I’m excited to share with you that the U.S. Senate will hold a historic hearing in response to the tragedy of Oak Creek, WI this coming Wednesday, September 19th, at 2:30pm. Congress heard our call for a national conversation to combat hate in America!
At the hearing, a young man whose mother was killed in the massacre will testify. Harpreet Singh will tell his story and ask the government to give his mother at least the dignity of being counted as a statistic. We can show Harpreet and the Senate that he is not alone.
The FBI currently doesn’t track hate crimes against Sikhs, as it does for many other groups. The Sikh identity of Harpreet’s mother and the five others killed in Oak Creek will not appear as a statistic in the FBI’s reports. How can we effectively respond to a problem we’re not measuring? This is our chance to advocate for real policy changes to combat hate in America.
We’re reporting the number of signatures collected in the congressional testimony we submit for the record – a permanent memory of the stand we take together against hate crimes in America.
And during the hearing, Harpreet on behalf of his brother Kamal and the kids of Oak Creek will call for an end to hate not just against Sikhs – but against all Americans. He has chosen to stand with African American, Latino, Muslim American, Jewish American, LGBTQ Americans and all who struggle to live, work, and worship without fear. I’m so moved by his courage.
Let’s follow his lead. We are working with our partners at the White House, Interfaith Youth Core, the Sikh Coalition, SALDEF, and SAALT to combat hate against all people – not just in the halls of power but in our schools, houses of worship, and communities in the weeks and months to come. Let’s take the first step at this historic hearing.
This will be the first Congressional hearing in recent years on the rise of hate groups and threat of domestic extremism. It will also be the first hearing on hate crimes since 2009 when Congress considered the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crime Prevention Act.
Will you support Harpreet and honor the memory of Oak Creek by adding your name? http://groundswellas.nonprofitsoapbox.com/sikh-solidarity-fbi-letter
In the spirit of Chardi Kala – everlasting optimism and high spirits,
Director of Groundswell