The Sikh community in the United States has been a target of increasing hate crimes since 9/11, but violent incidents have spiked again after President Donald Trump was elected last November.
On March 16, the Delaware legislature unanimously passed a resolution declaring April Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month. Speaking to a delegation of Indian Americans, Gov. John Carney said, “We have fearmongering going on at the national level, and stereotyping…and all of that. It is an embarrassment on America as a country,” reports The Indian Express.
In one incident earlier this month, a 39-year-old Sikh man was shot in his WA driveway by a masked white man who yelled, “Go back to your own country.”
The state resolution also cites the killing of six Sikhs in the 2012 mass killing in Oak Creek, WI, and the fact that Sikh residents “are often mistaken for Taliban or followers of Al Qaida, owing to the commonality of their beards and turbans, and subjected to a disproportionately high rate of hate crimes.”
According to state lawmakers, Sikh children “suffer bullying at twice the national bullying rate for other boys,” but “the Sikh American community continues to peacefully overcome attacks on its identity and practices, whether in the form of school harassment, employment discrimination, or fatal shootings…”
California, which along with New York and New Jersey has one of the biggest Sikh communities in the U.S., passed a similar resolution last November. According to NBC, Sikhs first entered CA in 1899, founding their first temple there in 1912.
DE’s Sikh community arrived to that state much later, in the 1970s, establishing the first temple in 1990 in Elsmere, the resolution notes.