For Immediate Release, November 4, 2017

Diverse Groups of Attorneys and Law Students Condemn Racist Attack Ad Distributed in Hoboken, New Jersey

Asian Pacific American bars are deeply disturbed by the distribution of a second racist flyer targeting an Asian American candidate in New Jersey. The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) along with the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ), the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association (NJMLA), and the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) condemn the Hoboken flyers claiming that a turbaned Sikh-American mayoral candidate is a terrorist. “The Asian Pacific American legal community is disgusted by this racist attack that continues to promote a false association between religion and acts of terror. Associating a candidate, or anyone, with horrific criminal acts based solely on their appearance is racist and xenophobic,” said Pankit Doshi, NAPABA president.

This is the second time in less than a week that racist advertisements have attacked Asian-American candidates. “There is no place for this type of racism in our country, whose history is defined by the immigrant communities that have settled it. Our country’s diversity should be represented in our elected candidates. The candidate and voter intimidation in these flyers cannot be tolerated and should not discourage anyone from participating in the democratic process,” said SABA President Rishi Bagga.

As diverse bar associations, we will continue to stand up against racism and xenophobia in all its forms. This type of attack on diverse candidates seems to be on the upswing and cannot be allowed to become a part of the normal discourse.

“These actions do not represent most people in New Jersey. We stand behind candidates of diverse backgrounds and believe in a fair and proper election process. We encourage everyone to vote for the candidate of their choice during Tuesday’s elections,” said Bhaveen Jani and Sharmila Jaipersaud of SABA-NJ.

The anonymous flyer targeted APALA-NJ and SABA-NJ member Ravi Bhalla, a Councilman in Hoboken who is running for Mayor of Hoboken and an attorney with Florio Perrucci Steinhardt and Fader, LLC, in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. His opponent has said that his original flyers were altered and has condemned the racist addition.

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SABA North America (formerly NASABA/North American South Asian Bar Association) is a voluntary bar organization and serves as an umbrella organization to 26 chapters in the United States and Canada. SABA North America is a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community across the continent. Learn more at www.sabanorthamerica.com.

Aneesh Mehta                                                                                     Bhaveen Jani/Sharmila Jaipersaud
Vice President of Public Relations                                                 President/President-Elect
South Asian Bar Association of North America                           SABA New Jersey
770-316-9018                                                                                      newjersey@sabanorthamerica.com
publicrelations@sabanorthamerica.com                                      www.sabanj.org