This is not the first time that Asian Americans are coming under racist profiling in New Jersey’s local elections
New Jersey: In another act of religious, racist bias, flyers calling New Jersey Mayoral candidate Ravi Bhalla as a terrorist are being widely circulated on social media just days before the election.
According to HuffPost, the racist flier, which links Indian American Sikh candidate to terrorist activities, asks New Jersians not to let terrorism take over their town. “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our Town!” reads the text in the flyer.
The flyer also says if Bhalla becomes the Mayor it will have great repercussions on the city’s water supply as the supplier is a client of the law firm which Bhalla is a partner.
Other than this, the flyer doesn’t have any incriminating accusations against Bhalla that connects him with terrorist activities. Adding to this, the details of the conflict of interest with the water supplier has been written in much smaller size.
“Of course, this is troubling, but I want to be clear: We won’t let hate win in Hoboken,” Bhalla wrote on Facebook. “I want people to know that Hoboken is a welcoming community where my wife and I are proud to raise our two young children.”
Sikhs have been facing racial profiling and many times they are mistaken for Muslims. Recently, a video of a Sikh boy being attacked in school by his classmate appeared online with his parents calling the incident intolerance against their religion.
In 2015, a study by National Sikh Campaign found that 20 to 28 percent of Americans misidentify Sikhs as Muslims or men from the Middle East. The reason they cite is the religious turban they wear as part of their faith.
“My friend @RaviBhalla is running for Hoboken mayor,” Booker wrote. “This vile hateful flyer was put out. I condemn it! We all must condemn bigotry & hate!,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) tweeted.
Booker served as mayor of nearby Newark from 2006 to 2013, before running for Congress.
This is not the first time that Asian Americans are coming under racist profiling in New Jersey’s local elections this year. A few days back, racist emailers were circulated against two Asian American candidates with “deport” stamped on their faces.
The emailer claimed that Indian and Chinese are taking over the town. It was sent to voters in the heavily Indian American New Jersey township of Edison.
The latest race instigated profiling against Bhalla is reported just days before New Jersey goes to poll booth to elect their next mayor.
Even though the flyer attaches it allegiance to rival mayoral candidate Michael DeFusco, he has denied any link with the circulation of the racist flyer.
“I condemn this piece of racist garbage in the strongest possible terms,” DeFusco said in a statement. “Political stunts like this are everything that’s wrong with politics today.”
In a video posted to his campaign Facebook page, DeFusco rips the flyer in half.
Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante said the incident is currently being investigated as a possible “bias crime.”