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Biden Remembers Victims Of Oak Gurdwara Shooting

Biden acknowledged that there has been a rise in hate crimes, harassment, bullying and other forms of bias against Asian-Americans during the pandemic. It seems not to stop

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Admitting that there has been a rise in hate crime against Asian-Americans, US President Joe Biden mourned the loss of Sikhs in a shooting by a white supremacist at a gurdwara of Wisconsin nine years ago. On this day, in 2012, I was with another friend who’s half Sikh–he’s a Sikh. And we were dealing with 10 people shot in a hateful act of bigotry at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Seven people lost their lives that day. Today, we honour everyone impacted by the tragedy, Biden told reporters at the White House.

In an interaction with reporters during his meeting with AAPP civil rights leaders, Biden acknowledged that there has been a rise in hate crimes, harassment, bullying and other forms of bias against Asian-Americans during the pandemic. It seems not to stop, he said.

Several Indian Americans were invited to attend Biden’s meeting at the White House. Prominent among them were Seema Agnani from the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD); Satjeet Kaur from Sikh Coalition; Kiran Kaur Gill from Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF); and Neil Makhija from Indian American Impact. In a separate statement, Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, thanked Biden for his “compassion” and a “strong stand” against hate and violence. “The Sikh community was shaken by this tragedy and our community still is concerned about the hate filled rhetoric being condoned by some political interest groups,” he said.

“The White supremacist groups are on the rise in the recent years and are intimidating many other minority groups in America. President Biden and Vice-President Harris’s stand is unambiguous on this critical issue. This is the most important message that our political leaders can send across the nation and the world,” Singh said. Congresswoman Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), said “Today, we remember and honour the seven victims of this domestic terror attack and rededicate ourselves to the values of peace and openness that characterise the Sikh religion.” “We must also finally reject the white supremacy, xenophobia and bigotry that continue to fan the flames of hate and put more lives at risk, while taking action to end the gun violence that allows attackers to make their hatred fatal. Every American, regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity deserves to feel safe at home and in their own community, she said. 

(PTI)