Harkirat Hansra is not your typical teenager.
The 17-year-old is the only turban-wearing Sikh at Mira Loma High School in Sacramento. That turban has been the cause for discrimination ever since Sept. 11, 2001.
Hansra’s moment of awareness came in a Sacramento mall when someone told him and his father to “Go back to Afghanistan,” he said.
“We aren’t from Afghanistan. We’re from India,” he said. “We’re not terrorists, and we’re not Muslims.”
Hansra’s father, Gurpreet Singh, said his son has only been to India once.
“If someone tells him this is not your country, where will he go?” Singh asked.
Hansra said he didn’t feel out of place in his community when he was growing up and still doesn’t. But after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he heard several disparaging comments and realized that many people were ignorant about Sikhs. Consequently, he made it his mission to educate people and work for racial tolerance.
He started by participating in Yuba City’s annual Sikh parade and last year created a Web site, www.infoaboutsikhs.com, on which he receives feedback from around the world.
In May, he self-published a book called “Liberty at Stake.” It is subtitled “Sikhs: The Most Visible, Yet Misunderstood, Minority of America, a Teenager’s Perspective.” It is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other stores....
The message is in the book’s title, he said. The Pledge of Allegiance says there is “liberty for all” – but that liberty is at stake, said the father.
Singh said he is proud of his son’s efforts to educate people about Sikhs and their beliefs.
“He is fighting the American way – through education.” [Link]
DNSI direct link 0 comments Email post: