America stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms, US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday as he broke his silence on the fatal Kansas shooting in which an Indian techie was killed.
“Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,” Trump said in his address to the joint session of US Congress.
By mentioning Kansas, Trump in his maiden address to the US Congress, heeded to the call being made by a host of Indian-American organisations and lawmakers to publicly condemn the fatal Kansas shooting which is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a hate crime.
“I’ve been clear that the President must use this amazing platform to condemn this hateful act in no uncertain terms and send a powerful message that no American should be fearful in their own community.
“Diverse political and religious views are what make our country great, and I look forward to him utilising this opportunity tonight,” Republican Congressman from Kansas Kevin Yoder had urged Trump earlier.
“…I’ve been in contact with the White House regarding the senseless tragedy last week in Olathe that claimed the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani and Ian Grill,” Yoder said.
Earlier in the day, the White House too condemned the fatal attack on an Indian engineer as “racially-motivated hatred”.
“As more facts come to light,” Deputy White House Press Sarah Sanders told reporters that it looks like the Kansas shooting last week was a “racially motivated hatred”.
Sanders reiterated that US President Donald Trump “condemns these” and any other racially motivated attacks in strongest terms.
“They have no place in the country,” Sanders said at the top of her off camera briefing.
Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Madasani, another Indian of the same age, was injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled “terrorist” and “get out of my country” before opening fire on them.
A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians also received injuries in the firing that took place last Wednesday.
Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East.
The Hindu American Foundation also urged Trump to speak on the issue.
“It is our hope President Trump uses the opportunity he has when speaking to the special joint session of Congress later today to address the rising levels of hate violence in our nation,” Jay Kansara of HAF said.
Image: Rishi Shetty, 10, holds a sign as he marches before a vigil for Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian engineer who was shot and killed, at a conference center in Olathe, Kansas, US. Photograph: Dave Kaup/Reuters