“Silence equals complicity” on issues of racial justice says South Asian non-profit

A Chhaya CDC member making an announcement. (Photo: Chhayacdc.org)

A non-profit housing and social services organization based in Queens that serves mainly Indian-Americans and other South Asian immigrants has called on the community to examine its own biases and to mobilize in support of African Americans.

“All of us have a role to play in ending the racialized terror and the institutionalized injustices that have led to the continued brutalization and oppression of Blacks,” said Chhaya Community Development Corporation June 3, 2020.

The non-profit which was founded more than 20 years ago by Indian-American Seema Agnani, to help the community with housing issues, today delivers many more services including immigration, language access, and other economic justice issues.

“We at Chhaya are outraged by the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others,” said Chhaya referring to the more recent deaths of African Americans while in police custody.

“As immigrants, we know our freedoms and opportunities are a direct result of the long fight led by Black Americans. Immigrants must now take up the mantle to further this fight for justice,” Chhaya exhorted the communities it works with.

The fight for a future without hate and with freedom of opportunities, it said, starts at home.

“… it starts with recognizing the deep-seated anti-Blackness that pervades our mindsets, and taking a zero-tolerance stance to racism in our homes, places of worship, and communities. Silence equals complicity,” Chhaya declared.

It recommended three actions members of the South Asian community could take to further the cause of justice, including helping pass a bill in Albany that will repeal police secrecy law that hides the records of officers who may have abused their powers, sign a petition calling for an end to police violence against blacks, and donate to a bail fund to provide relief for activists seeking justice for George Floyd.



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