March 3, 2017 (New York, NY) – Last week in Kansas, a gunman shot two men from India after telling them to “get out of my country.” One of the victims—Mr. Srinivas Kuchibhotla—lost his life. While we hope and pray that such tragedies are never repeated, our community must be vigilant against hate.
We should not wait until someone gets hurt or killed to report hate incidents. If someone says hateful things about your Sikh identity, don’t ignore it – rather, please report the incident to the Sikh Coalition on our Report Hate website – http://reporthate.org.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
The American legal system does not recognize all hate incidents as hate crimes. For example, if someone calls you a “terrorist” or tells you to “go back to your country,” these cases of hate speech alone are unlikely to be recognized as crimes by the police. (Hate speech may rise to the level of a hate crime if a pattern of such harassment exists or the speech is accompanied by a threat or incitement of violence.)
Even still, incidents of hate speech need to be rigorously documented. If police and policymakers know that hateful things are being said about Sikhs in their cities and neighborhoods, they are more likely to strengthen prevention measures such as police trainings, hate group monitoring, and physical protection of gurdwaras.
1) Report Hate Incidents: Report hate incidents to the Sikh Coalition at http://reporthate.org.
2) Share Information at your Gurdwara: Ask your gurdwara to email this information to the local sangat and post it on Facebook.
4) Forward this Email to Family & Friends: Please email this information to your family and friends. You can also share this link on Facebook and Twitter.
The Sikh Coalition will continue to share resources like this in the coming weeks and months, and we welcome your ideas and feedback for making our community more resilient. We recently shared information on gurdwara security and immigration rights.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.