New York: Ravi Bhalla, the Indian-American Sikh, who is running for Mayor in New Jersey's Hokoben has said that the city will "not let hate win".
"A flyer with the word terrorist and my picture was circulated in Hoboken. Of course, this is troubling, but we won't let hate win," tweeted Bhalla.
Flyers targetting Bhalla, the first Sikh to hold elected office in New Jersey, were placed on car windshields in Hoboken. They carried a photo of the councilman, labelled him a terrorist and carried a message in red letters saying, "Don't let terrorism take over our Town!"
“I want people to know that Hoboken is a welcoming community where my wife and I are proud to raise our children. No matter your race or ethnicity, you are welcome here in our city. I want to use the incident to affirm the value of living in a diverse community where we are judged by the content of character, not by the colour of skin or how we worship. At a time when our President is seeking to divide us, it is critical we come together as a community and stand up for American values,” tweeted Bhalla.
The leaflets appeared to be a modified version of mailers sent out by another Hoboken mayoral candidate, Mike DeFusco. The original flyers accused Bhalla of having a potential conflict of interest.
Later, DeFusco condemned the altered flyers in a statement. "Today I spoke out not only against the racist, disgusting flyers targeting Ravi Bhalla that appeared last night and was made to look like it came from my campaign, but also against the rest of the hate that has been shamefully displayed throughout this race," DeFusco said.
DeFusco said he has also been the victim of hateful rhetoric accusing him of being a part of a "crime family" and attacking his sexuality.