Take action now and email the SCC Human Rights Commission to express your views on this very complex and sensitive issue.
Hindu Americans strongly condemn all forms of discrimination, including caste-based discrimination, and firmly believe that there is no place for prejudice and mistreatment of anyone in America’s diverse and pluralistic society.
For anyone facing caste discrimination, federal and California state law already protects individuals under the existing categories of national origin, ancestry, and ethnicity, all of which have been interpreted as inclusive of ancestry (lineage), birthplace, culture, ethnicity, or language — the various factors that might be associated with caste.
The addition of 'caste' as a specific protected category, however, would single out and wrongly target only one community based on its members' race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, and religion thereby violating their rights to equal protection and due process under both the US Constitution and California law. It would label all people of Indian descent as members of a suspect class as a matter of policy.
It will leave children of Indian descent or origin vulnerable to bullying in schools and all people of Indian descent or origin vulnerable to discrimination in hiring, firing, and growth or subject to hostile work environments by the County or companies based in Santa Clara County.
The solution to discrimination should not lead to more discrimination, and the erroneous adition of such a category would do just that.
“How Americans Feel About Religious Groups,” July 16, 2014, Pew Research Forum. Available online: https://www.pewforum.org/2014/07/16/how-americans-feel-about-religious-groups/.