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US: Indo-origin candidate faces racist attack

Press Trust of India
Jan 19, 2012 at 05:29pm IST

Chicago: Raja Krishamoorthi, a Democratic Congressional candidate of Indian-origin for Illinois' newly created district, has come under apparent racist attacks from Tea Party bloggers for protesting against an event organized by them.

Krishamoorthi,(38), one-time advisor to President Barack Obama, encountered unexpected attacks after his appearance at the TeaCon 2011 Convention last autumn. Tea Party groups from around the country gathered for the TEACON 2011 convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, an event which saw speeches from tea party notables such as Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart, and former Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain.

Krishamoorthi decided to participate in a previously planned protest outside the event to show his opposition to Tea Party grandstanding and demonstrate his commitment to protecting the interests of his constituents.

US: Indo-origin candidate faces racist attack

Democratic Congressional candidate for Illinois Raja Krishamoorthi has come under racist attacks from the Tea Party

During the protest, Krishamoorthi was singled out by Tea Party activists, who later published his profile on the conservative blog "biggovernment. org". While the profile labels Krishamoorthi as a communist, the comments on the page go much further, showing distinct racist undertones and stereotyping the Indian-American community.

Readers insinuated that Krishamoorthi was an illegal immigrant, writing "Love that immigration act of '65", despite the fact that he legally emigrated from India with his parents when he was 3 months old.

Reacting to the attacks, Mike Murray, Krishamoorthi's campaign spokesman, said "The fact that these divisive and discriminatory comments are not chastised shows the racist undertones of the Tea Party, and a more professional news outlet would have deleted them immediately". Krishnamoorthi said, "It's sad to see political discourse sink into bigotry and wilful ignorance."

"Our country was made by immigrants and we have always been strengthened by our great diversity. As an elected representative, I hope to combat such racist rhetoric in our nation's capital and will strive to bring civility and common sense to our political discourse." Krishnamoorthi will be running for election in the Democratic primary on March 20th, and if elected would be the only South Asian serving in the US Congress.

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