US Republican candidate for Assembly District 16, Vibhuti Jha, apologized last week for “hateful rhetoric “against Sikhs and Muslims.
Both the democratic government, Kathy Hochul, and the Nassau Republican Committee condemned the tweets sent out by Vibhuti Jha, and his Democratic opponent, Gina Sillitti, called it “hateful rhetoric.”
Jha’s tweets, recovered by Newsday, were written between 2019 and February 2022.
One post said: “The ‘asylum’ racket for US immigration by Sikhs is real — it must be exposed. Those fake asylum seeks are ‘required to’ stand and protest ANY thing against India!” (sic)
A Feb. 16, 2022 tweet read: “Islam might consider fighting its own definition of who they are! That will help the rest of humanity!!” (sic)
When these tweets were forwarded and came to light, Jha responded with a statement to Newsday late Friday, saying he was “deeply sorry” for them.
“My goals and priorities in life are focused on bringing people together and celebrating diversity. What’s more, I am focused on supporting different views and perspectives,” said Jha, a strategic adviser at the Seattle-based Human Potential Project, a management consulting company.
Jha is running against incumbent Democrat Gina Sillitti. Gina Sillitti said in a statement that it was “disappointing and concerning to discover that my opponent has been spewing hateful rhetoric towards our Muslim and Sikh neighbors for years.”
US activist Pieter Friedrich tweeted, “His years of on-the-record hate against Muslims and Sikhs, and a last-minute apology only pressured out of him as he sought political power, preceded Hindutva ally @VJjha ’s defeat in his campaign for the New York State legislature. Victory!”
The Republicans just won the US mid-term elections by voter repudiation. Repudiation victories have become one of the most distinctive patterns of recent American politics. Jha’s apology was out of pressure for political power.
There is a present war against hate speech in a fierce battle to retain acceptance and diversity and strengthen the fabric of democracy. It has to be remembered that in America’s past, it was the Republican party that banned the Ku Klux Klan, and in the present times, tables are turning and it is the Democrats fighting to save secularism and democracy.