The United States of America is usually acknowledged as a land of diversity, a champion of non-racial discrimination, a leader of the free democratic world, a nurturer of individual freedoms, a defender of human rights on the domestic and global stage, and a beacon of economic growth for over three million Hindu Americans, who account for 1% of the country’s population.
Just a few days ago, Abby Johnson, an outspoken orthodox ultra-conservative white supremacist activist, recently declared her extreme objection to presidential nominee Vivek Ramaswamy’s growing prominence. She attacked his captivating personality and claimed that his Hindu beliefs prevented him from becoming the proper candidate. Furthermore, she drew a contentious connection, comparing Hinduism, with its belief in numerous deities, to the idea of Satan being the root of confusion. She cautioned Americans to be wary of Vivek’s charismatic charm, which she compared to that of former President Barack Obama. She vehemently urged her fellow Americans to strongly consider rejecting Vivek’s candidacy because of his belief in idol worship, which she saw as elevating idols over Christian Gods.
Vivek Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old biotech entrepreneur, has lately entered the political arena with a platform that includes being anti-“woke,” anti-abortion, and against environmental-social-governance projects. His ascent to fame originates from his outspoken advocacy on topics critical to the United States’ well-being. Ramaswamy is committed to minimizing America’s reliance on China and stresses the necessity of encouraging domestic growth. He seeks to court the evangelical side of the Republican Party as a staunch backer of Donald Trump and an outspoken critic of Joe Biden. Notably, he promotes his strong Hindu value system, positioning himself as a diverse candidate to represent America.
Abby Johnson’s recent outburst has vividly revealed the deep-seated biases that pervade American society, such as racism, sexism, and different forms of discrimination. This episode has also shed light on the frightening Hinduphobic speech echoed by many Trump televangelists, raising concerns about the American Constitution’s promise of equality and freedom from religious discrimination in the presidential setting. While progress has been made, this episode emphasizes that obstacles remain, demonstrating persistent gaps in education, employment, housing, and the criminal justice system. Interestingly, despite the Hinduphobic remarks made by an orthodox, racist white supremacist, Vivek continues to acquire tremendous confidence and support in his presidential campaign, indicating nuances in the American electorate’s response.