Solidarity Vigil for the Sikh Community - Milwaukee April 22

Event Dates: 
04/22/21

Solidarity Vigil for the Sikh Community

Thursday, April 22, 7 PM CT

The Sikh community needs you. Last Thursday, a gunman opened fire at a FedEx facility where he had worked and that was primarily staffed by Sikhs. Four of the eight people killed Indianapolis were Sikh. Witnesses report that the gunman specifically hunted down Sikh employees. He is known to have visited white supremacist sites. Sikhs across America are in grief and trauma: The massacre opens a wound, going back to the Oak Creek massacre and 9/11, and long before. And yet the media is quiet, and the police are not investigating the role of bias. No headlines. No hashtags. We are going to change that together.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

1. RSVP to the vigil now.

2. Spread the wordForward this email. Post on social. Sample posts below. Use #StandWithSikhs #StopAsianHate #EndRacialViolence

3. Write a prayer or message of love and solidarityWe will bind your letters in books and deliver them to the families of the victims as lasting testaments of our solidarity.

Peace Action of WI
http://www.peaceactionwi.org/

 

Why this matters -- Valarie Kaur
 A squeeze in the chest. Burning in the rib cage. Ache in the throat.

In this time of collective trauma, I breathe with you to honor the lives of all eight people killed in the massacre: Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Jaswinder Kaur, Amarjit Kaur Sekhon, Jaswinder Singh, Karli Smith, John Weisert.
Four of the eight are Sikh Americans. Witnesses on the ground report that the gunman specifically targeted Sikh employees during the rampage. One witness reports that the gunman “told a white woman running towards him to get out of the way, after having just shot a Sikh man in the face.” Others heard him scream “to let him in to kill them all.” Despite these reports, the police are still not yet investigating the role of bias in the shooting. For more details, read the Sikh Coalition’s letter to law enforcement in Indianapolis.
The Sikh community, my community, is grieving -- not just in Indianapolis but all across the country. The massacre has opened the wound of longstanding anti-Sikh and anti-Asian hate in the United States. The shooting occurs just a month after the targeting of Asian American spas in Atlanta which left 8 people dead, including 6 Asian women. It brings back memories of the hate-motivated massacre at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin gurdwara in 2012, and ongoing racial violence since 9/11, and long before.
But we are not just victims -- we have wisdom to offer America about longevity and resilience in labors for justice. In our vigil, we will hear Sikh stories, music, and prayer -- and hold space for the many people of color experiencing ongoing hate violence and state violence. Together we will recommit to the practices of revolutionary love in the face of anti-Black racism and the racial violence that has taken the lives of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and many more.
I can imagine no better redemption for all we have lost than for America to take up this radical vision of beloved community as our north star.