D I S C R I M I N A T I O N    &    N A T I O N A L    S E C U R I T Y    I N I T I A T I V E    --    B L O G
  DNSI Home - http://pluralism.org/affiliates/kaur_sidhu/
  Pluralism Project - http://www.pluralism.org
  Harvard University - http://www.harvard.edu


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Author discusses hate crime documentary



Divided We Fall, a documentary about the hate crimes committed against Muslims, Sikh Indians and others mistaken as Muslim, makes its statewide premier 7 tonight at Ohio University’s Baker Center Theatre. Valarie Kaur, a third-generation Sikh American who wrote and co-produced the film after a turbaned man was murdered in her town, will answer questions after the screening. She spoke with The Post’s Ashley Luthern about making Divided We Fall, and exploring race, religion and identity in times of national crisis.

The Post: What was the basis for your film’s title, Divided We Fall?

Valarie Kaur: In the aftermath of 9/11, I saw so many bumper stickers that said United We Stand, and it seemed to me that we forgot the second part of the saying, “divided we fall.”… In order to become fully united, we had to face the ways in which we’ve been divided.

Post: You are proud of your Sikh heritage and identify as an American. When you were filming, how did you feel and react when you experienced hate first hand?

Kaur: Well, it’s quite a way to come of age. It was the first time that I had seen myself as a foreign un-American. I realized I had to fight to be seen and understood. It was painful, emotionally traumatizing and I’d have nightmares. But what was happening wasn’t happening to just my community, but to Southeast Asians and Latinos, anyone who had brown skin or a beard. It had happened to Japanese Americans in WWII, and the Chinese Americans who were mistaken for Japanese. Every singe community in the U.S. at some time has been seen as outsiders….

Post: Are the people you interviewed in the film, and others around the nation, still experiencing the effects of the mentality of a post-9/11 national consciousness?

Kaur: Absolutely. The immediate numbers of hate crimes decreased in the months after 9/11, but what’s happened is a cultural shift into subtle, every-day prejudices against Muslims and those who look Muslim. For example, teachers don’t stop kids from calling other kids “terrorist,” but to us, it’s like our n-word. The task now is to decrease the number of those subtle acts of discrimination that never get reported as hate crimes.

Post: How has making this film turned into your quest for self-identity?

Kaur: Before making the film, during my childhood and teenage years, I hated the in-between space. I wanted to be fully accepted as white and Christian, or fully accepted as Indian. I wanted to belong like every kid. Through this journey, I’ve come to discover that this in-between space is one of tremendous strength, and if I owned the space I could speak truth. I realize the storytellers in our communities are the ones who are in-between. It’s given me tremendous courage to live own moral compass. [Link]

Labels:


DNSI     direct link     0 comments   Email post: 



0 Comments:
Post a Comment

<< Home



About DNSI

The Discrimination & National Security Initiative (DNSI) is a research entity that examines the mistreatment of minority communities during times of military action or national crisis.

More Info:
DNSI Home Page




The Blog

Why a Blog?
The purpose of this web-log is to offer news and commentary in a fluid, dynamic format while our more substantive reports are forthcoming.

Recent Posts
Queens Leader Helps Growing Sikh Community
Independent Lens: A Dream in Doubt
Muslim head scarf no threat to Quebec values, repo...
Film Revisits Killing Of Ariz.Sikh
DNSI Welcomes its 2008 Summer Fellows
Hasan Elahi
Intel agencies seek help recruiting new immigrants...
The federal government has settled its lawsuit ag...
Man stopped from boarding plane with knife
Editorial: Sikh group has point about SFO screenin...

Archives
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009


Etc...

Religious Diversity News-Pluralism Project









Blogroll
Into the Whirlwind
Human Rights in India
IntentBlog
Ethnic Confusion Britain
MrSikhNet
Anil Kalhan
Islamicate
Ultrabrown
Sepia Mutiny

Feeds, etc.











(c) 2005 Discrimination & National Security Initiative 1531 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02138