We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh
Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future
Author Talk with Deepa Iyer
The nationally renowned racial justice advocate shines a light on an unexplored consequence of modern-day terrorism: the ongoing, state-sanctioned persecution of a range of American minorities
“If I see someone [who] comes in that’s got a diaper on his head and a fan belt wrapped around the diaper on his head, that guy needs to be pulled over.” —former U.S. Congressman John Cooksey (R-LA) in 2001, who later apologized
Many of us can recall the targeting of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh people in the wake of 9/11. We may be less aware, however, of the ongoing racism directed against these groups in the past decade and a half.
In We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer catalogs recent racial flash points, from the 2012 massacre at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to the violent opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and to the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan.
Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance. She looks at topics including Islamophobia in the Bible Belt; the “Bermuda Triangle” of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria; and the energy of new reform movements, including those of “undocumented and unafraid” youth and Black Lives Matter.
In a book that reframes the discussion of race in America, a brilliant young activist provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America.
A leading racial justice activist, Deepa Iyer served for a decade as the executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), focusing on community building in post-9/11 America. She teaches in the Asian American studies program at the University of Maryland and is the author of We Too Sing America (The New Press).