The Dotbusters Were Not “A Joke”

New Jersey officials downplayed the group’s deadly attacks against Indian Americans. Over 36 years later, little has changed.

Untitled_Artwork Dotbusters
Navroze Mody (Kelsea Peterson for The Juggernaut)

Isha Banerjee


May 23, 2024


9 min

Navroze Mody, a 30-year-old Citicorp bank manager, had recently bought a house in Jersey City and invited his parents to move in with him. He was feeling good about where his life was heading. On the evening of September 27, 1987, he left Hoboken’s Gold Coast Café with a friend, William J. Crawford, when teenagers started yelling racial slurs at him. When Crawford tried to intervene, the teenagers pushed him to a fence. What started as taunting and “accidental” bumping turned into a brutal beating. In 90 seconds, Mody was on the ground. His injuries were so severe that he ended up in a coma. He died four days later. 

Only months before, in July, New Jersey residents settled into their homes to find an unusual manifesto by the “Dotbusters” in their local paper, The Jersey Journal. “We will go to any extreme to get Indians to move out of Jersey City. If I’m walking down the street and I see a Hindu and the setting is right, I will hit him or her,” they wrote in 1987. “They are a weak race physically and mentally…We will never be stopped.” 

The Dotbusters stood by their word. The spike in hate crimes in the ’80s and ’90s not only killed Mody but led to multiple assaults, and murders. But this wasn’t the first time the community confronted such hate and violence, nor would it be the last.

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