The Hindu American Foundation applauds Google and its employees’ decision to foster a work culture where every individual is treated and expected to treat others equally and fairly regardless of who they are or where they come from. The Washington Post reported this week on Google’s decision to not host a presentation by an entity called Equality Labs: Google’s plan to talk about caste bias led to ‘division and rancor’.
Equality Labs has manipulated and falsified data to advance its divisive agenda and takes advantage of well-meaning administrators and their lack of familiarity with India and Hinduism. We also recognize its monomaniacal focus on falsely portraying all Hindus as inherently bigoted as the most abhorrent form of anti-Hindu hate.
The only comprehensive and scientific survey on Indian Americans by the Carnegie Endowment has found that caste discrimination in the United States is exceedingly rare. While it is true that U.S. employment law and California state law do not explicitly prohibit caste-based discrimination, caste can be a protected under existing, facially neutral categories. If and when an individual believes they’ve been discriminated against on the basis of their caste, their allegations must be thoroughly investigated and, if wrongdoing did occur, remedied under existing non-discrimination law.
The policy recommendations and programs Equality Labs promotes in Big Tech and on college campuses under the guise of justice are dangerous to the civil rights of millions of people of Indian and South Asian origin, including those identifying as Dalit.
In listening to and acting on the concerns of its employees, and presumably investigating further into Equality Labs, Google leadership has exhibited a moral courage that we hope other companies will emulate.
Corporations, state agencies, and other entities, should take note.
California State University (CSU) and the California Faculty Association should have exercised the same due diligence as Google, but instead instituted caste policies singling out and targeting faculty of South Asian origin despite a petition signed by close to 90 CSU faculty members of all races, ethnicities and religions raising concerns about denying equal protection. Similar to Google, a contentious comment period followed in which many detailed how the new policy, affecting South Asians alone, was dividing and targeting a minority community. CSU is likely facing a civil rights lawsuit as a result.