Mesa Tag

I'm writing tonight from Mesa, Arizona, where a family friend was murdered ten years ago.  His name was Balbir Singh Sodhi.He was a turbaned Sikh man who owned his own gas station and was well-loved for his generosity and broad smile.On Sept. 15, 2001, he visited Costco to buy flowers and emptied his pocket to make a donation to the 9/11 relief efforts in the check out line.  A few hours later, he was shot and killed in front of his store by a man who called

Anyone who knows about the aftermath of 9/11 will remember the story of Balbir Singh Sodhi.  A turbaned Sikh man, he was the first person murdered in a hate crime in response to 9/11.  It called national attention to anti-Muslim violence and galvanized action from all corners.  In Arizona, where three thousand people attended the memorial, the legislature honored Sodhi on the state’s 9/11 Memorial. His story has never been disputed.  Until now. This month, Arizona Representative John Kavanagh introduced a bill that would remove Sodhi’s name from the

In the last few weeks, as the national firestorm over the "Ground Zero Mosque" reached a deafening pitch, I have not been able to stop thinking about a handmade sign hanging in a gas station in Mesa, Arizona. On September 15, 2001, a turbaned Sikh man was murdered in front of this gas station, the first of at least two dozen people murdered in hate crimes in the months after 9/11. Neighbors and strangers sent hundreds of flowers and cards and messages, but the family chose this sign