Esmeralda Upton from Plano in Texas was arrested for the racially-motivated physical and verbal assault of four South Asian women in a parking lot on Wednesday.
“The recent news of four Indian-origin women being harassed and abused with vile racial slurs in Plano, TX, has sent shock waves through the Indian-American community,” said Sanjeev Joshipura from Indiaspora.
“The viral video captures the unreal encounter of four friends facing a tirade in a suburban parking lot, following their quiet dinner meet-up. We at Indiaspora strongly condemn this racial attack and reiterate our commitment to fighting discrimination and prejudice in all its forms,” he said.
The attack is yet another in a string of deplorable anti-Asian hate crimes that have taken place over the past two years and comes on the heels of a similar incident involving the first India- American woman in Congress, Pramila Jaya, said Indian American Impact.
This is a wake up call to all HUMANS and color be nice to all – don’t throw racism… it’s a learning curve. #stophate #racism look at the outcome.. Racism still happens everyday – wish it would stop. https://t.co/l1OeAczx3J
— MissRoshni (@MissRoshni) August 25, 2022
“Esmeralda Upton’s dangerous and violent sentiments towards the South-Asian community should not be taken lightly. For legal purposes, we are lucky that the racist tirade was caught on camera, but her shameless display of hate towards members of our community is alarming and, unfortunately, not uncommon,” said Indian-American Impact executive director, Neil Makhija.
“We are so thankful that the four victims of the attack were not severely physically harmed, but it’s imperative we begin to address the psychological effects of consistent attacks on minority communities. The state of Texas needs more than just a reactive approach to overt racism. Leadership should prioritise expanding multicultural education and implementing safety protocols in order to ensure the welfare of vulnerable people of colour, immigrants and women,” he said.
Joshipura said the contributions of Indian Americans as immigrants to the US have been widely recognised, but those accolades feel less gratifying in the face of such episodes.
“As most of us acknowledge, systemic racism stands against the values of this great nation. We at Indiaspora ask our community to be vigilant and stand up to any form of intimidation and aggression. These acts should be reported to authorities and community leaders to ensure that no abuser walks away with impunity,” he said.
UPDATE: Assaulter in video above Esmeralda Upton of Plano Texas has been ARRESTED by Police detectives this afternoon. She faces 2 charges of Assault Bodily Injury and Terroristic threat. Held on $10,000 bond.
Hate and racism comes with a price: https://t.co/VxCwG6u1Ip
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 25, 2022
In a statement, HinduPACT condemned the growing hate and vitriol against a thriving and flourishing diaspora community that is proudly part of America’s civil society and fabric.
Rakhi Israni, executive director, Legal, HinduPACT, said along with the irrational hate being directed at Asian Americans in general, hate crimes against Hindu Americans and Indian Americans are on the rise nationwide.
“From the recent vicious incident at a Taco Bell in Fremont, California, to the attack on the four Indian-American women in Plano, Texas, it is unfortunately becoming too common in our daily society to verbally or, even worse, physically assault another person because of their skin colour, religion, or national origin. We urge the law enforcement in these cities to aggressively pursue these acts as hate crimes as a deterrent to others who choose to act on their irrational hatred for other people who differ from them in any way,” she said.