One in Five is Angry


(In)Visible Identity by Vishavjit Singh
Teaching Tolerance, Issue 59, July 1, 2018

Ignorance and suspicion targeting Sikhs in contemporary American society is an all too common occurrence. Recently, New Jersey state attorney general Gurbir Grewal was repeatedly referred to as "turban man" by talk radio hosts. A 2013 Stanford University report called Turban Myths shows 49 percent of Americans believe Sikh is a sect of Islam and one in five Americans report that seeing turbans makes them feel angry or apprehensive. Sikh students often find themselves the targets of harassment and bullying when wearing a turban. The Sikh Coalition's recent report Go Home, Terrorist shows that Sikh student are bullied at more than double the national average with more than 50% of students surveyed reporting instances of name calling, psychological abuse, and physical violence.  For teachers looking for resources, Teaching Tolerance has collected a large number of primary sources and videos to help educate students about the Sikh religion and people. Some highlights include U.C. Davis’s Pioneering Punjabis Digital Archive and the Sikh Coalition’s We Are the Sikhs. The Kaur Foundation also has the Diversity Education Initiative Cultural Safari which includes a 17 minute video and curriculum. In the end, we all play a role in ending bigotry and cultural bias.

Submitted By: Jonathan Moser, Perkiomen School, Pennsburg, PA

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