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Dear Supporter Ji,

This has been a difficult week, and like so many people across the nation, I’m still processing what happened on Wednesday. Still, I felt it was important to reach out to you--and all of the community members and allies who support our work at the Sikh Coalition--regarding the outrageous attack on the U.S. Capitol Building.

It was sickening, shameful, and frankly traumatizing to watch the President of the United States incite a mob of his supporters and encourage them to violently disrupt one of the final steps of our free and fair election. As an organization, we condemn the violence of these extremists and white supremacists. We also call for every political leader who inspired this insurrection--especially President Trump--to be held accountable.

It was also another stark reminder, for myself and every person of color, of the deep, systemic racial inequality in our society. It is painfully obvious that the reaction of law enforcement to Wednesday’s insurrection was vastly different than their response to other protests led by people of color, both recently and since the earliest days of the civil rights movement. We must hold those who violently entered the Capitol accountable immediately, but in the long run, also keep fighting for the social and policy changes we urgently need to address the profound inequality on display this week.

As flagrant and disturbing as the scenes in our nation’s capital were, the Trump Administration is also quietly trying to eliminate several of our most basic civil liberties behind closed doors in their final days in power.

In just the past few weeks alone, substantial, last-minute policy changes have been deliberately pushed forward by this administration, and our staff has been hard at work raising the alarm. Last month, we recruited 50 civil rights partners to join us in opposing a proposal by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would make it easier for Sikhs and other minorities to be treated unequally at work by employers across the nation. This week, we have also joined the fight against another possible policy change, this one by the Department of Justice, that would dramatically reduce the federal goverment’s efforts to investigate and stop discrimination--if moved forward, it would be the most significant rollback of civil rights enforcement in nearly 50 years.

I encourage each of you to stay vigilant over the next several weeks as political tensions remain high. I know we are all exhausted; our communities have endured so much pain over the last year given the pandemic, and we have a long road ahead of us as we collectively work to heal our society from deep levels of hate, anger, and frustration. We must do better, and that starts at the top with our leaders--regardless of political affiliation--putting the people, country and democracy first. It is also our collective responsibility to hold our elected officials responsible and work towards fixing the cracks in our democracy.

As we confront the challenges and opportunities of the new year, I pledge to you that we will keep striving for a country where everyone’s rights are protected--including the right to practice our faith fearlessly.

Chardi Kala,

Satjeet Kaur
Executive Director 
The Sikh Coalition

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