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Hoboken elects first Sikh mayor, dismisses racist flyers

Hoboken elects first Sikh mayor, dismisses racist flyers

You may have read a few days ago about a certain Sikh person running for the Mayoral seat in Hoboken, New Jersey, and how some unsavoury characters tried to undermine his bid by spreading racist and hate-mongering flyers to dissuade voters from choosing him.

The school board slate backed by Bhalla and by candidate Jen Giattino, who finished third, was victorious: Sharyn Angley (an incumbent), Melanie Tekirian, and Chetali Khanna.

"Thank you for having faith in me, for having faith in our community, faith in our state, and faith in our country; this is what America is all about", he told his supporters after winning the elections. The word "H (Y) UGE" was borrowed from Bernie Sanders, who ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

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Bhalla and Patel's elections in New Jersey had drawn nationwide attention, in India as well as in diaspora communities across the world, in the wake of racist and hateful stereotypes about them.

"I was born and raised in New Jersey", she said. Their pictures were mock-stamped "Deport". Falguni Patel was elected to the Edison Township School Board.

"I look forward to being your mayor", Bhalla tweeted on Tuesday late night. "Cricket fields! Enough is enough!" "We won't let hate win", Bhalla tweeted after the pamphlets were circulated. Bhalla has been working to have a discussion at the state and national level against bullying in schools, especially the Sikh children who face more discrimination than other ethnicities. The flyer, in a large red font written over Bhalla's picture, said: "Do not let TERRORISM take over our Town!". Balbir Singh Sodhi was the first victim of the backlash then, killed just four days later by a man who wanted to avenge the 9/11 attacks.


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