US: South Asian community condemns racial abuse of 4 Indian-American women

Viral video showed a Mexican-American woman verbally, physically assaulting four people in racist attack

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Published: Sun 28 Aug 2022, 9:43 AM

Last updated: Sun 28 Aug 2022, 9:54 AM

The South Asian community in the United States has strongly condemned the incident of racial abuse of four Indian-American women by a Mexican-American woman in Texas.

The incident took place on Wednesday night in a parking lot in Dallas, Texas. The woman, identified as Esmeralda Upton, who has now been arrested, is seen in the video identifying herself as a Mexican-American and assaulting a group of Indian-Americans.

"I hate you Indians. All these Indians come to America because they want a better life," Upton is seen saying in the video.

The video shows her telling the group of women to "Go back to India. You... people are ruining this country."

The video has now gone viral and sent shock waves among the Indian-American and South Asian American communities across the United States.

Arun Agarwal, president and co-founder of the Indian American CEO (IACEO) Council, told PTI that the Indian-American community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is strong and will continue to grow stronger.

"The ladies that were attacked are all very accomplished and do a lot to give back to the communities they live and work in. Neither them nor anyone else deserves to be humiliated in this manner," he said.

The video shows Upton using racial slurs and physically smacking at least two of the women.

"Everywhere I... go, you Indians are ... everywhere," she is seen screaming in the video. "If life was so great in India, why are you here," she shouts.

"The quick action of law enforcement and the way the community at large has rallied behind those attacked is commendable. There is no doubt that the Indian American community is strong and will continue to get stronger. Any kind of hate has no place in this world," Agarwal said.

IACEO, based in Dallas, Texas, is an organisation that facilitates alliances between India and the US.

"IACEO's mission is to elevate our community. Our recent studies show the significant contribution of the Indian American community in the economic development of North Texas," Agarwal said.

Condemning the attack, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Dallas-Fort Worth (CAIR-DFW) chapter executive director Faizan Syed said the level of vitriol and alleged physical assault against the four Indian-American women in Plano is truly appalling.

"This type of hate has no place in North Texas, and we call on law enforcement to investigate this incident as a hate crime," he told a local TV station.

South Asian Voter Engagement of Texas is hosting a rally to call for justice on Saturday in Haggard Park.


Chanda Parbhoo, executive director of the South Asian voting organisation, said in a statement that people need to stand in solidarity with the victims.

"Now is the time to stand up and show our friends, our family and our community that racism will not be tolerated," Parbhoo said.

Plano Mayor John Muns said the incident was "appalling". Muns was with leaders of the city's South Asian community for a presentation when the video of the confrontation went viral on social media.

Plano has 22% of Asian population, according to US census data.

Muns said he takes pride in Plano's diversity and wants residents to feel safe.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has formed the Mayor's Anti-Hate Advisory Council in the wake of rising numbers of hate crimes in Dallas and across the country.

"The new advisory council discusses ways to make the city and Dallas Police department better equipped to both respond and prevent hate crimes. We hope more cities can replicate that," he said.

Plano Police Detectives arrested Esmeralda Upton of Plano on Thursday afternoon. She has been charged with assault, bodily injury and terroristic threats and is being held on a total bond amount of $10,000.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Plano Police Department's Crime Against Persons Unit as a hate crime.

Anti-Asian violence has risen sharply in recent years in the US. Last year, six women of Asian descent were among eight killed in a shooting at a massage parlour in Atlanta.

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