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Seattle City Council to Vote on Banning Caste-Based Discrimination: A Historic Moment for Justice in America

On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council will vote on an ordinance proposed by Council Member Kshama Sawant to ban caste-based discrimination in Seattle. This measure has the potential to set a powerful precedent for outlawing caste discrimination nationally and internationally.

The proposed ordinance would expand the city’s existing anti-discrimination policy to protect those targeted because of their caste.[0] This move has been championed by South Asian American groups such as AANA (Ambedkar Association of North America), AIC (Ambedkar International Center), Ambedkar King Study Circle, and Equality Labs, who are working to build public support for the successful passing of this legislation.[1]

However, there has been some resistance to the ordinance. In particular, there has been concern that the legislation could potentially violate the Civil Rights Act, and some have suggested changing “Caste” to “Class” to make the policy applicable to the entire population.[2]

The passing of this ordinance would be a significant step towards ending caste-based discrimination in the United States. Casteism is a hierarchical system that involves discrimination and perpetuates oppression, and is present in all the religions of South Asia and among people of many religions.[3] It affects many areas of life, such as immigration, labor, housing, domestic violence, education, personal relationships, and national politics.

Many caste-oppressed South Asians have come forward at great personal risk to demand justice and protection for their community.[1] This is an important historical moment for justice in America, and it is time for residents of Seattle to voice their support by writing or calling the City Council to pass the anti-caste discrimination ordinance.

It is essential that the City of Seattle pass legislation to make caste discrimination illegal. This would show that American society can see caste, and that it will stand for justice and equality for its victims. It would also be a small but significant step in the fight against caste-based discrimination in the United States.

0. “Seattle council to vote on law banning caste discrimination” Al Jazeera English, 17 Feb. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/17/seattle-council-to-vote-on-law-banning-caste-discrimination

1. “OPINION | Confessions of an American Caste Traitor” South Seattle Emerald, 18 Feb. 2023, https://southseattleemerald.com/2023/02/18/opinion-confessions-of-an-american-caste-traitor/

2. “Caste Ordinance: Caste Clouds Seattle Skies” PGurus, 16 Feb. 2023, https://www.pgurus.com/caste-clouds-seattle-skies/

3. “Untouchable! Say NO To Caste Discrimination In Seattle” India Currents, 21 Feb. 2023, https://indiacurrents.com/untouchable-say-no-to-caste-discrimination-in-seattle/