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Cover image for We too sing America : South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh immigrants shape our multiracial future
Title:
We too sing America : South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh immigrants shape our multiracial future
ISBN:
9781620970140
Physical Description:
xvii, 229 pages : tables ; 22 cm
Contents:
"Not our American Dream": the Oak Creek massacre and hate violence -- Journeys in a racial state -- Surveillance nation -- Islamophobia in the Bible Belt -- Disruptors and bridge builders -- Undocumented youth rise up -- Ferguson is everywhere -- We too sing America -- Appendix A: Race talks -- Appendix B: Data on race in America.
Summary:
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 flashpoints, 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 young activist provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America.
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Summary

Summary

In We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer catalogs recent racial flashpoints, 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.


Author Notes

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. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Indian-American activist and teacher Iyer writes with passion on the experience of South Asian immigrants in post-9/11 America. She begins with the August 2012 shooting at an Oak Creek, Wis., Sikh temple that left six people dead. As a victim's son says, "She was an American and this was not our American dream." Iyer personalizes the challenges faced by those who are, or are mistakenly perceived as being, Muslim. As she shows, government surveillance of groups deemed suspicious has increased their sense of separation from American society. While this book could simply be a catalogue of injustices, Iyer's study reaches into the complexities of the many cultures that make up South Asia. She points out that many South Asian immigrants run small stores in largely African-American or Hispanic neighborhoods, but often remain apart from the local community. In the aftermath of the Wisconsin massacre, however, area Sikhs felt an increased sense of solidarity with other marginalized ethnic groups. Iyer encourages her readers to become politicized and oppose policymakers who make "racist and xenophobic statements that fuel hostility." Her theme moves from her own group to all Americans who would work together for a "multiracial and equitable America... in which there are no more 'others. '?" (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Tracing the impact of xenophobia and Islamophobia in the U.S. since 9/11, Iyer draws on the personal experiences of young immigrants South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh in communities experiencing backlash and hate crimes. She also weaves in her own story of moving to Kentucky from India when she was 12: how it felt not to belong to either side of the Black or White racial line. With her focus on the post-9/11 world, she shows how the government has targeted groups for national security reasons, forcibly arresting individuals without cause, and she notes how even those with U.S. citizenship are perceived as perpetual foreigners. The many individual profiles grab the reader with their personal voices (What is it like to be gay and Muslim and also to come out as undocumented?). Connections are also drawn to today's headlines across the U. S., from Ferguson to Black Lives Matter to Silicon Valley, as well as to the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Great for discussion, especially about the meaning of multiracial and multicultural America.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2015 Booklist


Library Journal Review

In this riveting book, Iyer, an Indian American political activist and former director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), recounts the experiences of a number of South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh immigrants after the September 11 attacks. Examining the trials and tribulations of immigrant lives, Iyer demonstrates how these immigrants continue to shape America's multicultural future. Inspired by the spirit of Langston Hughes's poignant poem "I, Too," the author frames the discussion of her book's subjects into a broader framework of race, ethnicity, and the U.S. immigrant experience. She uses recent examples to highlight the ongoing racism against the groups covered, such as the 2012 massacre at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI, and the violent opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, TN. VERDICT A welcome addition to the growing literature of race, ethnicity, and religion from the perspectives of immigrant groups within the United States. Both the general public and policymakers will benefit.-Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Preface: My Point of Entryp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
1 "Not Our American Dream": The Oak Creek Massacre and Hate Violencep. 1
2 Journeys in a Racial Starep. 34
3 Surveillance Nationp. 55
4 Islamophobia in the Bible Beltp. 71
5 Disruptors and Bridge Buildersp. 91
6 Undocumented Youth Rise Upp. 120
7 Ferguson Is Everywherep. 141
8 We Too Sing Americap. 156
Appendix A Race Talksp. 171
Appendix B Data on Race in Americap. 175
Notesp. 181
Indexp. 211
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