Barack Obama acknowledges rising hate crimes against Hindu, Sikh in American society

Barack ObamaFirst lady Michelle Obama listens as President Barack Obama speaks during an event in the East Room of the the White House in Washington. (AP)

US President Barack Obama has acknowledged that over the last decade, a number of people from the South Asian origin – particularly those from Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities – have been subject to hate crimes in the country.

"In the last decade, South Asian Americans – particularly those who are Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh – have too often faced senseless violence and suspicion due only to the colour of their skin or the tenets of their faith," Obama said in a proclamation to declare May as the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The President further noted that with irrepressible determination and optimism, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have prevailed over adversity and risen to the top of their fields – from medicine to business to the bench.

The US is recognising this year as the 25th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act's repeal.

"But even now, too many hardworking AAPI families face disparities in health care, education, and employment that keep them from getting ahead," he said, adding his Administration remains committed to addressing those disparities.

"Through the White House Initiative on AAPIs, we are working to ensure equal access to Federal programs that meet the diverse needs of AAPI communities. We are standing up for civil rights, economic opportunity, and better outcomes in health and education," he said.

Acknowledging that meeting the challenge being faced by the AAPI community in the US will not be easy, Obama said the history of the AAPI community shows how with hope and resolve, it can overcome the problems being faced.

"We can reaffirm our legacy as a Nation where all things are possible for all people. So this month, as we recognise Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are fulfilling that promise in every corner of our country, let us recommit to giving our children and grandchildren the same opportunity in the years ahead," Obama said.

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