Four Indian-American women have been racially abused and smacked by a Mexican-American woman in the US state of Texas, who hurled racist slurs at them and said that they are “ruining” America and should “go back to India”.
The incident took place on Wednesday night in a parking lot in Dallas, Texas. The woman, who has now been arrested, is seen in the video identifying herself as a Mexican-American and assaulting a group of Indian-Americans.
“I hate you Indians. All these Indians come to America because they want a better life,” Esmeralda Upton is seen saying in the video. “You Indians are everywhere,” she adds while hurling abuses at the four Indian-American women.
The video shows her telling the group of women to “Go back to India. You… people are ruining this country,” the CBS News reported. The video has now gone viral and sent shock waves among the Indian-American community across the United States. It shows Upton using racial slurs, and at one point physically smacking at least two of the Indian women.
The person who posted the video wrote, “This incident occurred in Dallas, Texas after my mom and her three friends went to dinner”. The said person’s mom is seen contesting the arguments made by the Mexican-American woman while remaining calm. She is seen requesting the attacker not to make racial slurs.
At one point, the Mexican-American woman, who says she was born in the United States, is seen assaulting the Indian-American woman and her other friends as well. “Everywhere I go, you Indians are everywhere,” she is seen screaming in the video. “If life was so great in India, why are you here?” she shouts while hurling the f-word.
She then suddenly starts assaulting the four Indian women.
Plano Police Detectives arrested Esmeralda Upton of Plano on Thursday afternoon. She has been charged with assault, bodily injury and terroristic threats and is being held on a total bond amount of USD 10,000.
“This is so scary. She actually had a gun and wanted to shoot because these Indian-American women had accents while speaking English. Disgusting. This awful woman needs to be prosecuted for a hate crime,” Reema Rasool said on Twitter.
This incident is currently under investigation by the Plano Police Department’s Crime Against Persons Unit as a hate crime.
Groups in North Texas with ties to the South Asian American community condemned the attack and said they were relieved that a suspect had been arrested.
Urmeet Juneja, president of the India Association of North Texas, said he thinks North Texas has largely been a welcoming and safe place for people who are of South Asian descent, The Dallas Morning News reported. “We are happy that law enforcement has taken swift action and arrested this person. Still, we also think that they should conduct a fair investigation and get to the bottom of the matter and take this hate crime investigation to its conclusion,” Urmeet Juneja said.
“The events in Plano remind me of stories my parents and their friends told me over and over in the wake of 9/11 — of fellow Americans seeing them as others and enemies,” said Saatvik Ahluwalia, a spokesman for Asian Texans for Justice, was quoted as saying by the report.
Chanda Parbhoo, executive director of South Asian American Voter Engagement of Texas, said in a statement: “While we are relieved our community members are safe, listening to their cries for help from the verbal, physical, and racist abuse this woman was unleashing in that dark parking lot is infuriating.” (PTI)