New York, September 11, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
On the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks we remember and mourn the lives of the people who were killed in the horrifying attack that made the nation stand still. The day continues to haunt individuals who in the aftermath also became the targets of racism, victims of hate crime and bullying. Hate acts against them by fellow Americans continue to rise even today.
According to the FBI’s annual hate-crimes report, there is a 200% increase in hate crimes against Sikh Americans in 2018 as compared to 2017 (Compare https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2018/topic-pages/incidents-and-offenses and https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2017/topic-pages/incidents-and-offenses).
Also according to the FBI data, Sikhs were the third group that suffered the most religious hate crimes in 2018 as compared to Jews and Muslims. This staggering increase in violence reflects that Sikh Americans are one of the most frequently targeted communities in America. Insufficient data collection and labeling and tracking issues, may be used as ground to dispute FBI statistics and there may be much higher numbers but these are not being recorded.
These acts of hate haunt many Sikh Americans and it affects their sense of identity, their safety and their well-being. According to a United Sikhs Report that will be released in the coming days victims of hate crimes, like Gurinder Singh Dhaliwal who stated that over 1000 people have made racist comments to him since 9/11, have felt the backlash of 9/11.
They will continue to do so unless something is done. Witnesses, like Mr. Kanwaljit Singh, state that they believe that hate crimes against Sikhs are often the product of American retaliation against Muslims after 9/11. According to the Report, victims believe that the perpetrators are not aware or educated enough about Sikhism.
“The attack on September 11, 2001 took the lives of 2,974 people and we do not forget them and we commemorate this day each year in their memory. However, in the immediate aftermath of 9-11, we began to see more deaths and tragedies resulting from 9-11 because we had begun to turn on each other. That trend has continued, especially since the last Presidential election.
This year, in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of thousands so far, we as a nation finally rose against state condoned and meaningless violence. It is time our leaders declare a national emergency to combat hate violence and implement measures to address this issue as they would any other national emergency,” Wanda Sanchez Day, National Legal Director said.
United Sikhs seeks to ensure recognition that Sikhs and all minorities are an integral part of the American fabric. It seeks to protect the rights of these communities to be treated justly and it pushes for this ideal along the lines of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“The Declaration recognizes that equality can be achieved only if everyone is able to enjoy the same economic, social, cultural, civil and political freedoms and rights,” Jasmit Jesse Jaspal Singh, Advocacy Director states.
United Sikhs has an unyielding commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. While we will never forget the sacrifices of our countrymen on 9/11, United Sikhs will always pursue opportunities to eradicate hatred and intolerance in memorial to the thousands of lives lost on that solemn day.