WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, May 18, SALDEF’s Executive Director Kiran Kaur Gill spoke at The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus’ (CAPAC) event: Remembrance of Lives Lost to Anti-Asian Hate. This event focused on furthering awareness of anti-Asian hate, remembering the innocent lives lost to AAPI hatred, and highlighting stories that have affected the AAPI community during the pandemic and throughout our nation’s history. Kiran emphasized the increasing hate crimes against Sikh Americans and condemned white supremacy in her remarks:
“The Sikh American community is no stranger to hate and violence. Over 50% of Sikh Americans report being discriminated against for their articles of faith, including a turban and uncut hair. Additionally, More than 50% of Sikh American students report being bullied in school. This was evident in SALDEF’s groundbreaking study, Turban Myths, which confirmed the real lived experiences of members of our community. Since 9/11, hate crimes against Sikh Americans continue to increase; according to the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics 2020, there has been an 82% increase in hate crimes targeting Sikhs since 2020….We [SALDEF] actively work to empower our community to get engaged and advocate for policies/initiatives to ensure acts of hate [White Supremecy] we saw in Oak Creek ten years ago and again in Buffalo this past weekend never happen to any community.”
Sikh Americans have experienced increased hate since 9/11, and as May marks Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Kiran was joined by CAPAC members and other community leaders seeking to shed more light on anti-Asian violence and harassment sweeping the United States.