Coming days after the fatal shooting of Indian-born engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, on going anti-immigrants postings and hate crimes have been reported from many parts of the US. An anti-immigration website that features photos and videos of Indian families relaxing in the city of Columbus, Ohio, has alarmed community members in the United States.
A post on the website SaveAmerican-ITJobs.com called ‘Welcome to Columbus Ohio suburbs Lets take a walk to Indian park’ features a video of Indian families hanging out in a public park in suburban Ohio. The video’s description mentions how wealthy Indian families have ‘moved in’ to suburban homes in Ohio as “displacement of Americans has occurred”. As of March 6, the video has over 41,000 views on YouTube.
A Buzzfeed report says that the website is created and maintained by Steve Pushor, a 66-year-old computer programmer from Virginia. In the video, Pushor’s camera pans over people playing volleyball and children riding bikes, as he narrates: “The number of people from foreign countries blows my mind out here. You see this whole area is all Indian, amazing. It’s an amazing number of jobs have been taken away from Americans. The Indian crowd has ravished the Midwest. It’s a takeover.(sic)” Pushor sarcastically describes the park as a “mini Mumbai”.
Pushor initially posted this video and the accompanying document ‘Ohio A Journey To Indian Park’ in August. The document labels India as a “hell hole” and highlights the loss of “Norman Rockwell white people class” in the US. A link to the document now directs to a 403-error page, but an archived version of the page are still available online.
The recent shooting of Kuchibhotla and the anti-immigration rhetoric of the Trump government has caused the video and document to resurface on Facebook posts, forums and WhatsApp groups of Indian immigrants in the US.
Bhavin Bavalia, a US-born IT professional and son of Indian immigrants, said he came across the site and the video when a friend shared it on Facebook. Talking to Buzzfeed news, Bavalia said, “To think that there could be some weirdo filming my cousin’s kids as they’re playing at the park, and possibly fomenting resentment towards them, is just disturbing.”
The website SaveAmericanITJobs.org calls the “Indian IT mafia” as one of the “public enemies” of American IT professionals. A snippet on the website says: “The Indian IT Mafia Mega firms have greatly harmed the American Information Technology Workforce for decades. Their notorious practices and collaborations with greedy US Corporations have resulted in USA IT professionals training their H-1B or L-1 Indian replacements in order to receive severance pay. This is outrageous.”