In President Trump’s February 28th address before Congress, he broadly mentioned the Olathe, Kansas shootings, saying that, “while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.” But he failed to denounce the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim hate that leads to such violence.
While he claimed to send a message of unity, he did not waver in his vilification of immigrants. Throughout the speech, he continued using anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric and proposed abhorrent policies that would further scapegoat and subjugate Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) as well as other communities of color.
If the president truly wishes to unite our nation, he needs to do better. This is why we will continue to demand that the president and attorney general to: (1) condemn the rising tide of violence committed against Muslims, South Asians, and immigrants, before another innocent life is lost; and (2) rescind the interior enforcement, border wall, and Muslim Ban executive orders, which are fueling anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim hate.
Why we must speak up: Rising Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism has resulted in a significant jump in hate-motivated attacks across the country. Attacks against Muslims and Chinese were already on the rise in 2015 in California. Since launching a hate tracking website (www.standagainsthatred.org) in January 2017, Advancing Justice has also collected more than 80 stories of anti-Asian violence and harassment.
During the Presidential campaign leading up to the November 2016 election, President Trump, as well as other candidates, regularly vilified immigrants and Muslims. That rhetoric has continued since President Trump’s inauguration, coupled now with policies like the recent executive orders and policies targeting millions of immigrants and effectively banning Muslim visitors and refugees.
The poisonous rhetoric and policies set the stage for the shootings in Olathe, Kansas, and Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s death. As a result, we believe that President Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hold special responsibility to speak out against the horrible crime in Kansas and to condemn any such hateful violence that targets entire communities based on race, ethnicity or religion before we lose another life to hate. In addition, President Trump must rescind the interior enforcement, border wall, and Muslim Ban executive orders, which effectively sanction anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim violence.
We have to stay loud and counter rising Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism that have contributed to a rise in hate-motivated attacks across the country. Share the petition with your friends and family.