Indian American Teen Creates Twitter Hashtag To Fight Racial Attacks in U.S.

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An Indian American teen has created #AfterSeptember11 on the micro-blogging site Twitter to speak up against the racial attacks Indian Americans have been facing in the United States after the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001, according to an IANS report.

The hashtag was created by Jessica Talwar, a 19-year-old political science student from Loyola University in Chicago who tweets as @jesstalwar, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The #AfterSeptember11 began trending since the evening of Sept. 10 — the day it was created — with more than 50,000 victims telling their stories using it. The victims said they were targeted for being Muslim, or often, just for having brown skin.

Many of the victims were children during the attacks on the World Trade Center towers, but their tweets reflect the impact of the racial abuse on their young lives. One said her father shaved his face and stopped wearing a turban after he was assaulted at work.

“America needs to recognize that the trauma and repercussions of these attacks were not confined to the day of Sept. 11, 2001, itself,” Talwar wrote in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times. “Desis, Arabs and Muslims have felt the impact of this day for 14 years.”

Indian American poet Hari Kondabolu echoed Talwar’s views and wrote his “mother put the U.S. flag on their house, because she feared that people would throw rocks through the window.”

On Sept. 8, an elderly Sikh American man, Inderjit Singh Mukker, was attacked in Chicago and was dubbed a “terrorist” and “bin Laden” by the attacker (I-W Sept. 10, 2015,http://bit.ly/1i1SkdK).

Soon after its creation, the detractors used the hashtag to flood hate messages. They used racial slurs and threatened to kill Muslims. “It was as if there was some rigid dichotomy between American society and the South Asian, Muslim and Arab communities,” Talwar was quoted as saying. “This movement was not intended to belittle the tragic events of Sept. 11 itself,” she said.

According to an AP report, some Americans observed the anniversary in their own ways.

Jyothi Shah read names of victims in memory of her husband, Jayesh Shantitlal Shah, then paused with a message for the public.

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