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


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Discrimination follows devastation

The nation came together after 9/11. Unfortunately, it came together to discriminate against its perceived enemies.

"I stand for America all the way," shouted 42-year-old Frank Roque as he pulled up in his pickup truck on Sept. 15, 2001 and shot Balbir Singh Sodhi five times at a suburban gas station in Arizona.

What did Sodhi do to deserve such an end?

He wore a turban and sported a beard.

Sodhi wasn't a Muslim. He wasn't Arab. He was a Sikh from the Punjab region in India and as a Sikh he was following religious law by wearing a turban and keeping a beard.

Sept. 11 hurt this nation deeply. It shook the country's foundations to the core and changed the course of American history. Our foreign policy began to take on a different tone and the attack forced Americans to think about their place in the world community.

But 9/11 changed things for Sikhs like me in a different way.

It was as if overnight we became fundamentally different. And we felt it.

Suddenly stares and dirty looks became commonplace. People began to whisper around us when we walked by. Some taunted us with racial slurs. Others thought it would be better to vandalize our temples or honk at us while driving. Some like Roque took to murder.

I was only in sixth grade at the time, but I was starting to feel the changes in my own home as well.

That day itself we were flooded with phone calls by relatives and family friends advising one another to stay at home and not venture out unless absolutely necessary. If there was anything to be done, any place to go, my mom would go and my Dad and I would stay at home. We put baseball caps in our car so just in case "anything goes wrong" my dad and I could take off our turbans and put the caps on.

Sikh community leaders immediately released press statements condemning the brutal attack on their nation. We began to hold inter-faith conferences where we could explain to the public that we were Sikhs and had nothing to do with the terrorists behind 9/11.

We are not Muslim. We are not Arab. We are not from the Middle East. Our religion is different as is our home country and language.

But even if we were Muslim, it shouldn't matter. People of a certain faith or skin color shouldn't be blamed for an attack carried out by a small number of extremists.[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
NYC Schools Launch Anti-Bully Campaign
Canadian Air Force gets its first turbanned office...
Students gather to watch documentary on post–Sept....
Mosque fire may be 'racially motivated attack'
School sorry for refusing Sikh student
Head scarf case may remain veiled
Court: Passengers can challenge no-fly list
Clueless crossword
I AM A PROUD TURBANED PERSON
Arabic Names a Hinder in Swedish Banks

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