American Turban

Seizing the wind: South Asian mobilization after 9/11

In grad school I was taught that for certain public policies to come to fruition, there needs to be a “window of opportunity”. For the South Asian community, the catalyst for this window of opportunity was the Twin Towers falling. As tragic of an event it was for everyone in our nation, that day was a starting point for our community not wanting to get together but NEEDING to get together. We were forced to organize and mobilize.

We still have a long way to go. This past election cycle clearly reflected that with the rampant racist attitudes from the Tea Party and beyond. In some ways, we need to work even harder to counteract the negativity that is running loose in this country. Health disparities, community disenfranchisement, targeted hate crimes and racial profiling are all injustices and are fights that we are still fighting. We can’t let our stories be marginalized, we can’t let ourselves be tokenized, we can’t let our public figures be brown-faced and house-Desi-ed.

– Tanzila Ahmed, of Sepia Mutiny, writes about the defense of rights and liberties of South Asian Americans since 9/11.

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