SALDEF Condemns Recent AttacksMarch 3rd, 2017
The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) expresses our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and extends our wishes for a full recovery to Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot.
Last week, two Indian American immigrants were targeted and shot in a bar in Olathe, Kansas. Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed, and Alok Madasani was wounded. A local resident named Ian Grillot suffered gun wounds after selflessly attempting to stop the shooter. Witnesses reported that the shooter believed the men were Middle Eastern, and yelled racial slurs before attacking Kuchibhotla and Madasani.
This incident is not only a tragic loss for our nation, but also a reminder of the recent rise of xenophobia and racism targeting Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish communities, immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ communities. We mourn the victims of this tragedy, and our hearts and prayers go out to all communities impacted by the divisive rhetoric escalating across the country.
SALDEF also condemns the recent threats against the Jewish community, including over 100 bomb threats to Jewish community centers and schools in the year 2017 alone. We mourn the loss of Ciara McElveen, Chyna Gibson, Jaquarrius Holland, and Keke Collier, four transgender black women murdered just in the last week.
SALDEF stands against the harmful rhetoric by our nation’s leaders, and believes no one should be targeted for her or his race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity. We encourage the Sikh American community to continue to report any bias or hate incident to SALDEF.