The American Sikh Council (ASC) (formerly known as World Sikh Council America Region –WSC-AR) is alarmed and shocked at the ultra-right wing ‘white supremacists’ (terrorists) who took out a march to perpetuate their insidious hate and bigotry against all minorities, people of color, ethnicities, etc on Saturday August 12, 2017 in downtown Charlottesville, VA. There were counter protest held by in order to stand up against the ‘white supremacists’ (terrorists) who claimed membership in the Ku Klux Klan and other fringe groups.
Due to the ensuing confrontation by the ‘white supremacists’ (terrorists) with the counter protestors, one woman was killed and more than 30 people were injured on Saturday August 12, 2017. The 32 year old Heather Heyer a paralegal at a local Charlottesville law firm died after a ‘white supremacist’ (terrorist) James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio rammed his car into a crowd of counter protestors. Heather Heyes died while standing up for the defenseless and trying to hold up those good values that any upstanding citizen should.
Additionally, a pilot Lt H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M.M.Bates another member of the Governor’s protection detail were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday as they helped monitor the situation in Charlottesville.
This is homegrown terrorism which must be dealt with in the strictest manner by our government. There is no question that if this was not a ‘white terrorist’ this incident would be absolutely considered a ‘terrorist attack’ immediately.
President Trump condemned the violence but without clearly calling out and condemning the ‘white terrorists’ perpetrators of these horrific crimes. As a leader of the free world it behooves our President to say and do the right thing at the right time as he represents the credibility of our nation and its people.
Vice President Mike Pence while on a trip to Columbia stated, “We have no tolerance for hate and violence from white supremacists or the KKK”. “These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.” (Based on news reports).
Vice President Pence’s remarks came after many critics vocally criticized President Donald Trump for not specifically mentioning white supremacists or other groups during his remarks Saturday.
People around the nation marched on Sunday to protest the terrible events of Charlottesville. There were more than 130 rallies from Maine to California, according to a CNN tally of events posted to social media.
American Sikh Council President Dr. Gurdas Singh stated, “Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this horrific violence.” Religious minorities like the Sikh Americans have been at the receiving end of hate and bigotry for a very long time. The American Sikh Council stands firmly against all kinds of xenophobic rhetoric and and all attacks must be denounced in the strongest possible terms.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) urges all the Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions to hold candle light vigils, organize and/or join hands in any local rally being held against hate and bigotry, donate blood, and continue to educate non-Sikh neighbors about the Sikh message of universal brotherhood/sisterhood to spread peace and inclusiveness of our faith founders.
The American Sikh Council also urges all the Gurdwaras to make sure there are security measures in place for the respective Gurdwaras and the sangats. These are trying times and it is up to us to be proactive and be prepared to keep everyone safe.