For Immediate Release, November 2, 2017

SABA North America joins SABA-NJ in Condemning the Racist School Board Election Flyers circulated in New Jersey

The South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (SABA-NJ) are deeply troubled and disheartened by the letters being mailed out in Edison, NJ. The letters call for the deportation of Edison School Board candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel. The letter claims that “Chinese and Indians are taking over our town,” the letter goes on, “Enough is enough!”

“As our country becomes more diverse, diverse representation becomes imperative at every level of government,” said Rishi Bagga, SABA President. “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.”

We strongly condemn these racist statements. We emphasize that there is no place for racism, particularly when it calls for the deportation of citizens of the United States, in our democracy. We recognize that these comments come from a place of fear and anxiety; the fear that minorities may succeed and prosper, anxiety over the inability to adapt to the new and ever-changing society in which we live, and desperation because our voices are being heard. “Let us assure our Indian and Chinese community, and all of our fellow New Jersey residents, that we will not tolerate racism and hate, and we want to change the conversation,” said Bhaveen Jani and Sharmila Jaipersaud of SABA-NJ. “Therefore, we invite the person(s) who sent these letters to come forward, meet with our leaders and become educated on just what it means to have Asian and South Asian members in our community.”

We remind everyone to be vigilant and safe. We urge all of our community members to stay calm but continue to fight and exercise your civic duties.  Our individual and collective power to standup to racism is great. Our strength lies in our resolve and our commitment to the fundamental values that make us all American.

Finally, we urge everyone to VOTE for their candidate of choice.

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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