June 9, 2020
World Hindu Council (VHPA) Statement on the Press Release Issued by Massachusetts Asian American Commission in Support of Black Lives Matter
As American citizens of Indian origin and as human beings, we are furious at the gruesome murder of George Floyd. We condemn the killing of George Floyd in no uncertain terms. And we stand for racial justice, equality, and civil rights. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” embodied in our Declaration of Independence should be our guiding spirit.
Hindu ethos, as expressed by a poet eloquently says, “A true Hindu is the one who feels the pain of others.” As people of faith, we feel the pain of injustice and the killing of George Floyd. We fully endorse the right to peacefully protest injustice. As Rev. Martin Luther King said, “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
However, we are unambiguously against riots and looting, and the attacks on those entrusted to protect us. We are against glorification of an individual with questionable records. We are against extreme and irrational condemnation of our social and judicial systems. Specifically, we do not agree with the following statements in the AAC press release.
1. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) continue to benefit from the “model minority” and their historic proximity to “White Privilege”
· While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are “model minorities,” the second part of the statement is both incorrect and outright insulting. It needs to be removed.
2. “Deep rooted anti-blackness within AAPI community”
· This statement implies that we are essentially racist people. This is an extremely offensive and baseless allegation. Please remove it.
3. The unwarranted reference to Dalit Panther Movement has no relevance to the current subject. Please remove it.
4. The horrific killing is a humanitarian issue and we condemn that as human beings. However, we cannot stand in solidarity with all the rioting and looting in the name of activism that is going on.
5. We cannot stand in solidarity with the AAPI officer and others who stood by watching Floyd being murdered. Why did they not step in and prevent it? We demand that all of them should be punished to the fullest.
6. The press release claims we stand with the protesters and demand for justice. What justice are we asking for and from whom? Police officers across the country have kneeled alongside the protesters to register their solidarity. The police officers across the land with a few exceptions are good people. And the police force in most metro areas is already quite diverse. One such bad incident cannot brush away this reality.
The murder of George Floyd is a reminder that we must reinvigorate our pursuit for equity in our society. But those groups that are using this tragedy and the cover of the protests for looting businesses and resorting to violence, are doing a great injustice to the cause of civil rights. It is shocking to see anarchists pass along fire bombs to some protestors to kill law enforcement officers and peaceful protestors in New York City. There is nothing more sinister than trying to use injustice towards Black lives, as a tool to further one’s geopolitical agenda. The statue of Mahatma Gandhi in front of the Embassy of India was vandalized by some of these elements, masquerading as protesters.
We urge Massachusetts Asian American Commission to be cognizant of such malafide efforts as they work towards promoting peace and healing in our communities.
Vice President Networking
Tel.: 781-330-1691 (cell) / 781-893-4982 (H) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org