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The Sikh Coalition News
October 22, 2020
  • Remaining Vigilant Through the U.S. Elections

    October 22, 2020 (New York, NY) – In the midst of a turbulent year where we have already seen more than 220,000 Americans die due to the COVID-19 pandemic and millions more become unemployed as a direct result, the United States now finds itself in the midst of a polarizing national election.

    We expect that this election will be decided by voters casting their ballots on or before November 3, with either a continuation of this administration or a peaceful transfer of power. However, it is plausible that the presidential electoral process will be contested and a highly contentious fight will follow. Regardless of the outcome, it is likely that tensions between Americans will run high for some time.

    As the Sikh American community knows, when national tensions run high, it can have profoundly negative and dangerous consequences for racial, ethnic, and religious minorities and other marginalized groups. For this reason, the Sikh Coalition urges vigilance and caution for every Sikh household in the United States before, during, and after Election Day. Know your rights, remain aware of your surroundings, and always report cases of bias, bigotry, and discrimination.

    TAKE ACTION AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

    Report Hate Incidents: If you or someone you know has experienced hate violence, bias-based property damage, hate vandalism, or threats thereof, immediately seek safety and medical attention if necessary and call law enforcement as soon as possible to report the incident. Please be aware that law enforcement should not ask you about your immigration status; in the event that they do, you have the right to not answer this question. Please contact the Sikh Coalition at 212-655-3095 or fill out our reporting form immediately after the incident as well. We can provide free and confidential consultation with experienced attorneys in both English and Punjabi.

    Know Your Rights: Please be aware of your surroundings and know your rights. Download our FAQ guide on hate crimes and hate speech and learn how to report incidents to authorities and the Sikh Coalition. Our hate crime poster can be displayed at your gurdwara and is available in both English and Punjabi. Additionally, we provide educational brochures that serve as an introduction to the Sikh faith, community, and traditions; this resource is available in 18 different languages. To receive free copies of any of our available resources, please email us at community@sikhcoalition.org.

    Share Gurdwara Security Toolkit: Print or email our Gurdwara Security Toolkit to share it with your gurdwara. Since 2017, nearly 80 different gurdwaras have worked with the Sikh Coalition to take proactive steps to make their gurdwaras safer. Ask your gurdwara if they have already participated, and if they haven’t, please have a gurdwara committee member email us at community@sikhcoalition.org for a free consultation.

    Share This Information With Your Family and Friends: Finally, please forward this email to your immediate family and friends. Encourage them to sign up for the Sikh Coalition’s email alerts so that they can continue to receive related updates on resources and information. Then, take the next easy step and post this information to your social media accounts. It is critical that we disseminate this information to every sangat member so that if a hate crime or bias-motivated incident happens, they know we are here to provide free and confidential legal resources.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.

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