NEW YORK: Most Indian immigrants in the United States, especially the first generation, learn with time to expertly leapfrog racial overtones, gentle innuendoes on brown skin and traits – be it in the office, school, at a bar, on the playground, a party. Be it in the cities or the suburbs. If you’ve attended acts by Russell Peters or Aziz Ansari, you even tend to see humor in it – at least inflections of it; acknowledge, understand it as the angst of some Americans who need to vent some. The sophisticated and the savvy even know how to turn it to their advantage.
But what do you do when faced with an overtly racist and trashy organization called Save American Information Technology Jobs (SAITJ), which claims to be based in the Washington, DC area? They surely are the unsavory ‘in your face’ rednecks (the lowly-educated, racist incendiary, Ku Klux Klan types) of the Internet. Their sole aim: to shovel and pile derogatory hatred for hard-working Indian visa workers and their family in the United States.
On its website, SAITJ – which tries to demonize foreign workers on H-1B, L-1, spouses and children on H4 visa with the echo of ‘they are taking our jobs’, ‘taking over our neighborhoods’, ‘the White folks have been exterminated from the face of this Earth’ theories jumping off every laboriously written line – has put up a ridiculous ‘story’ replete with photos entitled ‘Ohio – A Journey to Indian Park’, in a section termed ‘Noteworthy Posts.’
The post is definitely noteworthy: for its poor language and writing, terrible spelling, lunatic analysis. One could also read it as a failed attempt by a high school dropout at satire.
The post on the website – registered in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the proprietor’s name hidden – is a kind of a crude photo essay too, based on a walk in a park the writer calls as Indian Park, located in Columbus, Ohio.
Here are the opening lines of this ‘noteworthy’ post: ‘OHIO RICH ASS SUBURBAN PARK IS OCCUPIED BY RICH ASS INDIANS WITH VARIOUS GREEN $$$ (H1-B L-1 H-4) VISAS. A $60,000 PORSCHE SUV AND A BIG ASS $$$ BMW WERE SITED AT THE INDIAN PARK CRICKET MATCH. IT IS CALLED OCCUPY AND DISPLACEMENT. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE WHO USED TO LIVE THERE? THEY LOST THEIR JOBS TO PEOPLE FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES. HOW AND WHY? THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ELITES OF THE OHIO BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT MADE IT HAPPEN FOR THEIR OWN $$$ INTERESTS. THEY ARE NODDING IN HAPPINESS AT THE LOCAL COUNTRY CLUBS.’
The writer of SAITJ, with pearls of wisdom gleaned through his surreptitious walk and camerawork – befitting the investigative skills of a Mata Hari or Aldrich Ames – has given bizarre captions to photos. The photos depict members of the Indian community at leisure: taking a stroll in the park; playing a game; chatting in groups; an elderly woman reading a newspaper; a teenager sitting on the steps of his front porch, doing what a teenager would normally do: on the phone.
Here are some of the crazy captions on the photos:
‘I sited a retired H1-B worker I assume, NOPE, H-4 Visa Grandma. Must be nice to read about all the bad news in India from the comforts of the Visa Goddess blessings.’
‘Indian Resident House is devoid of flowers and shrubs and brings the classy neighborhood down to a lower caste. Locals complain that the trash and lawns are not properly attended with Ohio shrubs and flowers. There goes the neighborhood.’
‘Rich Ass Indian Suburban Kid sits outside of BIG $$$ House – Features running water, toilets, and air conditioning’.
‘As we inch closer to Indian park, we site a lone H-4 Mommy $$$ stroller in hands. Obama and Modi hugged and Obama allowed all H-1 and L-1 wives and children into the USA.’
‘At the park center are the lovely matrons gathering to chitchat about all the money they make and how to spend it’.
‘The men wear western clothes while the women get stuck with the traditional Indian garments called Sara. It has merit, but to assimilate into US culture, it would be nice to see some H&M style.’
‘Let the Cricket Begin, and the Little League NOT. These cricket players are very strong and athletic, must be all those burgers and steaks. In India much of the population are skinny and starving.’
‘The Indian Crowd drives to the park in their BMW’s Sweet Black and Shiny.’
‘Porsche SUV 60,000 K – Nice if you can afford it, the Visa Indians Can.’
‘Awwwwwww, the Glories of the Rich Ass Ohio Suburbs. These Indians are taking US jobs – plain and simple.’
The post calls the Indian community ‘not the citizens of Ohio’. That’s rich, coming from a crass idiot whose site is registered in Arizona, and claims the organization is based in the Washington, DC area. And unloads his frustration on people who actually live in Columbus, Ohio, contribute, enrich the society they live in. Perhaps the idiot lives in the slums of Dharavi, and was visiting the US on a tourist visa.
The idiot who wrote the blog does make one solid, valid point (yes, I’m guilty of reading the entire piece of trash): ‘The foreign-born in Columbus have more than $2 billion in spending power and have contributed over $258 million in state and local tax dollars“.
One can respect viewpoint of organizations who want to limit legal immigration. They may be wrong in their belief and assumptions. But they present theories through research and facts.
And, as for an organization like SAITJ. Well, if this was WhatsApp, I would end this piece with the icon for a smile. The one with the big, wide laugh.
(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)