Indians in the US have felt animosity for 100 years, now a feeling of déjà vu creeps in


From News India Times: If the Indian community feels increasingly vulnerable and targeted by the Trump Administration, on the immigration front, it’s nothing new in the United States. Animosity towards Indians has been brewing for more than a century, points out Prema Kurien, Professor of Sociology at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, in the recently published book ‘Asian American Matters – A New York Anthology’ (Asian American / Asian Research Institute of City University of New York; 256 pages; $25).

The Indian community was viewed as a ‘bigger threat than other Asiatic groups,’ in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1910, a Senate Immigration Commission declared that Indians (then called ‘Hindus’) were “universally regarded as the least desirable race of immigrants thus far admitted to the United States”, Kurien, the author of ‘A Place at the Table: Multiculturalism and the Development of an American Hinduism,’ says in a commentary piece in ‘Asian American Matters’.

‘Asian American Matters’ has several other thought provoking essays, with one by Erik Love, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and the author of ‘Islamophobia and Racism in America’, highlighting the perpetuation of the xenophobia angle in the brutal murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a turbaned Sikh American killed on September 15, 2001, the first post 9/11 hate crime victim.

Allan Punzalan Isaac, Chair of American Studies, at Rutgers University, in his essay, delves into the subject of how the Trump era is empowering Whites, while demeaning minorities…. Isaac analyzes the vexatious H-1B visa issue, saying it “threatens the space and place of whiteness,” and “changes the naturalized trajectory of whiteness.”

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