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Valarie's Opinion Essays Posts

Sikh Doctor’s Response to Brutal Hate Attack? ‘Love and Service’

Published on Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC. Last Saturday night, a young man dropped his wife and one-year old at home and went for a walk in Harlem. Soon thereafter, he heard “Get Osama!” Twenty men on bicycles chased him down, pulled his beard, and punched him to the ground. The blows would not stop as his assailants called him a “terrorist.” When bystanders came to his aid, he was rushed to the hospital, his face bloody and bruised, and his jaw fractured. The victim, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, is a young professor and doctor who also happens to be a leading voice […]

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A Year Later, Sikhs Keep Up Fight against Gun Violence

Published on CNN. The other night was one of the most sacred and extraordinary events of my life as an advocate. A gathering of people from all around our country with one thing in common: a desire to stop the gun violence that plagues their lives and continues to plague our nation. Marking the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, young Sikhs of Oak Creek organized a candlelight vigil against gun violence at the same gurdwara where six people were murdered. One would anticipate the one-year anniversary vigil to be small and somber. Most people I […]

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One Year after Oak Creek: Why the FBI Tracking Hate Crimes Is a Victory

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC. One year after a gunman murdered six people and wounded many more at a Sikh house of worship in Oak Creek, WI, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh Americans and six other groups for the first time in U.S. history. Sikh-Americans, along with Hindus, Arabs, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Orthodox Christians who are victims of hate crimes will finally be counted on the Hate Crime Incident Report form. Adding specific categories in federal hate crimes statistics may appear to be just a […]

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Sikhs Find Faith in Oak Creek, One Year Later

Published on Washington Post. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a lone gunman killed six people in a Sikh house of worship. It was the largest hate-based act of violence on a faith community since the 1963 church bombings of the civil rights era. “I miss my mother every day,” said Harpreet Saini, who lost his mother in the shooting at age 18. “But I want to make her proud, so I’m honoring her memory through seva [service].” Harpreet Saini and the other young people of Oak Creek who lost loved ones – parents and grandparents, […]

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Why We Must Remember Oak Creek

Published on Huffington Post. One year ago this morning, a lone gunman walked into a house of worship and stalked the prayer hall, communal kitchen and living rooms. Wherever he saw people, he lifted his gun without expression and fired. He killed six people and critically wounded others, including a police officer. The August 5, 2012 mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin received national attention for a few days, but then faded into the background as one in a list of mass shootings last year. One year later, people I meet know Aurora and Newtown but draw a blank when […]

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Attention to Women’s Diseases Should Reach beyond Angelina Jolie

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC Angelina Jolie’s medical condition is rare and few women could benefit from the genetic testing she received, but her New York Times op-ed has ignited a national conversation about barriers to care for breast cancer. In America today, white women are most likely to receive a breast cancer diagnosis, Asian women are least likely to screen for it, and black women are most likely to die from it. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women’s health in America. Millions more women suffer in silence from diseases less visible than breast cancer. Endometriosis is one […]

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For Sikhs and Muslims, Fear after a Terror Attack

Published on Washington Post. With the news that two suspects of the Boston Marathon bombing are accounted for, one dead and the other in custody, I breathed a sigh of relief. A terror-stricken week that began with bombings and ended with shootouts was finally over. But the moment the suspects were identified as Muslim marked a new period of anxiety and vulnerability for millions of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans, including me. As a Sikh American who has chronicled hate crimes and profiling against our communities since Sept. 11, 2001, I wondered: Will we go down the same road again, […]

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Hesitant About Marriage Equality, Supreme Court? Follow the Millennials’ Lead

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry Blog. As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two marriage equality cases last week, my partner and I watched the television set with bated breath. When the camera zoomed in on the steps of the Supreme Court, and LGBTQ Americans took the podium to tell their stories, we took one another’s hand and choked back tears. We are a straight couple. The Supreme Court’s decisions on Proposition 8 and DOMA will decide the fate not only of about 9 million LGBTQ Americans and 14 million children with same-sex parents–but also millions of millennials, young people […]

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‘Lean in’? For Millennials, the Question Is ‘What Are We Leaning Toward’?

Published on the Melissa Harris-Perry blog. In the public debate raging over Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In, we should pay special attention to the voices of young people–women and men of different backgrounds. This week alone, I have heard from dozens of Millennials in their 20s and 30s, all from working class and middle class families. We know that “leaning in” to careers comes at a cost: it requires us to “lean on” other people for duties like cleaning and childcare. The people we lean on are often from the same underprivileged communities that some of us come from. In […]

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10 Views: Our Struggle To ‘Have It All’

Published on CNN. “Having it all” is having another cultural moment, with the media suddenly awash in the controversy over a new book on women and leadership from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, just weeks after the furor over Yahoo CEO’s Marissa Mayer calling telecommuting employees back into the office — and presumably pulling women that much further from their work-life balance plan. But plenty of women have pondered the question long before this. CNN.com’s Opinion section asked a group of women to describe when they realized they could — or could not — have it all. Valarie Kaur: Well-being is […]

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