Seattle City Council members are getting ready to vote on whether or not so as to add caste to town’s anti-discrimination legal guidelines. If accepted, Seattle would grow to be the primary metropolis within the United States to take action.
The proposed ordinance, being thought of Tuesday, is a contentious concern, particularly among the many nation’s South Asian diaspora. Supporters argue it’s wanted as a result of caste isn’t lined below present civil rights protections. Groups opposing the measure say it’s going to malign a neighborhood that’s already the goal of prejudice.
Activists and organizers on completely different sides of the problem started arriving in Seattle on Monday.
As early as final week, greater than 100 individuals had put in requests to talk on the assembly. Early Tuesday, a number of activists braved chilly temperatures and wind gusts to line up exterior City Hall so they might get an opportunity to talk to the council previous to the vote.
Council Member Kshama Sawant, a socialist and the one Indian American on the City Council, stated her proposed ordinance doesn’t single out one neighborhood, however accounts for the way caste discrimination crosses nationwide and spiritual boundaries.
The origins of the caste system in India might be traced again 3,000 years as a social hierarchy based mostly on one’s occupation and delivery. It is a system that has advanced over the centuries below Muslim and British rule. The struggling of those that are on the backside of the caste pyramid – referred to as Dalits – has continued. Caste discrimination has been prohibited in India since 1948, a 12 months after the nation’s independence from British rule.
Dalit activists from Seattle and past deliberate two rallies at Seattle City Hall in assist of the ordinance, stated Thenmozhi Soundararajan, founder and government director of California-based Equality Labs.
The U.S. is the second hottest vacation spot for Indians residing overseas, based on the Migration Policy Institute, which estimates the U.S. diaspora grew from about 206,000 in 1980 to about 2.7 million in 2021. The group South Asian Americans Leading Together studies that just about 5.4 million South Asians reside within the U.S. — up from the three.5 million counted within the 2010 census. Most hint their roots to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Over the previous three years, a number of schools and college methods have moved to ban caste discrimination.
In December 2019, Brandeis University close to Boston turned the primary U.S. school to incorporate caste in its nondiscrimination coverage. The California State University System, Colby College, Brown University and the University of California, Davis, have all adopted related measures. Harvard University instituted caste protections for pupil staff in 2021 as a part of its contract with its graduate pupil union.
The proposed Seattle measure has the assist of Dalit activist-led organizations like Equality Labs and others. The teams say caste discrimination is prevalent in diaspora communities manifesting within the type of social alienation and discrimination in housing, training and the tech sector the place South Asians maintain key roles.
Opposition to this proposed ordinance comes from teams such because the Hindu American Foundation and the Coalition of Hindus of North America who say it unnecessarily singles-out a neighborhood already weak to discrimination within the U.S.
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