Education

Controversy Erupts Over Indian American Professor’s Facebook Post on Hispanics

Rohit Parikh had posed a question in his Facebook post that if the Hispanics are desirable migrants in the U.S.

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An Indian American professor in Brooklyn College, City University of New York, is facing heat over his Facebook post against Hispanics which he posted around three months ago. The post has outraged Hispanic students.

According to a report in India West, Rohit Parikh, Professor of Computer and Information Science at the college, had posed a question asking if the Hispanics are desirable migrants in the United States. Though he wrote on Jul. 9, the post came to the notice of the students this month sparking outrage.

Latino student organizations at Brooklyn College, who have 22 percent Hispanic students with them, gathered on Oct.23 to protest the insensitive remark made by Parikh. The students also demanded sensitivity training for all faculty in the college, reported Pix11 News.

The news station quoted a student activist Carlos Jesus Calzadilla-Palacio as saying, “This professor posted publicly that he believes that the Latinx community is not a population that America needs…” adding further “That we’re undesirable that we’re dropouts and we say no to that.”

In his Facebook post, he wrote, “Hispanics are GOOD people, gentle and nice and not at all criminal. But are they really the population which America needs for the rest of this century when more and more education is required?”

He compared the relatively higher number of Mexican people (11 million) in the U.S. with a comparatively lower number of Indian-Americans (3 million) and said that Indians are far ahead of Hispanics in terms of education.

“Indian Americans have the highest rate of going to college. It is 70%, two and a half times as high as the general population. By contrast, Hispanics have the highest rate of dropping out of school,” Parikh wrote in his post.

The Indian American professor also wrote that immigration has been good for America but “I hope someone will explain to me why Mexico is getting lion’s share.” He also suggested that illegal immigrants should be deported to their country.

When the station asked Parikh if he is saying that the Hispanic immigrants are not as smart as the Indian immigrants in the United States, he replied, “That’s hard to say.”

He said that may be the words used in the post are strong but terms the post as his right of expression.

“I think that while they have a right to march they should also accept my right to express my opinion,” he said, as per the report.

Earlier this year, Dr. Ravindra Nanda, a retired Indian American professor of Orthodontics at the University of Connecticut, faced multiple allegations of wrongdoing and racial discrimination.

1 Comment

  1. Dr. C. J. Singh

    October 27, 2018 at 3:37 am

    The history of Indian-American immigration to America is very different from the Hispanic immigration. The first Indian immigrants were the Sikhs beginning in the early 1900s. After Asian-exclusion Act of 1924, new immigration from India was minimal until the the 1950s when by persistent efforts of J J Singh and Dalip Singh Saund, limited Indian immigration was allowed. Large-number immigration from India to America began in 1965. This was based on merit, a crucial requirement. Lots of MDs, PhDs, Engineers, and others with advanced degrees were admitted as immigrants. Highly selective group. Not surprising that their children and grandchildren also achieved advance degrees.

    Hispanic immigration has a very different history. First of all, states like Texas, Arizona, California were under the control of Hispanics and Native Tribes in the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century. Dispossessed Hispanics were demoralized uplifted by Caesar Chavez’s leadership in the middle of the twentieth century. In light of all of this, it is UNFAIR to compare the highly selective Indian-American immigrants with Hispanics. Not only the latter come with limited knowledge of English, but also arrive here because of economic necessity.

    Professor Parikh owes an apology to the protesting Hispanic students.

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