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Response from US President to the hate crime in Olathe, KS on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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Dear Mr. Trump,

As you are probably aware, on the evening of Wednesday, February the 22nd, there was a tragic and unprovoked shooting in Olathe, Kansas. Adam W. Purington, 51, opened fire on Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 and Alok Madasani, 32 at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, KS. Ian Grillot, 24 intervened. Kuchibhotla lost his life, leaving behind his grieving wife, Sunayana and his devastated parents in India. Madasani and Grillot are recovering in hospital.

According to witnesses, Purington shouted “Get out of my country” as he opened fire. Reportedly, he thought Kuchibhotla and Madasani were of Middle Eastern origin. Regardless of whether they were of South Asian or West Asian origin, the rampant Islamophobia and immigrant-phobia stoked by your Presidency has created a situation in which no non-white person, no person of Mexican or Latin American origin and no person of West Asian or North African (conventionally considered Middle-Eastern) origin is safe in the United States. Recently, as you had started your Presidential campaign, an economics professor of Italian origin was asked to step off a plane because he was mistaken for someone of “Middle Eastern origin”. A young couple, who are both US citizens, were asked to step off a Delta Airlines plane simply because the woman wore a headscarf and referred to God in Arabic. An old gentleman who is Pre TSA approved was strip searched. At the current juncture, almost all persons seem to be facing Islamophobia and immigrant-phobia, whether or not they are Muslims and whether or not, they are US citizens, whether or not they are documented and whether or not, they have valid visas. For the Indian community, the issue is deeply personal. Alok and Srinivas could have been any one of our boys. We stand with the families of both, grieving for Srinivas with his wife, Sunayana, and hoping that Alok makes a quick recovery.

 As the President of the United States, we would like you to release a statement to

i)  Unequivocally condemn the murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and the shooting of Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot.

ii) Address the tragic and unprovoked shooting on Wednesday night as a hate crime and not as an isolated incident.

iii) Express the desire that the perpetrator should be brought to justice.

iv) Condemn all racially motivated crimes and discrimination on the basis of race, religion or sex during your Presidency

v) Express condolences to Srinivas’ wife and family and extend any support that the families of Srinivas, Alok or Ian may need.

Thanking you,

 



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