Tracking Hate Crimes, Tracking the FBI’s Crimes

Over the last month since the horrific tragedy in Oak Creek, WI, Sikh civil rights organizations and other leaders in the community seem to have come to a consensus on what our collective demand should be to move forward — getting the FBI to track hate crimes against Sikhs. A few weeks ago Valarie Kaur wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post entitled, “Sikhs deserve the dignity of being a statistic,” in which she convincingly articulates the basic argument that many are making:

The FBI tracks all hate crimes on Form 1-699, the Hate Crime Incident Report. Statistics collected on this form allow law enforcement officials to analyze trends in hate crimes and allocate resources appropriately. But under the FBIs current tracking system, there is no category for anti-Sikh hate crimes. The religious identity of the eight people shot in Oak Creek will not appear as a statistic in the FBIs data collection. As a Sikh American who hears the rising fear and concerns in my community, I join the Sikh Coalition and Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) in calling for the FBI to change its policy and track hate crimes against Sikhs.

We’ve all probably gotten numerous action alerts to sign petitions, call our Senators, and, most recently, to attend tomorrow’s Senate hearing on hate violence in Washington, DC. The Sikh Coalition’s email advisory today about tomorrow’s hearing begins, “Be Present and Request that the FBI Track Hate Crimes Against Sikhs.”

It seems like a sensible request. The FBI is a government agency responsible for investigating hate crimes, so of course they should be looking specifically at attacks targeting Sikhs and have a category to enable them to do so. While I am sympathetic to this cause, I am a bit troubled by it, or have some questions about it, as well.

While I am not necessarily against the idea of a Sikh box for the FBI to check in the case of a hate attack against a Sikh, I am very skeptical of the FBI being an agency capable of working in the best interests of our community. To put it directly, I don’t trust them. And I’m not sure there is any reason for our community at large to trust them. Isn’t trust a prerequisite to inviting someone with a whole lot of power and resources into your homes, your schools, your houses of worship?

So, why don’t I trust the FBI (and perhaps why shouldn’t you trust them either)? In a word: COINTELPRO. COINTELPRO was the FBI’s secret (and illegal) program to spy on, intimidate, infiltrate, and ultimately, undermine groups and individuals working for racial, social, and economic justice in the 1960s and 1970s — by any means necessary, including planting false documents, wrongful imprisonment, and even assassination. Groups and individuals targeted include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., NAACP, American Indian Movement, Students for a Democratic Society, and of course, the Black Panthers (to name a few). This one minute video encapsulates it well:

Whether you are familiar with this ugly history of the FBI or not, you might be thinking — well things are different now. The FBI is not led by a repressive, perhaps fascist, ideologue like J. Edgar Hoover any more. This is 2012, and Barack Obama is our president!

However, the FBI’s track record in the domestic War on Terror illuminates the sobering reality that things perhaps aren’t so different today than in the days of COINTELPRO. The target, in this case, has by and large been Muslims. The FBI has extensively spied on Muslims in their mosques and community centers in the last several years, sometimes even in the name of “community outreach.” In one documented case, the FBI even got a Sikh man to do their dirty work in a mosque in Iowa, as Jodha previously wrote about.

Perhaps their most controversial tactic is entrapment – when they send in an informant (who is basically bribed by the FBI) to create anti-American fervor amongst their targets and convince someone to get involved in a fake terror plot. A recent episode of This American Life tells the story of an informant — posing as a Muslim convert — who showed up at a mosque in Orange County, CA, just after the FBI publicly visited the mosque to assure Muslims community members that they weren’t being spied on and to encourage a cooperative relationship. I highly recommend checking out the podcast to get a very real sense of the FBI’s tactics in the present day.

The FBI has even been caught in entrapment schemes targeting the Occupy movement. A recent article in Rolling Stone describes a case from Cleveland, OH involving Occupy activist preparing for May Day actions:

The guy who convinced the plotters to blow up a big bridge, led them to the arms merchant, and drove the team to the bomb site was an FBI informant. The merchant was an FBI agent. The bomb, of course, was a dud. And the arrest was part of a pattern of entrapment by federal law enforcement since September 11, 2001, not of terrorist suspects, but of young men federal agents have had to talk into embracing violence in the first place.

If this is not enough to be skeptical of the FBI, consider their role in the secret detentions of Muslims in the United States post-9/11.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the FBI conducted indiscriminate roundups of mostly Muslim men in the United States. About 1,200 people were arrested. According to the Migration Policy Institute , the government refused to release their names or their place of detention and the detainees were barred from contacting their lawyers. Furthermore, the institute states, many detainees taken into custody in connection with investigations subsequent to the attacks were arrested without warrant, held without charge for long periods, detained despite an immigration judge’s decision to release them on bond, and detained even after a final determination of their cases. Many of the people arrested after 9/11 were deported back to their countries of origin.

There is a bitter irony to all of this when we reflect upon the root causes of such white supremacist atrocities like that of August 5th in Oak Creek. We turn to our government for support, we turn to the FBI for support, when their very policies have helped make the vilification of Muslims the status quo in post-9/11 America. This vilification, which has so often been the cause of much of the hatred and violence we Sikhs have experienced in the last 11 years. I’m not saying Wade Page walked into that gurdwara because of the FBI, but I’m saying we have to look at the bigger picture when trying to understand white supremacist violence. We are quick to assume agencies like the FBI are on our side, but when we look at their policies of spying, entrapment, and detention — not only targeting Muslims but also social justice activists — does it seem like they’re on our side? Do they seem worthy of our trust, of our cooperation?

It may not seem like Sikhs are the target of these policies of repression now, but who’s to say we won’t be in the future? (And does it even matter if we are the target if other communities are being targeted, given our commitment to sarbat da bhala?) Government spying and repression is nothing new for Sikhs — indeed, I seldom meet a Sikh activist who would ever trust the Indian government. So again I ask, why are we so quick to trust the US government, and even more specifically, the FBI? Whether we get our Sikh check box or not, whether we get to be a legitimate FBI statistic or not, I hope we can begin to ponder these questions as a community.


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62 Responses to “Tracking Hate Crimes, Tracking the FBI’s Crimes”

  1. Gurpreet Singh says:

    totally agree, all these orgs needs to do more research before involving elected members. These orgs are doing great work but at the same time they are always out there to grab limelight and work with 'we did it first' attitude which defeats the basic Sikh principle of selfless sewa

    • jodha says:

      "at the same time they are always out there to grab limelight and work with 'we did it first' attitude which defeats the basic Sikh principle of selfless sewa"

      @Gurpreet Singh – unfortunately may be a structural problem – there is a slim slice of donors to which they all complete and some must feel that "we did it first" will get them a bigger part of that pie.

  2. Bostonvala says:

    Need to work with the system and then work to change it. At a high level brooklynwala makes sense. But when we engage with filth, but remain detached like the lotus flower, there is a potential to cleanse the filth and reveal the beautiful and clean. Running away from an opportunity to do so is shirking from our responsibility. Another perspective is, and I'm a big believer in that because of my engineering and business experience – you can't improve something that you can't measure, and you can't measure something you don't track. So its plain an simple – government needs to track hate crimes in all categories to figure out where to allocate resources to improve the situation. Finally, this is America – the wheel that squeaks the most gets the oil. Sikh haven't used our prowess at asserting ourselves here in the US. Now is the time!

    • brooklynwala says:

      I agree on the importance of statistics, no doubt. But do you think, for example, that the Muslim community in the US has really benefited from cooperating with the FBI? Has it made them any more safe? Or has it made them even more vulnerable? I know they sound like leading questions, but they are real questions.

      • Bostonvala says:

        Questions that can be discussed in due course. But not at the expense of derailing the importance of these hearings beginning tomorrow. My view of these hearings is that we, the Sikhs, are demanding that the FBI cooperate with us – its not the other way around. We want them to track our hate crimes, and our organizations will advise them how to make it better when we have access to these statistics. And yes, in doing so, we also expect that there should be a curb in hate crimes in general for the "sarbat" community.

        Question authority, question them at every step. But recognize when progress is underway too.

        • jodha says:

          @Bostonvala – can you cite any other civil society group that 'controls' the FBI in the way that you are suggesting?

          • nuanceishard says:

            To the extent that President Obama and Eric Holder have some or any authority with the FBI then yes I would have to say African Americans have a quantum level more representation of interests within the national mainstream than previously.

          • nuanceishard says:

            And also, Sikhs have always held themselves to a standard of being confident in justice and the right to be a part of governments and solutions. It is the audacity of our hope and that we why have flocked to anglo countries where rule of law is held to a higher but imperfect standard than almost anywhere else. USA, land I love with all its flaws.

          • brooklynwala says:

            did you really just say that the rule of law is held to a higher standard in so-called "Anglo countries"?? Are white people inherently more lawful? I'm confused.

          • nuanceishard says:

            I am not really invested in your manichean view of race.

            Anglo countries as currently constructed value rule of law to an extent that is higher though imperfect than almost anywhere else.

            You have deconstructed this into a statement of race, not me.
            I am not in the habit of breaking down entire nations into either my team or not-my-team.

          • nuanceishard says:

            Anglo as short-hand for the UK, United States, Australia, and Canada.

            Most of the Anglos were never Angles by the way. It's a short-hand. Naunce is hard.

          • nuanceishard says:

            n.b. for reference – Le Wikipedia entry for Anglosphere – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglosphere

          • brooklynwala says:

            I made this about race? Anglo is most definitely racial terminology. Perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but you list a number of countries that were founded through European colonization — settler states — and the king European colonizer itself. Can't help but see some racialized thinking behind your statement.

            Regardless, I don't quite understand where your criteria of the degree of value a particular nation-state puts on the rule of law. Doesn't seem like a terribly nuanced argument to me. When we talk about "rule of law," whose laws are we talking about? Who made them? In whose interest do these said laws serve?

            Anyway, I think we're pretty off topic now. But a more thorough discussion and analysis of why Sikhs and others from the global south migrate to the global north (which I think is what you mean with Anglo nations?) is certainly needed.

          • Bostonvala says:

            of course I cannot cite. But I can venture to guess that ADL and other jewish groups have considerable influence. You know very well that no one "controls" the government other than "the man". :-)

          • jodha says:

            @bostonvala – haha, touche about "the man" but ADL geopolitical interests align with that of the bipartisan US foreign agenda. That of the Sikhs DO NOT!

        • brooklynwala says:

          In terms of advising them how to make it better, that's really where my skepticism/reluctance comes in. I'm less concerned with a box being added to check Sikh (as I mentioned, I'm not against this), and more concerned with the implications of Sikh community cooperation with the FBI. I don't think they're capable of making much better to be honest. And in a different political moment, they very likely could be spying on our gurdwaras, just as they do mosques now. Also, I'm not sure how anyone is derailing the hearings tomorrow.

          This reminds me a whole lot of the debate about the Sikh right to serve in the Army campaign (http://thelangarhall.com/politics/fighting-for-our-right-to-oppress/). Our organizations — whose work I deeply appreciate — often seem to focus on pragmatic civil rights concerns without any considering of broader human rights implications.

  3. brooklynwala says:

    a friend just brought this news to my attention– an 18-year-old just arrested in Chicago in another case of FBI entrapment: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/us/man-is-accus

  4. I think it is right to ask such questions, but I'm finding this post a little bit problematic. My sense is that we are conflating two issues related to the FBI and in doing so are "throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

    The reporting of hate crimes statistics is a separate issue from clandestine or questionable FBI tactics. The data is already being collected and what is being asked is that it be collected more precisely. I don't consider the data aspect as harmful to Sikhs or other minorities, and quite the opposite, it provides leverage for action. And, while the Oak Creek shootings brought this conversation to a greater audience, the issue of reporting categories has existed well before it was recently taken up in a higher profile way after Oak Creek. Looking more broadly, hate crimes reporting is but one aspect to the hate crimes issue that needs to be addressed.

    And, in a certain way, it is a small step towards the greater point of this post: holding the FBI accountable for their actions.

  5. jodha says:

    @AmericanTurban – so one can assume that hate crime statistics are collected for Muslim and Arab groups. What have they received from this information? What is the end goal for those taking part in this call?

    I think the real problematic conflations is that of 'dignity' and 'statistics'. I have always thought those two words were as far as can be from one another.

    • I can't speak directly to the Muslim and Arab statistics since I've never tracked them myself. There are also other issues with the FBI Hate Crimes database (submission by law enforcement is voluntary and is dependent upon what is considered a hate crime), however I don't think it's a far stretch to say that having precise as possible numbers available to cite can only help in advocacy efforts.

      Personally, I agree that the 'dignity' and 'statistics' talking point was not expressed appropriately in recent PR efforts. I think the point was that we are not even counting those who have been lost. Let's at least count them so we can address the causes, and not let the victims pass unrecognized.

      • jodha says:

        Ok so let's say it is for advocacy efforts – the Sikh orgs do collect the information of those individuals that do report and come to them. What changes will occur if the FBI has it's own numbers too? We see how hesitant law organizations are to state that an event is a 'hate crime.' Will a separate tick box now make it easier? Will the FBI come protect our Gurdwaras? Would we even want them too? This is why Brooklynwala's questions are so poignant!

        In some way I wonder if we are opening our own Pandora's box. It is not a secret that the number of Sikhs in the US that all the Sikh orgs cite are complete fabrications. Nobody has a clue. The same was true in the UK. UK Sikhs groups routinely claimed that there were 600,000 Sikhs. The census allowed people to mark in religion and only 336,000, much lower than the numbers commonly claimed. Sikh groups in UK have cried foul, but most academics are quite confident that this number is much closer to the truth than that claimed by Sikh organizations.

        Since Wisconsin, I have seen a *new* number of 700,000 Sikhs in the US, up from merely 500,000 just a few years ago. Most of us know that this *new* number is total garbage, but it will continued to be cited for "advocacy efforts" with no desire at all for truth. I think most groups should actually fear quantification of Sikhs (though some groups fundraise for it every ten years, soliciting large amounts of money without a chance in the world) as their robust numbers would soon dissipate.

        Civil rights that are more connected to the civil side rather than toeing the state seems in our larger interest.

        • As far as I'm aware, the Sikh orgs collect information based on surveys that may capture the number of individuals who have report to be a victim of one ore more hate-based incidents, but not the number of incidents itself. The separate tick box is an incremental addition to the already existing collection infrastructure that would provide better data around the number of crimes directed towards Sikhs – but you rightly mention the limiting issues with the 'hate crime' definition used by law enforcement. There is also that law enforcement agencies reporting to the FBI is voluntary, and that the incidents need to be reported by victims in the first place. These are major limitations but at the same time, gives us a clearer picture than we now have.

          I don't think that using this data is to advocate for FBI intervention specifically, but more so to support the rationale for policy changes or resource allocation where there might be high rates. And, none of this is to say that there aren't significant issues with the FBI, or say, the NYPD, but they can also be addressed.

          I fully agree with you about the population statistics that are being cited. The 700,000 is one I have never seen before out of any study, and any attempt to quantify how many Sikhs are in the United States has always resulted in smaller numbers than even 500,000. For lack of a census, it is difficult to get a handle on our numbers. Whether there are 200,000 Sikhs, or more or less, I think it's important data for us to have as a community. If we're surprised by the count, then that can be investigated as well.

          The data collection is just one piece of the issue, and granted, there are larger cultural and societal issues that need to be addressed.

  6. Tejinder says:

    Thought regarding “Sikh” based civil rights orgs.
    These are great orgs. I think they lack one thing and I could be mistaken that is the understanding of the American assimilation machine and its framework. What these groups are doing is beneficial to the community, but we are a religious based community not like Mexicans or Vietnamese etc. which are nation based lack of the understanding of the assimilation machine will result in distortion of Sikh ideology in America in the long run.

    Conspiracy theory?
    Here are some thoughts I have been having since the shooting in Wisconsin and the amount of political and media attention Sikh have gotten.
    India and China are predicted to grow faster than the USA economically and both states are nuclear powered. One tactic most governments use against each other specially Russia, USA, UK and France. That is decentralizing the governments from within. As India grows more powerful economically and military wise, and is aligning with China and Russia I believe under “Changhi alliance” in order to make sure at least India is destabilized Sikhs can be easily used in the north as a tool to make this happen and in the south the Tighers. All this government needs to do is fund the Khalistan movement from the Sikh end which is easy to do through Pakistan.

  7. nuanceishard says:

    Nuance is hard.

    The call here is for utter alienation from the mainstream of our society. American turban is much more realistic.

    All-good vs all-bad, all the time.

  8. nuanceishard says:

    And bostonvala.

  9. naunce says:

    When all you have is a hammer everything is a nail. Anglo can mean whatever it does in your subjective reading, it says more about how you see questions of law politics and choice.

    You choose alienation and what you see as resistance to the power structure which ironically is always an other to fear and hate or at best tolerate- white straight rich male anglo capital power. If this wasn’t a sikh site i would like to think i would let it go. But thing is at the end of the day the same jot is in the white rich straight fbi male and if you are trying to get us to fear and mistrust the outer label and not the inner jot it’s not the same sikhi I’m trying to get closer to.

    • brooklynwala says:

      it's absolutely about the inner Jot that shines in all human beings. and when an agency or institution or government stands in the way of people's human dignity and freedom, we have to be clear about that. we have to challenge that. our gurus did not teach us to be silent in the face of oppression. quite the contrary.

  10. naunce says:

    one question implicity asked is which federal security agency might be most amenable to reform. In some respect it’s a question of rule of law. Does rule of law obtain such that it’s reasonable to become part of a process of reform. You seem to suggest no and I’m saying that would be an error. You suggest that the program you reference is proof of your claim. I would say you are in error because of the standard of rule of law in the us and other anglosphere nations is such that reform is possible and a better position than the inchoate call for resistance described here. And also this call is only appropriating sikhi

  11. A few final comments that I'd like to add…

    I think we also shouldn't conflate individual equality/liberty with broader human rights concerns. They are not mutually exclusive. For Sikhs to work with the FBI or have the right to join the US military does not necessarily endorse human rights issues related to the FBI or actions by the military. There is room to address both aspects. We needn't surrender one aspect in the cause for the other. Instead, we should campaign for justice on both fronts.

    Let us also not forget that despite the government atrocities against Sikhs and the general population, and the personal losses of his great-grandfather, father, mother, four sons and thousands of Sikhs at the hand of the Mughal emperor and rule, even Guru Gobind Singh had made the journey south with the intent to meet with Aurangzeb and engage in dialogue. At the same time, the Guru also led his effort to empower the people. The Guru used a multitude of approaches – dialogue with the oppressor was one of them. Perhaps this was an expression of optimism in chardi kala.

    This could just by my interpretation of history. However, I believe there is a precedent directly connected with the Gurus to engage with government/rulers to promote peace and equality, and we shouldn't lose sight of those lessons today.

    • jodha says:

      @american turban – interesting wrap up, but never has there been any dialogue on how any Sikh org is expecting to call FBI activities into account. It's just left ambiguous and you and I and everyone for that matter knows it is not on the table.

      With regard to invoking Guru Gobind Singh's life story, he also left to Nanded with a backup plan. If no understanding is reached, the Khalsa with Banda Singh as general was to light Panjab on fire and create a new social order.

      In the situation you are trying to create analogies with – there is no plan B here and you know that as well.

      • At this stage, the Sikh orgs are calling into account the FBI's data collection/reporting where it relates to Sikh hate crimes. We don't have any evidence of FBI misbehavior in relation to Sikhs, so I don't think there is a mandate for Sikh orgs to specifically take up that issue – although yes, the greater point that Brooklynwala makes about the history and some current practices need to be questioned.

        Perhaps Banda Singh Bahadur was a "back-up" plan or more, it was part of the Guru's empowerment of the people. My point was that Guru Gobind Singh used multiple means to engage, including dialogue, to further his movement. He did not completely disengage from the ruling power even after suffering such tragic personal losses. I don't think that he only sought to engage Aurangzeb because he had a "Plan B". He saw an opportunity to pursue peace through peaceful means.

        Certainly, in this situation with the FBI, there is nothing analogous to the the "Plan B" to which you are referring, but I don't think that this should undermine the attempts to precisely report data. Are there objectionable aspects to the FBI's history and tactics? Sure. How we engage those, or try to do anything on that piece is a separate question.

  12. naunce says:

    Completely dubious account of a what and how Guru Gobind Singh interacted with Banda Bahadur on. You are creating scenes to justify your inquilabi myth story. Present the full story of Bandas campaign and let people decide if that was a fully faithful campaign to the message in gurubani

    • jodha says:

      @naunce – may not really be as dubious as you suggest. It depends on the sources we are going to use. If we use contemporary Sikh sources, especially Hukamnamas issued and numismatic evidence, then what I am suggesting seems very reliable.

      If we are using contemporary Persian sources, whose main criticism is that the "low" of society now rule the "high" and have turned over the social order, than absolutely it is a different set of accounts we are using. Did Banda Singh's campaign have excesses and indiscriminate killing that Sikhs tend to ignore, absolutely!

      However, was Banda Singh's failure that of what Rattan Singh Bhangu would ascribe nearly a century later – probably not!

      I am not going to continue this conversation in the comments any longer for fear of 'hijacking' this thread, but will absolutely be writing a piece on critical Sikh history in the near future. We can take this up there.

  13. Sher says:

    Amusing versions (read twist) of how Banda Bahadur came to avenge Guru's humiliation and save Sikhi/Tat Khalsa in the process. The neo-Khalsa posters are, in my opinion, write from a supremacist perspective. If there were such potent "plan B" in place, 'Plan A' would not have failed so miserably. And yes, let there be a discussion on the "full story of Banda's campaign".

    Why stop there, would someone dare to comment whether the current reverence of extremists, ruthless killers in Gurudwaras a true reflection of the Gurbani.

  14. Confu-Singh says:

    "Everywhere the white man go he bring misery. All throughout history, look it up … Every government he set up, it be corrupt. " – Dead Prez

    Human first, Gendered-Man after, White-gendered-man most recent.

    The FBI, Police, Army, etc… all propogate violence, xenophobia, etc….to the utmost- its called job duty and security. Yes there are individuals who decide to live and act otherwise, but these individuals are not the majority.

    The Nation/State is a corporate entity with a security force. The security force might even "help people/individuals/communities" but usually that is a by product. The security force is there to protect the interests of the corporation- financial and otherwise.

    Im all for tolerance amongst all beings, I just dont think the FBI is gonna be the guide that get's us there.

    I love the internet, I can ramble my jumbled thoughts, and appreciate my own narcissism.

    Thanks for the article- Did you talk to members of the orgs you mentioned above? Have you talked to Valarie Kaur and Groundswell about the talking to FBI? You know SALDEF is gonna celebrate her accomplishments together at their Gala. One of the first things they recognize is her work with getting the FBI to track hate crimes.

    The Ivy League Elites within the Sikh Community are gonna have the most "influence" as "leaders" in the community. Nothing new in the assimilation machine. Whats their response to your writing?

    Wait we always have Jindal and Randhawa to hold it down for the Sikhs in politics, so dont worry.

    • Singh says:

      Just a question on facts:

      "Thanks for the article- Did you talk to members of the orgs you mentioned above? Have you talked to Valarie Kaur and Groundswell about the talking to FBI? You know SALDEF is gonna celebrate her accomplishments together at their Gala. One of the first things they recognize is her work with getting the FBI to track hate crimes. "

      Was it Valarie who did it or the Coalition?

  15. naunce says:

    No no the internet is where you stake claim to rev cred by saying ridiculous things that you have no intention of ever examining in light of another perspective but your own echo chamber hot house self righteous ideology

  16. Ram Sahai Singh says:

    One thing that most people don't do well when they feel passionate about an issue is balanced fair thinking that embodies absolute equality. Remember we are all the same, the FBI is no different. They are human and make human error and yes have been known to be heavy handed at times. However many that criticize the agency are the same and have been known to do the same. I do not agree with all of their techniques and operations and neither do others that have been in or are in law enforcement to include the FBI agents themselves. I think the major issue is that the agency is too big to manage efficiently. There are three distinct types of investigatory functions that could be separated into 3 more manageable agencies.

  17. Ram Sahai Singh says:

    Now yes we should expect perfection from our government, however governments are made of people and error does occur and the agency does have remedy procedures for error. Some have been in the news and others have not. Ask yourself what have you done to smooth the energy so that their minds increase and find success in a peaceful manner. Do you add to the noise or do you provide a wave of peaceful vibration so that their minds find the right thing to do in difficult situations. A persons willpower is known however the effects of that willpower over others is still a grey area to most, in the mainstream of society today. However those of us that study ancient religious/social texts and/or have a mystical connection in that area know all too well the effects of such association karma. Such association karma when strong in its way of disruption has been called spells and black magic. The battle of wills is actually a battle of disruptive karma. The course that we are to take as Gurusikhs is one of peace and empowerment. Chant the Naam, Chant the Naam, Chant the Naam and when you are finished Chanting the Naam, Chant the Naam again… Unless you are looking for "your" plan to manifest over the Lords….. However with that said, the Lord's plan is always manifesting, no matter what any one being chooses to do… Waheguru…

  18. Ram Sahai Singh says:

    *Gursikhs

  19. Confu-Singh says:

    @singh, groundswell isnt alone in its efforts for fbi trackin, what i want to express is saldef is honoring groundswell and its efforts in making it happen (and thus why it might be important to hear the orgs response to the brookly-wale’s thoughts). Not giving credit or(blame?) to groundswell or any org. Honestly, Do u represent any of those orgs?

    • Singh says:

      I don't work for any of the organizations, I am unsure that Groundswell/Valarie worked on this particular issue very much, and if so it seems unlikely to be the thrust of what she is being honored for by Saldef.

      • Confu-Singh says:

        @singh So I think you were trying to clarify that #1, Groundswell is not the main org that pushed for FBI tracking to happen, and #2 Valarie's honoring by Saldef has only a small portion to do with the FBI tracking.

        To my knowledge you are correct Valarie Kaur and Groundswell are being honored for a whole body of work and the different projects involved. On SALDEF website, when describing Groundswell work they talk about the response to the Oak Creek shooting … http://www.saldef.org/2012gala/honorees.php … and the FBI tracking is mentioned there.

        I also agree it is not the thrust of what she is being honored for but it is part of it and that applies to THIS particular conversation around the FBI.

        So maybe we can bring it back to that if possible?

        The thrust of what she is being honored for is less important to me than, wanting to hear Groundswell, SALDEF, and the Coalition's response to B-Wala's take on cointelpro and having the FBI in our community space. Thats what im interested in, especially given these are very visible people/orgs.

        Would you be interested in that conversation in response to what B-wala is bringing up?

        • Singh says:

          No, not really, because my main intervention into this conversation is that our community's myopia of keshdhari Sikhs being the only possible victims of hate crimes, and there is little space for that.

  20. nuanceishard says:

    Just make sure you stay within the lines of acceptable discourse and agree with confused singh and dead prez and that way he treat you respectfully. Otherwise, watch out. He's a tiger.

  21. nuanceishard says:

    And hopefully you are not an Ivy league assimilationist. I wonder if Immortal technique has a rap song about the ivy league assimilation machine? Best of all, please be a human first, gendered male second and (?) white most recent. down with the man up with the people! Let's get free.

  22. Confu-Singh says:

    Nuance that is Ali G funny. U from Britain? i love the attention u are giving me, it makese feel eben more important, but really lets talk cointel pro.

  23. nuance says:

    Yeah Ali g is funny…is it cos he is black? Never mind i’ll guess you answer is yes.

  24. Confu-Singh says:

    Ali g is Sasha Cohen who is Jewish, and no he is not funny to me.

  25. nuance says:

    You do know that was a quote from ali g right? Ali g is a character by cohen who attributed every criticism of him as due to anti black racism because he was black, even though the character was not black. So if someone said ali g your joke is bad he would say is it cos i is black? Can’t really believe that needs to be explained but just in case

  26. nuance says:

    Your self righteousness is all world

  27. Confu-Singh says:

    Haha, I love your Passion….Christ like.

  28. nuance says:

    Wow. Call me Bobby next. Your worldivew is really blinkered. Is this the caliber of thought in favor here?

  29. nuance says:

    Can you begin to see ridiculous that kind of thinking is on a sikh website? Y’all have gotten lost in the valley and it makes sense now. Was blind but now i see.

  30. Confu-Singh says:

    We, are friends?

  31. Amit__ Singh says:

    So whatever happened to that tracking hate crimes thing? Are all of our "advocacy groups" too busy raising money now?

  32. Sundari says:

    A couple of things: This "hate crimes thing" is still being pursued. Just over a week ago, the Sikh Coalition and 150 supporting organizations organized the US Senate Hearings on Hate Crimes and Domestic Terrorism. Like any other civil rights change, this will not be achieved overnight. It will take consistent dedication from our Sikh orgs to make sure this occurs (and i can tell you it continues to be a priority). The second point being that Sikh organizations, just like other civil rights organizations, need to have resources and funding to get this work done. So yes, fundraising is an important part of the work. Anyone who thinks that fundraising is not needed to do advocacy work is disillusioned. It's frustrating that individuals within the community cannot make that connection.

  33. Amit__ Singh says:

    Oh ok…good to hear…I didn't know the great organization and "150 supporting organizations organized the US Senate Hearings"….I thought this post was about something else. And also didn't know that nothing is done overnight. Just like the army "case," the "kirpan bill," and the huge legal battle of bullying in schools which for some reason has been on such a rise after the turning point of nine eleven.

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