September 15, 2019
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Thoughts on Sikhism after Donald Trump Iowa Rally // Kanika Lal


Hey guys, it’s Kanika Lal, and I want to talk
about something that kind of hit me hard. I read this article last week. It was about
a Trump rally, and knowing Trump, his comments, they’re annoying to listen to. He was at a
rally in Iowa, and he was going off about Muslims and how 9/11, and the Paris attacks,
and San Bernardino, how they’re all to blamed on Muslims. And how they’re just not right
for this country. We’ve heard this before, right? Iowa has become a place where white
supremacists are kind of taking over. They’re calling everybody with pre-recorded messages saying, “Only white, educated men should be running this country, not Muslim people.” So obviously these protestors have put up a sign saying STOP HATE to stop all this phobia we have against different religions and different cultures. But, of course, protestors always
get kicked out, so they were being thrown out of the gym. And after they were thrown
out, Trump made a comment about one of them, as we think. So one of them was named Arish
Singh. He is a Sikh man. He wears a turban. He wore a bright red turban that day. After
he was thrown out Trump actually commented saying, “Ah, he wasn’t wearing one of those
hats, was he? Was he wearing one of those?” And then the next day, headlines all over
were commenting on how Trump was making a racial slur against Arish Singh. Now I watched
the whole video to really see what went down, and Trump was actually referring to his own
supporter hats. You know, the one that says, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. Those red hats.
Yet, after kind of thinking about it, knowing Trump, too, he was making a comment on both.
The fact that Arish was wearing a turban, and on his own hats. Plus, when Arish was
thrown out, everyone in the fricken gym was yelling, USA USA, as if Arish was against
the USA. And that just got me wanting to reach out to Arish himself, ask him about the protest,
ask him how he felt. I didn’t get in touch with him, unfortunately, but who I did speak
to were two men. One who’s a professor and actually part of a big organization called
Sikh Coalition. And another who runs this blog. His name is Nav, and it’s called Nav
Project 365. They told me about their thoughts on this issue and after me doing a little
of digging and researching, it’s hitting me about how much phobia and stereotypes we have
in this country. But, who are Sikhs? Right. I’m sure you never really been that affiliated
with. Except for when you probably, maybe saw those two white guys dancing to Daler
Mehndi music or maybe you were at a club and heard Punjabi MC and Jay Z song. These are
popular, pop culture references. But where do they come from? They actually come from
the culture of where Sikhs come from. They came from Punjab, which is a state in India,
which birthed the religion of Sikhism. And, I’m Hindu, but I have a very very strong relation
to Punjab because I’m also Punjabi. And growing up what I know about them is what good people
they are, honest people they are, and how devoted to their faith they are. The fifth
largest religion in this whole world, totally isolated from any other religion, by the way.
27 million Sikhs actually live in this whole world. The reason why they wear a turban and
a beard is because it’s a symbol of equality. It’s their articles of faith teaching them
about equality, always giving, and wearing that turban everyday reminds you of the good
human to be. So this one religion that cultivates love for itself and for others is getting
so much hate. And the hate that I’m talking about that goes back from 9/11. After 9/11,
only a month after, there were 300 probably even more, 300 hate crimes against
Sikhs because people confused them for being terrorists. And even until today. We had 2012,
there was a huge Wisconsin massacre, where a 40-year-old man, a white supremacist, Neo-Nazi
man, by the name of Michael Page, walked into a Wisconsin Sikh temple, killed six people,
and wounded four because he thought that they were terrorists. Two months ago, a man in
L.A., 67-year-old man was driving a bus, he got called a terrorist, he was accused of
hijacking the bus, and was beaten, beaten brutally. Even two months ago in Buena Vista
there was a temple, a Sikh temple that was vandalized. And somebody wrote F*** ISIS on
it. So for us, who experience this regularly, it doesn’t seem like it’s a big deal because
we’ve been conditioned to not think it’s a big deal, but then all of a sudden, you know,
a moment like that translates into a hate crime or a murder or your kids or your nephews,
your cousins are getting bullied at school and then you’re like OK, this stuff is real,
and we really need to take it seriously. This stuff is happening on a day-to-day basis,
nobody is saying anything, nobody is educating anyone, so that’s why there’s an outpour and
outpour and outpour of these hate crimes that are happening. Arish Singh, the protestor
I was talking about in Iowa. He himself said in an interview to the Daily Beast, which
is really important to note, that he is Sikh but if he is called a Muslim, he shouldn’t
right away disregard that. He shouldn’t right away be fearful of even being called a Muslim.
He should accept the fact that he might not be Muslim, he’s a Sikh, but educate. Educate
that there’s a difference, but there’s also similarities between the two. But none of
the similarities have anything to do with terrorism here. Oh, and before I forget, I
also want to say that Leonardo DiCaprio’s stepmom is a Sikh, and I think that’s really
really cool. There was a picture of her at The Golden Globes and DiCaprio was talking
to her, and she was wearing a white turban with a really beautiful jewel. And that is
really cool to see a non-Indian really embrace us. So I had to point that out really quickly.
But I think the biggest thing here, too, is that the faith that these Sikhs have, the
fact that they do everything out of love. And I even asked the professor, aren’t you
fearful for your life? No. He’s more just concerned. He more so just wants to educate.
Americans tend to be very illiterate when it comes to other religions and cultures.
We just don’t teach religions in school. We don’t teach about different cultures in schools.
But that puts us in a really tough position when we become adults to all of a sudden we
have to navigate in a world where there is religion and people are living according to
their religion. The lack of religious illiteracy was something I needed to do. I felt responsible
for helping to educate people about, not just Sikhism, but other religions that are out
there. I think what amazes me so much, and what I have so much pride in these Sikhs for
is their amount of pride. They can every single morning, knowing that this society is full
of hate and full of stereotypes, they can still wear that turban, and keep that beard
for pride, for devotion of their faith because they believe it’s strong, and it will win
over the hatred. That’s what I love about it. And the last thing is, is that, I think
it’s also amazing how America is a melting pot. So, on the day-to-day basis when you
see a woman wearing a hijab or a burka, or you see a man wearing a turban and a beard.
Don’t fear. You know, don’t think something’s going to happen or it’s based off of bad pretense
or intention. You should embrace that difference. And just keep learning about it. Learn about
it, and talk about it. Thank you guys for watching. I will be back next week with some
more. It’s Kanika Lal, and I’m out.

Jean Kelley

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37 COMMENTS

  1. Turbo Jones Posted on February 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I beg you, I"m begging you…You are pretty, you are bright. Please do a video explaining your opinion of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_Muslim_conquests . Please don't say, "I don't think this matters." Instead, pretend that it matters to some people. So give us your opinion. Was it right? Was it wrong? Does it matter? Does it matter if Muslims today look back admirably to this event? Please. I'm being sincere. And I will subscribe in anticipation. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Turbo Jones Posted on February 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    One more thing. In your next video please respond to this video….https://youtu.be/ejkic8BqFoo

    Reply
  3. v Beckman Posted on February 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    their are kind Caucasian people in america too. I do not think that all these people hate or are afraid. please be aware that Caucasians are the only group that is told and taught that pride for white color is taboo and hate. todays people of white color are not horrible, they have family tradition and culture too. they are feeling more and more suppressed. this is all a very slippery slope. all people need to try harder to understand that an be American first. I am of 8 nationalities I have no

    Reply
  4. v Beckman Posted on February 12, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    8 nationalities. I have no label. because we are a melting pot religion can not be prevalent in PUBLIC schools, it does not adhere to American education. again a slippery slope changing the fundamental values that made the united states the great nation so many foreigners want to come live in. careful careful

    Reply
  5. gary purewal Posted on September 18, 2016 at 4:11 am

    https://m.facebook.com/SikhsAgainstIslamicOppression/posts/612115085466753:0

    Reply
  6. Vibhav Papneja Posted on October 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Sikhs should come back home in India if Trump is elected.

    Reply
  7. Manpreet Singh Posted on November 14, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Nice Video Kanika Respect You Are Pretty And Bright God Bless You

    Reply
  8. that_singh_who_sings Posted on November 14, 2016 at 3:02 am

    seriously surprised at the lack of views.. let alone likes… you just earned yourself a subscriber and a admirer, not because I am a sikh, but totally because of the quality in you that facilitated you to acknowledge the qualities of true men. keep it up Kanika

    Reply
  9. that_singh_who_sings Posted on November 14, 2016 at 3:18 am

    and one more thing Kanika. I found this one for you
    https://youtu.be/SxLbf71b6ho

    Reply
  10. rav singh Posted on November 24, 2016 at 9:55 am

    sick news just like its name is very sick in the head, these morons are spreading hatered about Sikhs, please ignore. God is watching. God will make sick in the head news pay for their dirty deeds

    Reply
  11. rav singh Posted on November 24, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Kanika your doing a fantastic job. Keep up the good work

    Reply
  12. joban gurdaspuria Posted on December 5, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    very nice dear

    Reply
  13. mono7891 Posted on December 26, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    It is sad but true. People in America have very little knowledge of Christianity, let alone Sikhism or any other religion. But it is said "when you are in Rome, be like a Roman". Sikhs have options, If they sport a nice haircut and gel/assimilate they would be fine. Many do. They can always wear a Kerchief to Gurudwara. It is okay because as per Sikh tenet, the head should be covered. Do you know among the 10 Gurus of Sikhs, 9 Guru's name do not have SINGH as their last name. It was only Guru Govind Singh who started the Punj-Pyare and thence came the last name "Singh". Missy, English settlers arrived here, first. Germans followed. At that time, it was Germans. During World war II, it was Japs. In 80s, it was Chinese. And now, it is Muslims and Sikhs turn. Some people would object to my proposal by saying, why should we give up our religion, it is secular country. Alright, keep doing that but then be prepared for treatment.

    Reply
  14. Harvinder Singh Posted on January 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    very nice dear kanika

    Reply
  15. Debra Bradford Posted on February 3, 2017 at 4:04 am

    Thank you for spreading love and not hate.

    Reply
  16. hoshiar Singh Gill Posted on February 28, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Well done Kanika! God bless! You have explained what you want to say in a civilised manner. It is sad to see people using abusive language and cursing each other.

    Reply
  17. hoshiar Singh Gill Posted on February 28, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Sikh belief is that Human beings should perserve the God given form by leaving all hair intact. Turban has been a mark of honour in all Semitic and Indian religions if you go back in history.

    Reply
  18. KARANDIP SINGH Posted on March 8, 2017 at 6:23 am

    thanks for this video. 🙂

    Reply
  19. Clive Cookie Posted on March 10, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Sikhism is an offshoot of Islam. They share many things in common. Sikhism is a blend of Islam and Hinduism.

    Reply
  20. BSB Posted on March 15, 2017 at 9:15 am

    massive big up to this girl. What she is actually doing is the core essence of Sikhism as ordained by Guru Gobind Singh speak out and defend the minority , the innocent etc. Go for it sis. x

    Reply
  21. Kanwar Singh Posted on March 19, 2017 at 12:39 am

    love the video:)

    Reply
  22. Balkaran Singh Posted on March 19, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Thank you for supporting Sikhs. Thumbs up.

    Reply
  23. Hervinder Singh Posted on March 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hi Kanika , killing people is against humanity. Life is precious. You have been doing an excellent work. Awareness about Sikh religion Sikh people ,culture and their dress is quite significant. You are doing a great job. We are living in a modern world. We should respect every religion awal allah Noor Upaya Kundrat ke sab bande ek noor te sab jag upjaya kaun bhale kau Mande. Killing people is heinous crime and everyone should come forward against racism.

    Reply
  24. f___the glibalist scum Posted on April 30, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    sikhs should step up

    Reply
  25. Known Stranger Posted on May 1, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Good job sis!!

    Reply
  26. QWERTYUIOP QWERTYUIOP Posted on September 3, 2017 at 8:54 am

    very good thinking

    Reply
  27. Raja will Posted on October 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Awwww shes so sweat!!
    What a lovely lady!

    Reply
  28. Victor Singh Posted on February 19, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Trump is very racist against sikhs and im a sikh

    Reply
  29. Jack The Paki Rakki Posted on April 18, 2018 at 2:47 am

    I hear you, but NEVER forget what Muslims have done throughout their history … and yes other have done shit as well … but when do the muslims get to grips with their own evil … in islam … MUSLIMS DO kill people in the present day
    WHEN Sikhs stand up and say … no YELL OUT .. we are NOT Muslims … the world will continue to call Sikhs muslims … stop living in denial !!!!!

    Reply
  30. Raja will Posted on September 22, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    She seams like a really nice lady. Tnx for saying that bout INDIANS. WE ARE ALL 1.

    Reply
  31. Gurjeet Singh Posted on November 17, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Kanika Thank you for your support to make people aware about their stereotypical thinking. God Bless You!

    Reply
  32. Amrit K. Posted on November 18, 2018 at 2:09 am

    America is very lucky to have Sikhs on that land… Ignorance has took away the privilage… they will repent for hating and attacking sikhs in this day and age. Amreica was all about liberalism, freedom and equality, Sikhism is the only religion that holded these qualities 500 years ago… not just embrace, americans should teach and follow sikhism for a better, just and equal world. Stop being a trapped in me, my, self, materialistic, selfish, victim and hate fear monger america… you can do better then that.. espically in 21st centuary.

    Reply
  33. Lakhbir Singh Posted on January 23, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    I served in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Sikh with a turban for 9 years. When they saw me, the US Navy could not believe I could be anything other than a terrorist. I was arrested at gunpoint, punched in the head and kidney and thrown in the US ship's brig (jail). True story. This is the state of affairs.

    Reply
  34. tarn zing Posted on April 12, 2019 at 11:02 am

    A turban does not represent equality, it is to be chaste and modest, Hindus teach non Hindus about sikhism incorrectly and are much loader as a group u create a misunderstanding of sikhism for Everytime a sikh says something a hundred Hindus say something incorect

    Reply
  35. Aki K Posted on May 22, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Fantastic job Kanika !

    Reply
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