While stories such as the Khalsa Aid helping Syian refugees or a Sikh man using his turban to save a boy’s life warm our hearts immensely, incidents of racism and cultural discrimination do the exact opposite. It’s been four years since Osama Bin Laden’s death but racial discrimination in the US seems to know no […]
While stories such as the Khalsa Aid helping Syian refugees or a Sikh man using his turban to save a boy’s life warm our hearts immensely, incidents of racism and cultural discrimination do the exact opposite. It’s been four years since Osama Bin Laden’s death but racial discrimination in the US seems to know no bounds.
As if racial profiling in the States wasn’t enough, prejudices against the Sikh community in general adds more murk to the damage. The following incident, shared by The Sikh Coalition, is a testimony to this fact.
When Parampal Singh Ghai and his father visited a famous Nathan’s joint in Maryland (Baltimore) to get some dinner, little did they know that they will be subjected to racial bigotry. While they waited for their dinner to arrive, they noticed the restaurant staff calling out to people by their names. Since Parampal hadn’t been asked his, imagine his horror when he looked at his receipt that identified him as ‘Osama’ instead of Parampal.
The humiliation was enough to leave a long-lasting blow, however when Parampal confronted the employee, he didn’t receive an apology. Instead, coupled by another employee and customer, they simply laughed. With a ‘deepening humiliation’, Parampal returned his food back to the staff.
The Sikh Coalition writes:
“Since the 9/11 attacks, Sikh Americans, who wear religious turbans and maintain unshorn hair, have repeatedly endured bigotry and violence because of a mistaken and offensive affiliation with members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network. Many have been called racial slurs such as “Osama,” “raghead” or “terrorist,” at the workplace, on the streets, and at school. Just last September, Inderjit S. Mukker, a father, was physically was attacked on his way to the grocery store in a Chicago suburb and also called a “terrorist,” “Bin Laden,” and told to “go back to your country.” Sikh school children have not escaped the backlash. In a recent national survey, the Sikh Coalition found that approximately 67% of turbaned youths nationwide report being bullied and verbally harassed because of their Sikh religious identity. The Sikh Coalition has also represented Sikhs who have faced verbal harassment in the workplace, including at Autozone, an auto parts company, that allowed a Sikh employee to be repeatedly harassed and subjected to “terrorist slurs” by customers such as “Bin Laden.””
~ Source: IndiaTimes