New York: An Indian-origin girl in the US has been allegedly racially abused by an African-American man who called her inappropriate names and yelled “get out of here” when she was travelling in a commuter train. Ekta Desai, who lives in New York, took a video of the incident that occurred on February 23. The video was then shared by a website ‘The Voice Raiser’ and has since then gone viral and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
In the video, the African-American man is seen abusing the girl, saying words like “Freedom of speech” and “Black Power.” Using expletives, he tells her to “get out of here.” As the girl is recording the video, the man gets visibly angry and is seen shouting at her.
“This man was on the same PATH train as me along with 100 other passengers, I had my headphones on and it was like any other day. Next thing I know he is yelling on my face (Did not bother to listen/react),” Ms Desai wrote on social media.
Ms Desai said she did not react to the man but he continued shouting and questioned as to why she was taking his photo and pictures. Several people have reacted sympathetically towards the girl after the video was posted online.
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Ms Desai said she reported the matter to police authorities, who allegedly said the man appears to be “emotionally unstable” and she should be careful.
Ms Desai then contacted Kundan Srivastava, a human rights activist and founder of The Voice Raiser, who said the US government should “punish” the man for “harassing and abusing women and also insulting our nation.”
“We would also like to say that being a girl does not make anyone less capable or helpless. As you can see in the video, people are just standing as a mere spectator. He yelled disgusting things and used unacceptable words. A person should abide by the civic rules and does not slut shame a woman. Keep Fighting!,” Mr Srivastava’s organisation said.
The incident comes close on the heels of the shooting in Kansas of a 32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was killed when 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani at a bar before yelling “get out of my country.”
The shooting sent shock waves across the Indian-American community in New York with people expressing concerns over their safety in an environment of xenophobic and racist rhetoric in the country.