Published on The Melissa Harris-Perry Blog. Just 45 days after his mother was murdered by a white supremacist in her house of worship, Harpreet Singh Saini found the courage to testify at a historic Senate hearing on Wednesday of this week. Saini’s mother was killed on August 5 when Wade Michael Page walked into a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and opened fire. “I want to protect other people from what happened to my mother,” Saini told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee, chaired by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Published on The Washington Post. In the chaos of bullets, riots, and the murder of an ambassador and three other U.S. citizens, a congressional hearing held in a quiet corner of the U.S. Senate holds the key to understanding the many costs of homegrown hate. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the threat of hate groups and domestic extremism in America. The hearing is historic. While Congress has held dozens of hearings on the threat of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, this will be the first
Published on The Washington Post. In the thick of election season, the mass shooting of Sikh worshippers in Oak Creek, Wis., on Aug. 5, 2012, has quickly faded from public consciousness. But a month later, the tragedy is front and center in the minds of Sikh Americans. In their gurdwaras (houses of worship) and homes, Sikh Americans are still making sense of this tragedy and asking themselves: “What do we do next?” For Sikh Americans, Oak Creek has become both a cause for introspection and an urgent call to
Published on CNN. The Republican National Convention will make history Wednesday night. Ishwar Singh, wearing a turban and beard, will take the stage and lead thousands of conservatives in prayer. For the first time in U.S. history, a Sikh American will give the invocation at a Republican National Convention. The inclusion of a Sikh prayer on the stage comes just a few weeks after a gunman opened fire on Sikhs praying in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six and hospitalizing three more in what could be the largest racially motivated mass
Published on CNN. I have spent the past two weeks documenting the aftermath of what could be one of the deadliest racially motivated mass shootings in recent U.S. history. Through a camera lens, I’ve witnessed courage in the face of profound grief: families in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, mourning the dead, praying through tears and rebuilding their community in the Sikh spirit of chardi kala, a rising resilience even in darkness. But when family members walked out of a private meeting with first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday afternoon,
In the last week, I witnessed the pain and terrible grief of these children and their families who lost their mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts in the massacre. But I also witnessed a multifaith movement for justice help the Sikh community find the courage to rise and rebuild in a time of unprecedented national attention. Groundswell supporters, thank you. When I presented the six volumes of letters on Sunday morning, your words were concrete proof to the Sikh community in Wisconsin that they were not alone. They represented the
Published on Common Ground News Service. Oak Creek, Wisconsin - On Friday, I participated in a memorial for the victims of the 4 August shooting in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. I am a third-generation Sikh American, and as the ceremony drew to a close, I tweeted, “May this not be the last moment the nation watches and mourns with us. May this be the start of lasting solidarity.” Now is the time that we, as Americans already embroiled in an increasingly bitter election year, must curb
Appeared on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. I'm honored to be featured on one of my favorite shows on TV by the smartest, most compassionate host I know, Melissa Harris-Perry. She discusses my call for efforts to build a world without terror and includes footage my partner Sharat Raju and I shot this week in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Oslo is everywhere. As we see bodies recovered and hear stories of young people who survived the massacre, our hearts ache. But in the last few days, we've learned that we are closer to the tragedy than we can imagine. The killer is not a "Muslim terrorist," as many conservatives in this country were quick to conclude. Anders Breivik is a right-wing Christian directly influenced by a small group of anti-Muslim American bloggers and activists who claim that Muslim immigrants threaten western civilization. Robert Spencer, who runs Jihad Watch