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Indian American Candidate Kicked Out From Event in Wisconsin for Alleged Anti-Immigrant, Racist Rhetoric

Indian American Candidate Kicked Out From Event in Wisconsin for Alleged Anti-Immigrant, Racist Rhetoric

  • A Trump loyalist and lone conservative running for Milwaukee County Executive, Purnima Nath has been expressing xenophobia views and supporting conspiracy theories on social media.

Purnima Nath, a candidate for Milwaukee County executive has found herself embroiled in a controversy for her anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric. The Milwaukee Sentinel reported that Nath was kicked out of a Jan. 30 event hosted by the immigrant advocacy group, Voces de la Frontera, after verbally attacking multiracial youth leaders. At the event, held at Milwaukee’s South Division High School, Democratic candidates and elected leaders were making their pitch to the Latino community ahead of the 2020 election. 

Nath is one of four candidates and the lone conservative running for Milwaukee County executive. A primary Feb. 18 will narrow the field to two for the April 7 general election. Last year, the India-born Nath lost in the primary election, Feb. 18, 2020. The 42-year-old entrepreneur oversees IndiaFest in Bay View each summer. 

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in a statement, Voces de la Frontera said Nath “was removed in order to protect the minors and their parents from abusive rhetoric.” The statement said Nath “went into a room where students were creating art, yelling at them and calling them illegal.

A video posted on YouTube shows a woman, which the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel identifies as Andrea Rodriguez, a candidate for District 4 Milwaukee County Board supervisor, telling Nath that she insulted everyone in the room by calling them illegal. “You called us illegal, it is not OK — ever,” the woman, who isn’t visible on the video, says. Nath, who tells the woman that she is an immigrant herself, and supports immigration and follows the law. She insists that breaking the law is “illegal.” 

Nath however denied the accusation. She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the students came over to her and told her she shouldn’t be there and shouldn’t run for office. She said she felt threatened.

In a Feb. 4 Facebook post, Nath says “the students came out of their way to create a scene…to another table, abandoning their own lunch, to feed people with narratives (in Spanish) to not talk to me.” 

She continued: “I stand for Legal immigration (come the right way). One must respect the country he/she chose to go to (and chose to be part of). Follow the law of the country (every country has their law…you like it or not is your choice). Don’t skip the line…there are many who followed/follow the process & law. The United States is a land of law. If you don’t like the process, there are right & legal ways policies can be changed (work with the law makers). Don’t vilify the country you chose to walk into for a better life.”

A poster she posted on her Facebook page on Feb. 1, says: “You may disagree with me, but I did not give you permission to disrespect me! We can disagree without being disrespectful.”

A look into Nath’s website and her tweets shows her support and endorsement for former President Trump. In a Feb. 18, 2019 tweet, she wrote: Happy Presidents Day to you @realDonaldTrump. All these Presidents before you were just talking parrots. You are actually doing work, liberals aka progressives aka Democrats are in panic.”

On her website, Nath identifies herself as “an American Hindu, an engineer turned author, entrepreneur, activist, public servant and solution-focused problem solver.” Adding that she is “passionate about community, public service, social causes and dedicated my life to bringing visibility to the issues that matter and strengthening our community,” she says: “We are connected by shared and common values of a safer community, equal opportunity of equals, education and improved lives.” She continues: “I am working tirelessly to make our community a better place by building US-India relationship, promoting collaboration of the oldest and largest democracy of this world, promoting diversity, culture and education. I am committed to building a safer nation, and promoting concept of tolerance and acceptance inspired by the oldest civilization of this world (Hindu Sanatana Dharma).

On her website, Nath also pitches for #iExit — A grassroots movement to help Indian EXIT liberal leftism to embrace conservative values &  principles.”President Donald J. Trump is the first President of the United States that stood with India and has not attacked Hindus thus far,” her website says. “As a nationalist, President Trump respects and loves America, wants America’s growth and safety. Our Hindu values align with his values; and we stand FIRMLY with President Trump. We have launched the #HindusAndTrump campaign for reelecting President Trump.” 

Nath has an MBA from Northwestern University. In a 2019 interview with the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, she said she came to Milwaukee in 2000 “as part of a job transfer,” and became an American citizen about seven years later. “Purnima is an American, with an extremely humble background,” she says on her website. “She believes it is her duty to serve the community and has dedicated her life to do so.”

According to her website, Nath is the founder of Spindle India, Inc & Trayix Strategy & Management consulting. However, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Spindle is currently delinquent in its corporate filings with the state. “Nath has not yet provided federal tax records detailing the nonprofit’s finances since it was founded in 2013,” the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal reported. 

Nath’s Twitter history reveals her belief in several conspiracy theories; a desi version of Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green of Georgia. Her twitter handle  — Purnima Nath #MAGA #HindusAndTrump #iExitLeft @Purnima Nath has a photo of Trump as her display picture. In her tweets, she has called climate change “nonsense,” the media “corrupt” and also supported the idea that the United Nations has been invaded. “I predicted the UN was corrupt and it seems to have come true,” she tweeted on July 19, 2019.

She spewed anti-Muslim rhetoric as well. Some of her tweets are now deleted. The ones that remain include a Sept. 12, 2019 tweet: “America, next time someone pulls a minority card, or a victim card of representation or cries of oppression, be objective.” Or another one, tweeted on the same day, which says: “India is a tens and thousands of years old land of Hindus. Yet, a 1400 year old religion is constantly pointing fingers on the Hindu traditions, beliefs, customs and rituals I ask, will there ever be (some) understanding between Muslims & Hindus? EVER?????…

In an Oct. 6, 2019 tweet, she predicted that “a very VERY bad thing will happen. It will be disastrous … devilish … and destructive.” She continued, “Through that storm, I hope poisonous people, divisive propaganda, deceitful plots and treacherous CONSPIRACIES are EXPOSED. I wish, it unifies all [once and for all].”

Six months earlier, Nath had predicted that World War III was on its way. In an April 21, 2019 tweet she wrote: “Churches will be burnt, vandalized & destroyed. Christians will be afraid to say they are christians. Christians will be secretly praying at home. The Pope will resign. Jews & whites will be attacked. WW III is coming … a war of race, religion, color, gender!”

In other tweets, she has criticized Vivek Murthy, President Biden’s nominee for U.S. surgeon general. “Commie Indians went gaga over the #antiHindu #antiIndia #antiAmerica picks by Biden. Did you know, he is married to a Chinese, Alice Chen?”

In a Feb. 8 tweet, she targeted journalist and Washington Post columnist Rana Ayub. “The land of Hindus, India  has suffered way too long. Muslim agitators like @RanaAyyub feel insecure in India” These #agitators must be thrown out of India.”

She has previously praised righting filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza. On April 30, 2019, she posted a video with D’Souza and wrote: “That’s me with @DineshDSouza in the video.My concerns on freedom of speech & social media platform”s role in it. Today this happened with @RaheemKassam …! It is not going to stop. We need another platform.”

In an interview with the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal in 2019, Nath said she wrote the tweets “because she was worried about the direction of society.” She told the paper that “if we don’t change, this is going to happen,” and added: “It has created an urgency in me that I have to be part of the change.” Denying that she’s anti-Muslim, she told the paper that she is “concerned” that “some Muslim immigrants aren’t grateful enough for the benefits they receive when they arrive in America. As for the things they don’t like, she said, they should try to change them.” 

Bhargavi Kulkarni has been a journalist for nearly two decades. She has a degree in English literature and French. She is also an adventure sport enthusiast, and in her free time, she likes to cook, bake, bike and hike.

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