iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Esmeralda Upton[Above photo] from Plano, Texas was arrested on August 25 for the racially-motivated physical and verbal assault of four South Asian women in a parking lot. The Indian American Impact has criticized the attack and condemned the rise in such racist attacks.
“The attack is yet another in a string of deplorable anti-Asian hate crimes that have taken place over the past two years and comes on the heels of a similar incident involving the first Indian American woman in Congress, Pramila Jayapal. The recorded incident highlights the continuous anti-Asian violence perpetuated nationwide,” the IAI has said in a statement following Upton’s arrest.
Executive director of the IAI, Neil Makhija, said: “Esmeralda Upton’s dangerous and violent sentiments towards the South Asian community should not be taken lightly. For legal purposes, we are lucky that the racist tirade was caught on camera, but her shameless display of hate towards members of our community is alarming and, unfortunately, not uncommon.”
The Plano police have charged Upton with misdemeanour assault and for issuing a terroristic threat. Upton is seen in a video that went viral on social media launching into a racist rant, punching people, and threatening to shoot one of the women whom she attacked.
Makhija added, “We are so thankful that the four victims of the attack were not severely physically harmed, but it’s imperative we begin to address the psychological effects of consistent attacks on minority communities. The state of Texas needs more than just a reactive approach to overt racism. Leadership should prioritize expanding multicultural education and implementing safety protocols in order to ensure the welfare of vulnerable people of color, immigrants, and women.”
“While we’ve made substantial progress in the advancement of South Asian leadership in Texas, disturbing events like this distract from our work and endanger our citizens. We thank the Plano Police Department for properly investigating the incident as a hate crime, but we also demand bold action moving forward to avoid history from repeating itself once again,” the IAI executive director said.
IAI is a national 501(c)(4) organization that elevates the voices of Indian Americans and South Asians to ensure that every level of government represents the community and its values. Impact works to mobilize, engage and elect South Asians in an effort to provide equal opportunity to all Americans.