Suspected hate crimes committed against Indians over the past month in the United States has left the community in shock and fear.
Now, a disturbing YouTube clip, purportedly showing a man stalking Indian immigrant families in a suburban Ohio park, is exacerbating that shock and fear.
The video in question was shot in a park in Columbus by a 66-year-old computer programmer from Virginia named Steve Pushor, according to BuzzFeed. He can be heard behind the camera making xenophobic comments about some people playing volleyball and children riding bikes.
“The number of people from foreign countries blows my mind out here,” Pushor narrates. “You see this whole area is all Indian, amazing. It’s an amazing number of jobs have been taken away from Americans. The Indian crowd has ravished the Midwest. It’s a takeover,” he added, before calling the neighborhood a “mini Mumbai.”
Equally disturbing is the anti-immigration website that Pushor reportedly created and runs. It’s called SaveAmericanITJobs.org.
To save you the trouble of actually visiting the vile website, here’s a brief description of its mission statement: Its object is to vilify immigrants for coming on work visas to the U.S., who then go on to reap rewards for their hard work and dedication.
The site also has a section called “Know Thy Enemy” — the enemy, of course, being hard-working immigrants who are fortunate enough to find jobs in the United States.
Although the video above was uploaded on YouTube last year, it re-surfaced this week on the internet — two possible explanations being a) President Donald Trump’s xenophobic immigration rhetoric, which he has shamelessly spouted in public over the past two years and b) recent hate crimes against people of Indian origin.
One of the many hateful things Trump said on his campaign trail was his “Buy American, Hire American” rallying cry, which included false claims that immigrants from countries like China and India are “stealing jobs” from Americans.
The effects of this xenophobic vitriol were seen in the form of an increase in hate crimes in the days that followed and continued after Trump’s election.
On March 3, in Olathe, Kansas, a white man named Adam Purinton allegedly opened fire on two Indian immigrants, before yelling “get out of my country.” The shooting killed one man, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian-American engineer, and injured two others.
On March 4, in Kent, Washington, a “6-foot-tall white man with a stocky build,” allegedly told “go back to your own country” to Deep Rai, a 39-year-old Sikh man of Indian origin, before shooting him in the arm.
Another shooting fatal shooting of an Indian businessman was reported in Lancaster, South Carolina on the same day as the Kent incident.
The victim, Harnish Patel, who had just closed his store, was shot and killed by an unknown attacker. Patel was found dead in his yard.
A growing memorial outside a Lancaster store after the owner was shot and killed. What deputies found at the crime scene, at 5. pic.twitter.com/S2zHR18ybi— Greg Suskin (@GSuskinWSOC9) March 3, 2017
An official with the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office said the police cannot say if the shooting had anything to do with the victim’s race. Patel’s murder is currently under investigation.
These incidents have understandably left the Indian-American community shaken and fearful for their safety. And the existence of a video like the one posted by Pushor is obviously causing more alarm.
What’s even worse is the lack of concern from the president who, over the past week, has had the time to tweet about reality shows and spar with celebrities, but has not made a single statement to assure Indian Americans of their safety.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Hannah McKay