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Hate Crimes Against South Asians

December 12, 2011

Unfortunately, the past few weeks have seen some terrifying attacks on South Asians in the Bay Area and in Chicago.  The SAALT blog reports on two attacks in northern California, the first of which was clearly a hate crime and possibly the second as well.  And, TaxProfBlog reports on a racially motivated attack on University of Illinois tax law professor Dhammika Dharmapala, a Sri Lankan American.  We at SAPP wish all the victims a speedy recovery and hope that they and their families can overcome these tragedies and find peace.

I was shocked to read the following in the SAALT post:  “As the jarring statistics recently released by the FBI show, hate crimes against Muslims rose a staggering 50% between 2009 and 2010 – and, although not captured by these statistics, those perceived to be Muslim, including Hindus and Sikhs, are affected as well.”

We are a philanthropy blog and generally don’t cover non-philanthropy news, but this seems like a big deal to me.  This trend of hate crimes against our community is a huge problem and I’m glad that SAALT is stepping up to raise awareness about what has been an increasing trend, particularly since 9/11.  Thinking about this issue from our perspective at SAPP, I wonder what the role of nonprofits like SAALT and others is, and how philanthropy could make a difference in terms of diminishing racism and raising awareness about the diversity of our community.

At some level, these attacks leaves me speechless – I hope, however, that the dialogue continues, both among ourselves as South Asians and also beyond, so we can prevent violence like this from occurring again…

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