Hello all. Look at what a good job I’m doing already! Two posts in two days!
Anyways, with it being September 11th today, I thought it would be an excellent time to revisit the progress our nation should have made in the last 14 years. Despite over a decade having passed, ignorance and intolerance are at an all time high and it seems not all that much progress has been made.
A little bit of backstory, a couple of days ago, a Sikh man was attacked and brutally beaten in Chicago. You can find the article here .
Now there’s a lot of things I want to say about this topic, because I feel incredibly passionate about it. I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a member of the Sikh community, and since the September 11th attacks, our community has faced a number of assaults, bigotry and hate-crimes. Our temples or Gurdwaras have been vandalized, our people beaten, and discrimination has been abundant. Personally, I feel a large part of this is ignorance on the part of the American community. Many Americans felt angry after the attacks and wished to target Muslims and take out their anger on them. Though this act in itself is the exact opposite reaction the bigotted American community should have had, the end result was that most of the anger got taken out on Sikhs. Why? Because we wear turbans or paags, and many Americans seem to think this is somehow a Muslim trait (for the record, Muslims don’t wear turbans as a religious ornament, despite common misconception). I’ll save for another post why the Sikh community has these traditions and their purpose, but for now, what I want to say is that the discrimination ANY person faces because of their perceived faith or religion is absolutely unacceptable.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately. And one of these podcasts has been “Waking Up” by Sam Harris. I would absolutely recommend this podcast and you can find it here . Sam has a lot of strong opinions on meditation, politics, philosophy, but mainly, Islam. Now as much as I love him, I disagree with a lot of his attitudes about the Muslim community. And Sam (an incredibly educated man) is perpetuating this hatred towards Islam and Asian cultures. Now, in Sam’s defense, he actually has a very well-educated and thought out opinion on the matter, but the problem is that it takes an open-minded and intelligent person to really understand his combination of politics and philosophy, which leads to a lot of people saying “Sam Harris is great! He hates Muslims! Let’s kill them all!” which is not the point he is making at all. And when we really take the time to look at tolerance towards minorities, discrimination against Asian communities has gotten so much worse in the last 14 years. Granted a part of this may be due to the worsening conditions of the nation as a whole, but when you have what must be described as hate crimes and domestic terrorism taking place on a regular basis, to the point that President Obama has had to address more national tragedies than any other president, we really need to take a hard look at ourselves.
The United States is inspiring a culture of close-minded, racist bigots, despite mountainous efforts against these groups. In no other country would it be acceptable for a potential presidential candidate to say something akin to “send all the ______ back to where they came from,” with the most recent injuries coming from Presidential candidates Donald Trump in regards to Mexicans and Jeb Bush with Asians. If any other Presidential hopeful in another nation stated that, the US would immediately jump on the “That’s racist. Are we going down a genocide path?” and ardently be against said candidate the entire time. However, it’s fine in the US because “we’re the best nation on Earth”? These double standards are exactly what’s creating an increasingly unsafe environment, with more and more US citizens looking away from domestic terrorism because “terrorism isn’t an internal issue”.
I started off this article wanting to talk about Sikh rights and the issues we face as a community, but really, this issue extends to all non-male, non-white individuals. I’m not going to go through the countless examples of hate taking place in our nation. If you haven’t noticed, that’s a completely different issue. However, I would recommend you simply Google any minority group and articles will pop up with numerous accounts of beatings and discrimination. It’s 2015, and we JUST had the first Sikh policeman be allowed to display his faith openly in the US ; we JUST legalized gay marriages , though by NO means does that means we’ve legalized LGBT rights; we JUST had the first FEMALE coach in the NFL . We’ve still never had a female president. Honestly, if we’re so proud of ourselves as a nation, shouldn’t we be “beating” countries like India and Pakistan and even Liberia in terms of social equality? We, as an AMERICAN community, need to come together as a nation, and make it unacceptable for hate-crimes and domestic terrorism to take place against ANY group of people. Otherwise, we really are living in a terrorist state.