For Immediate Release
February 24, 2017

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) expresses its deepest condolences to the victims and their families who fell prey to the senseless acts of violence in Kansas. Reports and witnesses indicate that the motivation for these crimes was rooted in anti-Muslim hate, xenophobia and racism. While details continue to emerge, if true, we expect the governmental authorities to prosecute this act for what it is – a hate crime.

Grief. Fear. Disgust. Outrage. The emotions this incident have fostered run the spectrum for communities forced to acknowledge increasing hate incidents and violence. Reports released by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) amongst others, have meticulously chronicled the disheartening rise of animosity, hostility and hatred towards our communities.

SABA President Vichal Kumar stated, “In response to the increasing vitriol towards our communities, our government must be our first line of defense. Governments must protect the rights of minorities and ensure the safety of all of its citizens.” Yet, in the face of senseless violence and apparent hate crimes, the calls for support, solidarity and protection by our government remain faint.

We urge the State of Kansas to protect its citizens, for this administration to condemn hate violence and for our communities to continue to stand in solidarity. We cannot be silent, we cannot condone and we cannot despair. We must continue to confront and root out the hate and divisiveness in our country. Another Srinivas Kuchibhotla should not have to lose his life, another Alok Madasani should not have to be wounded and another Ian Grillot should not have to risk his life to protect others from hate.

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