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I am as American as anyone else: Indian-origin CEO who was called ‘pig’ by Trump supporter

An Indian-origin CEO in the US, Ravin Gandhi, has responded to a racist voicemail that asked him to go back to India by saying that his last name doesn’t make him any less of an American.

world Updated: Aug 25, 2017 07:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Ravin Gandhi,Racism,United states of America
“I was born in this country, I was raised in this country and I’ve built a business in this country(Ravin Gandhi YouTube channel screengrab)

An Indian-origin CEO in the US has said the woman, who racially abused him and asked him to ‘Go back to India’ for writing an anti-Donald Trump article, is “no way” a representative of all the supporters of the US president and counts many conservative Republicans as friends and “very good people”.

Ravin Gandhi, chief executive of GMM Nonstick Coatings, was subjected to a hate-filled voicemail by the woman after he wrote an article saying he will not defend Trump’s economic agenda after the violence in Charlottesville where white supremacists clashed with counter-demonstrators earlier this month.

“You’re a f****** Indian pig ... Get your f****** garbage and go back to India, and sell it there,” the woman said in the voicemail.

In an interview to MSNBC, the 44-year-old said he said he has received unequivocal support from the American community, barring the “quotes at the bottom of some of the online articles from nutjobs like that lady.” He said he was so stunned when he heard the voicemail, he thought it would be a good American moment to put it out there.

“I was born in this country, I was raised in this country and I’ve built a business in this country, I’ve paid millions of dollars of taxes in this country, I’m raising my two kids in this country, I love this country and I am just as American as anyone else. That’s something not even up for debate,” he said.

Gandhi said he gets infuriated when someone thinks he is not an American based on how he looks and his last name.

He added he wanted to call out this incident to show that someone who is leading “a fantastic life, is the CEO of a company and whose race is not an issue at all in day-to-day life.” Gandhi says, “there are a lot of people in this country, ‘insidious scumbags’ who are filled with hate and I wanted to throw light on the fact that I could also be a victim of racism.”

He also called on moderate Republicans to speak out if they think they made a wrong choice by voting for Trump “because this president when he sees that people believe something, I think he’ll respond to it and I want him to get the Republicans and Democrats in a room and actually be bi-partisan.”

“We can change stuff in this country if we speak out and I will believe that till the day I die,” Gandhi said.

“After Charlottesville and its aftermath, I will not defend Trump even if the Dow hits 50,000, unemployment goes to 1%, and GDP grows by 7%. Some issues transcend economics, and I will not in good conscience support a president who seems to hate Americans who don’t look like him,” Gandhi wrote for CNBC.

The woman on the voicemail also called the Indian American US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, a “Bangladesh creep” and said they will start taking down Buddhist statues. Gandhi is not a Buddhist and grew up in Illinois’ Waukegan, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Gandhi has garnered a lot of support on social media:

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 13:32 IST