Rag Radio: Racial Justice Activist Deepa Iyer on Islamaphobia & Post-9/11 State-Sanctioned Repression of Minorities

Her new book, 'We Too Sing America,' shines a light on unexplored consequences of modern-day terrorism.

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Deepa Iyer, a native of India who moved to Kentucky with her family at age 12, is a leading racial justice activist whose new book, We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape our Multiracial Future, reframes the discussion of race in this country.

Her book provides ideas from the front lines of post-9/11 America and shines a light on an unexplored consequence of modern-day terrorism: the ongoing, state-sanctioned persecution of a range of American minorities.

In We Too Sing America – and in her Rag Radio discussion with Thorne Dreyer, Iyer explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance. She looks at topics including Islamophobia in the Bible Belt; the “Bermuda Triangle” of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim hysteria; and the energy of new reform movements, including those of “undocumented and unafraid” youth and Black Lives Matter.

Deepa Iyer is Senior Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion. She served for a decade as the executive director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), focusing on community building in post-9/11 America. She teaches in the Asian American studies program at the University of Maryland.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]

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