New Jersey, Nov 3: The residents of New Jersey have received pamphlets targeting two Asian-American school board candidates and seeking their deportation. Under the banner ‘Make Edison Great Again’, the pamphlet has mugshot pictures of Indian-American Falguni Patel and Chinese-American Jerry Shi — who are candidates of the school board — with ‘deport’ stamped over them alleging that the Chinese and Indians are taking over the town.
“Stop Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel from taking over our school board,” says the letter that has reached mailboxes of a large number of Edison residents.
The New Jersey City of Edison, is considered as part of the New York City metropolitan area and has a sizable population of Indian-Americans.
The letter claims that “Chinese and Indians are taking over our town,” and goes on to say, “Enough is enough!”
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said he was appalled to hear of the racist phamphlets. “Ours is a nation of immigrants and our national fabric is woven from the rich and varied cultures of everyone who took the leap of faith to pursue the American Dream,” he said. He added,”The community of Edison is better than this and so is our country, but unfortunately, the politics of hate is part of our past and our present.”
The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) said that they are deeply troubled and disheartened by the letters being mailed out in Edison. “Attempts to intimidate candidate or voters through calls to punish or deport someone simply because of their ethnic background are unacceptable and should not be tolerated,” said Rishi Bagga, SABA president.
Congresswoman Grace Meng, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee condemned the racist “Make Edison Great Again” mailer. “This racist mailer is shameful and disgusting and was produced for no other intention than to empower divisive forces of bigotry and hate,” Meng said.
Both Patel and Jerry have condemned the fliers. “I’m obviously disgusted by it, to say the least. I didn’t expect anything like that,” Patel was quoted as saying.
(Inputs from PTI)