A Sikh man, identified as the US national Deep Rai, was shot at and attacked, outside his home in Kent, Washington while he was working on his vehicle, on March 3, 2017.
According to Police sources in Kent, Rai was approached by a stranger, who walked up to his driveway and got involved in an altercation. The argument led the stranger to pull out his gun and shoot at Rai, injuring him in the arm.
While opening fire at him, the stranger in an angry tone said, "Go back to your own country". The shooter has been identified as a six-foot-tall white man, who came with the lower half of his face covered.
The attack on Rai is the third such incident in the fortnight following Srinivas Kuchibhotla's killing in Kansas. This was followed by Harnish Patel's murder in South Carolina. Rai is the third person of Indian origin living in the US to become the victim of racism.
Undoubtedly, these recent incidents of hate-crime are directly a result of xenophobia in the US. The Sikh community has borne the brunt of racist violence earlier. In one of the major hate-inspired attacks on Sikh community in the US, an army veteran, identified as Wade Michael Page (40), opened indiscriminate fire both inside and outside the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 5, 2012, killing six Sikhs on the spot.
While authorities are investigating the latest incident of shooting as a suspected hate crime, Indian living in US have expressed grief and anguish. Vinod Reddy, the founder and CEO of CRMIT Solutions, who lives in San Francisco, California, while tweeting about this unfortunate incident, said, "Sad to see these developments in a nation of immigrants."
Reddy's remark comes in the background of the intense political debate on the issue of immigration in US post-Trump victory. According to latest developments of the day, US President Donald Trump is expected to sign new executive order on immigration on March 6, 2017. Trump's immigration policy, thus far, has been a sharp reversal of Obama-era policy. Five days after his inauguration in office on January 20, 2017, Trump had outlined a harsh policy calling for a crackdown on illegal immigration.
This led to a debate in the public forum. The critics of Trump's order responded by saying that America is a nation built by immigrants, a nation that lives by the motto -"E Pluribus Unum" , which means, Out of Many, One. However, Donald Trump's approach towards immigrants has been of antagonism.
Given this climate of hostility, the recent attacks on Indians can be seen in the light of Trump's antagonistic policies that aim to intimidate the so-called 'outsiders'. The new policy to be unfolded on Monday is part of Donald Trump's larger policy of "Make America GREAT Again." What needs to be seen is the impact of this new policy.