Synopses & Reviews
A moving and timely collection of testimonials from people impacted by hate before and after the 2016 presidential election
“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.
“It’s one thing to talk about the sudden rise of hate in Trump’s America. It’s something else to read the stories of those whose lives have been affected by hate, and, in some cases, devastated by it. By chronicling these personal accounts, Arjun Singh Sethi has done something remarkable and necessary. He has given pain and grief a human face.” Reza Aslan, author of Zealot and God: A Human History
“Arjun Singh Sethi takes us to the frontlines of today’s American backlash in this searing collection of powerful narratives about hate. American Hate is both a stark reminder of the devastating effects of hate violence and anti-immigrant policies, and an inspiring and hopeful call to action.” Deepa Iyer, author of We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future
“Arjun Singh Sethi lifts up those who have been victimized by the hate unleashed by Donald Trump. These stories of intimidation and brutality help us understand that each hate crime is an event that devastates individual lives, terrorizes communities, and tears at the social fabric of America. These are warning signs that we ignore at our own peril.” Richard Cohen, executive director of the Southern Poverty Law Center
“Arjun Singh Sethi unravels the many layers of hate in this country. He reveals, through personal narratives, the intense misogyny, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism that so many are experiencing and reminds us that they are deeply connected and fueling harmful policies. But the stories also provide the promise of love, community, and empathy over hate. You will finish this book inspired and ready to resist hate and violence.” Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO, National Women’s Law Center
“In this powerful, searing, and impassioned book, renowned scholar and civil rights attorney Arjun Singh Sethi reveals a side of America most Americans do not know, sharing the voices of those who have been hurt the most in the wake of widespread hatred across the nation, which is now being reflected in the highest levels of government. Sethi also shows us that unless America comes to grips with its ethnic and religious hatreds, more serious crises lie ahead. Thankfully, he lights the way to a more compassionate and united America.” Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Washington, DC, and author of Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity
About the Author
Arjun Singh Sethi is a community activist, civil rights lawyer, writer, and law professor based in Washington, DC. He works closely with Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh communities and advocates for racial justice, equity, and social change at both the local and the national levels. His writing has appeared in CNN Opinion, The Guardian, Politico magazine, USA Today, and the Washington Post, and he is featured regularly on national radio and television. He holds faculty appointments at Georgetown University Law Center and Vanderbilt University Law School, and presently co-chairs the American Bar Association’s National Committee on Homeland Security, Terrorism, and Treatment of Enemy Combatants. He is the editor of American Hate: Survivors Speak Out (The New Press).