Books: Non-Fiction

American Hate: Survivors Speak Out

Book – Non-fiction. Edited by Arjun Singh Sethi. 2018. 192 pages.
Testimonials from people impacted by hate before and after the 2016 presidential election.

Time Periods: 21st Century
Themes: Laws & Citizen Rights, Racism & Racial Identity

Why am I in this country now? Should I move elsewhere? Do I want to raise my kids in this country, where hate is so visible and rampant? I’ve been in this fight for decades, but even I struggle. Deep down, though, I know we need to stay the course and continue the fight. —Marwan Kreidie, after a pig’s head was thrown at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society Mosque in Philadelphia.

In American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, Arjun Singh Sethi, a community activist and civil rights lawyer, chronicles the stories of individuals affected by hate. In a series of powerful, unfiltered testimonials, survivors tell their stories in their own words and describe how the bigoted rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have intensified bullying, discrimination, and even violence toward them and their communities.

We hear from the family of Khalid Jabara, who was murdered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in August 2016 by a man who had previously harassed and threatened them because they were Arab American. Sethi brings us the story of Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four who took sanctuary in a Denver church in February 2017 because she feared deportation under Trump’s cruel immigration enforcement regime. Sethi interviews Taylor Dumpson, a young Black woman who was elected student body president at American University only to find nooses hanging across campus on her first day in office. We hear from many more people impacted by the Trump administration, including Native, Black, Arab, Latinx, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, undocumented, refugee, transgender, queer, and people with disabilities.

A necessary book for these times, American Hate explores this tragic moment in U.S. history by empowering survivors whose voices white supremacists and right-wing populist movements have tried to silence. It also provides ideas and practices for resistance that all of us can take to combat hate both now and in the future. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9781620973714 | Published by The New Press.

Video

The Polis Project’s Suchitra Vijayan in conversation with American Hate author, Arjun Singh Sethi.

Related resource: Challenge Islamophobia with Education, lessons from Teaching for Change.