semitism. This includes the recent shootings of two Indian-Americans in Kansas resulting in a fatality, shooting of a Sikh Indian-American in a Seattle suburb and the harassment of an Indian-American lady in a PATH train in New Jersey. While this is very un-American, it is indeed part of a populist movement happening here in the US and around the world; such acts are not acceptable in any shape or form.
Here is what IAALV (representing & serving 7,000+ Lehigh Valley Indian-Americans) plans to do:
- Sign a petition so that our voice is heard: Trump administration condemned the act but did not provide any plans for strict enforcements to curb any such hate crimes in the future. To begin the process, we urge each one of you to sign the following petition:
- Take Gandhiji’s pacifying approach: If you face with such a situation, please do NOT give any attention to provoking further escalation of the situation. Disregarding could prove to be an ego bruising of someone usually angry about our perceived foreignness. Report the incidence to proper authorities and then contact IAALV.
(IAALV Contacts: Arun Kumar 484-358-2335 or Ashim Bhowmick 610-457-4205)
- Let us not look the other way because it is easier to do so: Standing up for what we know is right is not always easy. Let us not ignore nor pretend to ignore what our fellow members and school going children are facing or could be facing. If we do, terrible things could happen.
- Our Rights and Obligations: We must continue a course consistent with and upholding our (and IAALV) ideals. We must understand while we have rights, we also have obligations toward OUR country. We are part of the cultural heritage here bringing each of the LV Indian-Americans closer to mainstream.
- Meet with Elected Officials: We want to send a few members of Team IAALV to meet our Congressmen and Senators to get their assurance that ‘We the People’ they represent are protected and safe.
- Media Relations: IAALV has enjoyed a very good relationship with press/TV for more than three decades. As a result more Lehigh Valley people know about India and our aspirations as LV Indian-Americans. We want to re-strengthen our relationship with the Press and send a positive and unified message with one voice.
- Federation of Indian-American Associations: We want to contact and open a dialog with the Federation to see how we can join hands to make things safer for us.
Finally my personal appeal to all LV Indian-Americans is to help let us have one voice. If all of us stand together and speak with a unified voice we can project a strong and positive image to change the perception of those who object to our being recent immigrants.
All the best as we forge ahead together!
Ashim Bhowmick Arun Kumar
Board Chair, IAALV 2017-18 President, IAALV 2017
610-966-5057 (Home) 484-358-2335 (Mobile)