Essays

Published on CNN. This holiday season, an ad campaign is selling clothes and challenging bigotry in America. A poster of a turbaned and bearded man in Gap clothes with a woman hanging on his shoulder hit store windows and subway walls across the United States last month as part of Gap's "Make Love" ad campaign. The model is Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh actor whose turban and beard is part of his faith. For the first time, a mainstream, nationwide ad presents a turbaned man as beautiful, even sexy. He is not a

Published on Huffington Post. The following remarks were delivered by Valarie Kaur at The White House on November 20, 2013. Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Thank you to President Obama and his staff for gathering us in the White House to celebrate Gurpurab, the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith. I am deeply honored to reflect on the story of our faith with you. The story begins halfway around the world in Punjab with the birth of a humble herdsman named Nanak in

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

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

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

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

I had the profound honor to help MC the candlelight vigil held in Oak Creek, Wisconsin tonight. One year after the mass shooting at the Sikh house of worship, more than one thousand people came together for a night of prayer, music, testimonies, and remembrance. The following are my opening and closing remarks: Welcome to the community of Oak Creek and those joining from their homes around the country and worldwide. I’m deeply honored to stand here with you tonight. One year ago, I arrived in 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

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

The Class of 2013 is facing staggering student debt, a tough job market, and the reality of Washington gridlock - and yet we remain optimistic about the future? Why? I presented a portrait of the Millennial generation on MSNBC's Melissa-Harry Perry Show on graduation weekend:   "The Class of 2013" - Valarie Kaur on MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Parry Show" May 19, 2013 from Sharat Raju on Vimeo.