Am I Trayvon? Zimmerman? Both?
Guest blogged by Simran Jeet Singh As I strolled outside my Manhattan apartment this morning, reflecting on the Trayvon Martin decision, I had one of those moments that would shatter any possible artifice of living in a post-racial society. I heard a woman cry in pain and turned around to see her lying...
Uprooting Anti-Black Racism: Desi-African Musical Connections
Many of us Sikhs and other South Asians in the diaspora have grown up with subtle and not so subtle messages of anti-black racism from our families and communities at large. While on the one hand we learn through Sikhi that all people are equal regardless of their race, caste, or gender, we simultaneously...
Two Muslims attacked in one week by bigots (and the media)
Last week, two separate brutal attacks against Muslim men took place in Queens, New York. On November 24th, 72-year-old Ali Akmal was nearly beaten to death while going on his early morning walk and remains in critical, but stable, condition. CBS New York reports: Akmals tongue was so badly swollen...
Dreadlocks, Turbans, and Rollercoaster Racism
Living in Brooklyn, New York City as a turban-wearing Sikh, I attract plenty of negative attention from random strangers as well as the cops, which I’ve written about at length. Fortunately, I also get some love and respect from time to time as I walk or ride my bike in my neighborhood in central...
Sikhs challenging racial profiling
Photo courtesy of the Sikh Coalition My Facebook news feed and email inbox have been buzzing with discussion and calls to action to challenge racial profiling and, in particular, the NYPD’s infamous “stop and frisk” policy. I was happy to receive multiple emails today on the issue...
21st Century Lynching with Impunity
17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s life was taken away from him a few weeks ago in a gated community in Florida simply because of the color of his skin. On his way back from picking up a pack of Skittles and an iced tea at the local 7-11, he was shot dead by 26-year-old George Zimmerman, who was a part...
Anti-Muslim Bigotry Strikes Michigan Gurdwara
It’s sobering (and depressing) to hear about another hate attack in the United States fueled by Islamophobia, this one in the form of racist graffiti on a gurdwara under construction in Sterling Heights, Michigan. SALDEF‘s recent statement about the incident states: …the vandalism...
A Sikh Minstrel Show?
This video from the popular South Indian television show Adhurs Ultimate Talent Show has gone viral in the last couple of days. In it, the so-called Warriors of Goja, a group of Sikh men “performing” with a giant Khanda as their backdrop and upbeat bhangra music as their soundtrack, win...
Amplifying the Unheard Voices of 9/11
Today, I want to highlight an important initiative that amplifies the unheard, and often undocumented, stories of post-9/11 bigotry, harassment, and discrimination. Launched last week by the Sikh Coalition and co-sponsored by a host of organizations including the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee,...
Happy Birthday Malcolm
Today marks the 86th birthday of the late African American activist Malcolm X. We’ve been hearing a lot about Malcolm X lately since the recent release of a new biography about him written by the great scholar Manning Marable, who just passed away a few weeks ago. A controversial and often misunderstood...
RIP Gurmej Singh Atwal
While Sikhs around the world were celebrating Vaisakhi last week, 78-year-old Gurmej Singh Atwal, one of the two men who were shot in what was likely a hate attack in Elk Grove, California in March, died on Friday. The Sacramento Bee reports: “He’s no more,” his son said. “First...
Sikh men gunned down in possible hate crime in Sacramento
The Sacramento Bee is reporting that two elderly Sikh men were shot while going on an afternoon walk in their suburban neighborhood on Friday. One of the men, 67-year-old Surinder Singh died from the attack on Friday, and 78-year-old Gurmej Atwal is in critical condition, suffering from two gunshot...
NYPD diversity training with a sinister twist
Since 9/11, Sikh advocates and community members have been proactive about providing training for law enforcement officers to educate them about our religion and articles of faith and to foster positive relations between local police and Sikhs. My feelings about the role of the police in our communities...
Happy Birthday Dr. King
Today marks the 82nd birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Most of us learn about Dr. King’s influential role in the Black Civil Rights Movement in the United States, and have heard his “I have a dream” speech. But less do we hear about his opposition to the Vietnam War...
A Scary Halloween
I always get nervous in October because, although I love Halloween and all the imagination and candy involved in its celebration, it scares me a little bit. But not because of all too realistic vampire costumes or haunted houses. This is what really scares me: Every year, at least one person comments...
Blame Canada(‘s Sikhs)
Canadas problem with its Sikh minority should be of concern to Americans not just because Vancouver borders on the US, but for the broader lessons this story of ethnic conflict teaches. When a country imports an alien population, it often brings in all of the conflicts that bedeviled the immigrants...
UPS: What If Your Name Really Was Terro R Ist?
Two steps forward and one step back. Just when you think we’ve made some progress in terms of creating awareness about who we are as Sikhs, you hear of incidents like this.Here’s the story on NBC’s KGET.