Sunday, June 23, 2024

Diaspora

Indian-American Texas county commissioner candidate racially targeted

IANS | September 24, 2023 12:31 PM

NEW YORK: An Indian-American policy expert, who is running for Fort Bend County Commissioner in the US state of Texas, has said that he has been receiving hate-filled messages targeting his ethnicity, nationality, and faith on social media.

Democrat Taral V Patel, 29 -- who is running to flip the Precinct 3 seat held by Republican Andy Meyers -- said 'racist', 'anti-immigrant', 'Hinduphobic' and 'disgusting insults' were hurled at him as well as his family, community, and colleagues.

Patel said in a statement released earlier this week that as a county commissioner candidate, he is always open to criticism of my policy positions and stances on issues.

"However, when my Republican opponents supporters’ decide to hurl racist, anti-immigrant, Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me -- that crosses a line, " he said.

Also sharing a collage of screenshots of hate-filled messages, on X (formerly Twitter), Patel wrote:

Stating, "unfortunately, we are facing a barrage of racist attacks", Patel also shared a collage of screenshots of hate-filled messages on X (formerly Twitter), some of which called him a "dirty Pakistani who supports terrorists", "was he even born here" to "foreigners like you trying to take away my freedom and guns".

Patel, whose parents immigrated to the US from India in the 1980s, grew up in Greater Houston, studying at Cinco Ranch High School and graduating from University of Texas at Austin in 2016.

He was appointed by President Joe Biden in 2021 to serve as a liaison for the White House.

"As the son of immigrants who flocked to these shores like many before us in search of freedom and opportunity, I have dedicated my life to giving back as an active volunteer, community member, and lifelong public servant, " Patel stated.

According to his campaign website, Patel has helped lead Fort Bend county successfully through numerous flooding incidents, the Covid-19 pandemic, winter storm Uri and electric grid failure, droughts, and other major emergencies to emerge stronger and more united than ever before.

"Fort Bend County’s diversity has made us all stronger, and these hateful images, a small sample attached here, are from a place of deep and misguided fear -- incited by people like former President Donald Trump and today’s extremist Republican party fear that immigrants are “taking their jobs” and setting out to hurt our own communities, " Patel said.

Responding to the hate-filled comments, Fort Bend County Judge KP George, an Indian-American who has been a victim of xenophobic comments in the past, said there is no room for hate in the community.

"Please join me unequivocally pushing back against this kind of hatred and vile language in Fort Bend County. We stand with @TaralVPatel. Simply put, there is no room for hate in our community, " George wrote on platform X.

Patel previously worked in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division in the public integrity section, as the deputy finance director.

In addition, he was also a key member of the White House Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Committee.

Have something to say? Post your comment