Amid the ongoing protests in the United States against the police brutality after the killing of an African-American man George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), a United States-based education and advocacy group, has called upon the US police to acknowledge and eliminate “systemic racism and excessive use of force” in their ranks.
Offering their sympathy and support to those families and communities struck by police violence, the HAF in a statement on Monday (1 June) said that it stands in solidarity with peaceful protesters across the US who were condemning the horrific killing of George Floyd and calling out systemic racism and excessive violence against African Americans by the police.
In the statement, the HAF called upon police departments across the country to meaningfully address the twin problems of systemic racism and excessive, disproportionate use of force by officers in their ranks, working with local communities to end both.
Further, the group asked the police to hold accountable officers with misconduct and excessive force complaints.
The group also called for ending the practice of militarised policing of peaceful arrests and to put a stop on arrest and targetting of journalist covering the demonstrations.
The HAF also condemned those destroying the public property and said that the change in the system could only be brought by the “powerful tools” of ahimsa and satya.
“We strongly condemn the actions of those, regardless of political ideology, using the cover of peaceful protests to cause destruction and further violence,” the HAF said.
“And we believe ahimsa (non-harming) and satya (truth) are the most powerful tools for bringing about much needed change,” it added.
The group said that it was committed to doing its part to bring about the positive change and has, therefore, joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR) and other leading civil rights organizations to ask Congress for ‘swift and decisive legislative action in response to ongoing fatal police killings and other violence against Black people across our country.’
“As Americans, we must wrestle with two dissonant truths: that the founders of the United States created a nation philosophically promising freedom and equality for all people, and that this nation was built on the backs of enslaved Africans and the spilled blood of Native Americans,” HAF Executive Director Suhag Shukla said.
“Throughout our history, other immigrant communities and people of color have also faced racism and xenophobia, but these two communities have born the brunt of racism that is institutional and systemic. The collective negative karma of our nation’s past and centuries of subjugation has yet to be resolved,” she added.
This is where Hinduism’s fundamental teaching — that we are all embodied souls — if assimilated by more and more people, promises transformation of our implicit biases and the way we treat one another, she added.
It should be noted that the US is witnessing widespread protests after the killing of an unarmed African-American man, George Floyd, who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.
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