South Asians in America have reacted with a sense of outrage at a US Defence Department online security training test that profiles a fictional Indian-American woman as a potential “high threat” and having “divided loyalty” just because she disagrees with US foreign policy.
One of the training slides created by the Defence Information Systems Agency (DISA) asks employees to consider a hypothetical “Hema” a “high threat” because she frequently visits family abroad, has money troubles and “speaks openly of unhappiness with US foreign policy.
Reacting to the offending programme after it was first reported by Huffington Post, editors from a South Asian news and culture website wrote “As you can imagine, reading that line caused all of us here in The Aerogram’s headquarters to have a ‘Hey! That sounds like me!’ moment.”
Noting that the Post article suggested that the training was designed to help catch future Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens, who are both white men, they wrote: “We think the training would have been much more true-to-life if Hema had been the child of a Welsh immigrant a la Manning.”