An Indian-origin Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Chicago company has been racially abused in the United States following his column on CNBC's website last week criticising President Donald Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A female caller said she's leaving a message for Ravin Gandhi, whose anti-Trump op-ed she recently read online, reports the Washington Post.
Gandhi said he received the woman's voice mail last Thursday, a day after his op-ed was published. Within a span of 15 seconds, the unidentified caller went from calm to derisive to vitriolic.
"Get your f------ garbage and go back to India and sell it over there... Don't tell us about Donald Trump. Don't tell us about this country... Go back to where the pigs live in India, and go clean your own G------ country. It's a filthy mess," the caller said.
The 44-year-old founder and CEO of GMM Nonstick Coatings, a global supplier of coatings for cookware and bakeware, wrote an op-ed for CNBC following Trump's Charlottesville remarks, but was quickly trolled and racially abused by readers, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Gandhi was born in the United States and grew up in a Chicago suburb.
During a client meeting, a GMM sales representative forwarded Gandhi a voicemail he received inviting Gandhi to "get your (expletive) garbage and go back to India."
"You can stick your stickies up your sticky Indian (expletive) and you can take that other half-(expletive) Bangladesh creep with you, Nikki Haley. She's the one that started all this when she took down the Confederate flag. So don't tell us that you gave him a chance. We don't give an (expletive) who you gave a chance, OK? We're going to start taking down Buddhist statues and see how you and Nikki Haley like that," the caller said.
Gandhi said it was shocking of him at first but later he found it comical.
"It makes me feel fired up. I do not feel insulted. I feel the desire to educate the ignorant and show them that I am as American as one can conceivably be. This is a country of immigrants, and I am the son of immigrants," he said.
Gandhi said his parents moved from Mumbai to Illinois in 1969. He grew up in Waukegan, Ill., which he described as a blue-collar and diverse neighbourhood about an hour's drive from Chicago.
He describes himself as politically independent, having voted for both Republican and Democratic candidates for president: George H.W. Bush in 1992, Bill Clinton in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000, John F. Kerry in 2004, and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
He started writing op-eds for CNBC during the presidential campaign and openly criticised Trump while supporting Hillary Clinton.
"One of the reasons I was so passionate last year against Mr Trump is because I saw during the campaign when he talked about banning Muslims. I was unbelievably offended by it," he said. "There's a tremendous dog-whistle aspect to his Make America Great Again message," he said.