A group of four Democratic congresswomen on Friday introduced a resolution condemning racism in the U.S. government and outlining relief for victims of racism 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Ilhan Omar or Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Judy Chu of California announced the resolution on Friday evening to acknowledge the “hate, discrimination, racism, and xenophobia that Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities across America continue to experience two decades after” 9/11, according to a press release.
“We must fully condemn all manifestations and expressions of racism, xenophobia, discrimination, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious bigotry while also finally acknowledging the climate of hate that Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities have experienced in the two decades since September 11, 2001,” the four congresswomen said in a statement.
They continued: “As we acknowledge that our own government implemented harmful policies that unfairly profiled and targeted Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities, we must also celebrate that these very communities have met these challenges with unwavering courage, strength, compassion, and resilience while uniting in the aftermath to advocate for civil and human rights — work which continues to this day to benefit all Americans.”
Jayapal told Vox in an audio interview that after watching the 9/11 attacks on TV that she immediately thought, “What does this mean for people like me?”
“I had just become a U.S. citizen, but I think I was still very clear that I was an immigrant, that I was brown, that I was a woman,” she said. “I had flashed through my head all the times in U.S. history where immigrants were targeted in very difficult times — going back to the internment and other such times — and I felt like everything was going to change for somebody that looked like me. … That was the overwhelming thought in my head.”