Indian American Congresswoman threatened, abused by male caller

Pramila Jayapal fights to keep H4 work authorization


Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has alleged that she has been getting abusive, hate messages from a male caller over the phone. Jayapal has posted five audio messages on Twitter containing threatening messages asking her to go back to India. Some parts of the messages are redacted as they contain abusive language.

“A man full of racism and anger showed up at my home with a loaded gun. I’m sharing this because we can’t be silent in the face of rising violence. These aren’t isolated incidents. From the Big Lie to Jan 6 to an armed man at my door, too much is at stake,” Rep. Jayapal tweeted on Thursday evening.

This incident adds to the growing list of incidents of racist attacks in the United States. Jayapal, 55, is the first Indian-American Congresswoman to represent Seattle in the US House of Representatives.

She added in her tweet: “Typically, political figures don’t show their vulnerability. I chose to do so here because we cannot accept violence as our new norm. We also cannot accept the racism and sexism that underlies and propels so much of this violence.”

Earlier in July Jayapal had been the target of another hate crime. A 48-yr-old man was arrested for threatening to kill Representative Jayapal. The armed accused had threatened to kill Representative Jayapal. The armed 48-year-old man who stays in Seattle had driven past Jayapal’s house thrice late at night, yelling obscenities, including, “Go back to India, I’m going to kill you.” Witnesses heard gunfire, and when police officers arrived on the scene they arrested the man, who had a .40 caliber handgun.

Another Indian American was subjected to racist insults in another case of hate crime that took place in California on September 1. Krishnan Jayaraman later alleged that he was verbally assaulted by Tejinder Singh, a Californian. Jayaraman had also said that the experience had scared him and was taken aback to know that the offender, in this case, was an Indian.

Prior to this, on August 26, four Indian-American women were abused and subjected to racial comments by a Mexican-American woman in Texas. In that incident which took place in a parking lot in Dallas, the accused who was later identified as Esmeralda Upton had asked the Indian-American women to go back to India. Upton was later arrested.