Saira Rao, the former Indian American District 1 congressional candidate in Colorado, is temporarily leaving the state because she claims it has become unsafe for her and her family to live there.
According to the Colorado Public Radio, Rao lost her congressional bid last month to unseat Denver’s longtime congresswoman Diana DeGette.
But after she tweeted out a New York Times op-ed earlier this month, Rao has been receiving threats mostly on social media and when she saw the nasty comments on her children’s photos she knew it was time to leave.
She shared the New York Times’ op-ed piece with her response to remind White people about their role in combating racism, but that backfired.
“It is incumbent upon white people to dismantle white supremacy, black and brown people cannot do that. We have been toiling and toiling and toiling, and it’s still there. When you call out institutional oppression, when you call out white supremacism, when you call out racism, that’s not racist,” she told Colorado Public Radio.
“I’ve been talking about race and supremacy for years. This was nothing new,” Rao added, saying that she has even informed the FBI about the threats.
The New York Times opinion piece was written by George Yancy, an African-American philosopher at Emory University, who wrote it after he started receiving threats for another piece he wrote called “Dear White America,” in which he asked White readers to examine the comfort that comes with being white and how it causes pain for people of color.
Rao told Colorado Public Radio that she currently does not plan to run for office but will think about it in the future.
“I’m certainly not going to stop talking about race and white supremacy and oppression. I want white people to listen to what we’re saying, and not be fragile, and not take it personally, and not get defensive. Change happens when you listen,” Rao said.