I have been flipping through the thorough new report released on Wednesday by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) titled, From Macacas to Turban Toppers: The Rise in Xenophobic and Racist Rhetoric in American Political Discourse. The report catalogs a great many derogatory statements directed at South Asian Americans. The vast majority of the statements cited are examples of anti-Islamic bias by elected officials, but recent examples include statements against South Asian Americans running for Congress (which was also touched upon in this good NPR story from Wednesday morning).
With the midterm elections round the corner, SAALT’s report, From Macacas to Turban Toppers: The Rise in Xenophobic and Racist Rhetoric in American Political Discourse, documents intolerant remarks made by elected officials and those running for office. According to the report, since September 11, there has been an unprecedented rise in xenophobic statements that have specifically targeted South Asians, Arab Americans, Muslims, and Sikhs…
“The details in this report are extremely helpful not only to the South Asian community but to the rest of the country as well”, said Hilary Shelton, Director, Washington Bureau of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), one of the speakers at the briefing. Shelton compared the experiences of Muslims, South Asians, Arab Americans and Sikhs to those of African Americans, who have also been dehumanized and marginalized by a racist political climate.
Reflecting on the current climate of Islamophobia, lawyer, commentator and founder of themuslimguy.com, Arsalan Iftikhar, noted that “‘Muslim’ has become the accepted slur in America… Race, xenophobia, bigotry have now become a permanent political wedge issue in America.” [link]
p>Many of the examples cited in the report are incidents we have blogged about here on SM. To see them all cataloged in one place though results in an even more disturbing narrative. This is why it is important to vote.
p>Check out the full report and let us know what you think.