The Biden Campaign has launched an initiative to reach out to the Sikh community in the US and vows to address the unique challenges, including xenophobia, that the religious minority faces in the country.
The Biden campaign, which started Sikh Americans for Biden, said it had plans to protect Sikh American youth in schools.
Sikh Americans experience bullying at a rate twice the national average and have reported an increase in these encounters since 2017, a press release said Sunday.
“The Biden campaign plans to highlight the specific plans and guidelines that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden outlined on his platform to address the unique challenges facing the American Sikh community in terms of racism, xenophobia and discrimination” , it was said.
Kiran Kaur Gill, a noted civil rights activist and member of the Sikh American National Leadership Council, claimed that President Donald Trump not only ignored but encouraged bullying and discrimination.
The Sikh American National Leadership Council is an advisory council to the Sikh Americans for Biden.
With Biden as U.S. president, Sikh Americans can feel safer in schools and on the streets, Kiran Kaur Gill said in a statement.
“(Former) Vice President Biden has a track record of taking positions against hatred, discrimination and bullying, and his leadership on these issues is important to our community,” she said.
The Biden campaign said that if the Biden government were to vote on power, they would allocate additional federal funding to anti-bullying initiatives.
Civil rights activist Valarie Kaur said: “This election is unlike any other. Everything our Sikh ancestors fought for – a world of dignity, equality and justice – is at stake.”
“A Biden presidency would give us a chance – save our democracy, heal the earth and create a world where we ‘don’t see a stranger’. So I’m proud to join Sikhs for Biden – and do anything the power to get the vote. Our lives depend on it, “she said in a South Asian statement for Biden on Sunday.
Japjee Singh, an anti-bullying attorney, described the terrible bullying that took place in his Georgia high school. In 2013, when he was 17 years old, Singh was repeatedly verbally and physically molested because of his Sikh belief. He was labeled a “terrorist” and was targeted by fellow students for wearing a turban. Singh’s bullying case led to the US Department of Justice’s first bullying settlement on behalf of a Sikh student.
“Many of the systems in place prevent victims of bullying from being heard and validated. Often times, these victims are perceived as attackers; they are not. Biden is determined to change these systems so that we can provide bullying survivors with the support they receive. ” they need, “said Singh.
In a joint statement, Josh Dickson, the National Faith Engagement Director for the Biden campaign, and Seema Sadanandan, a political advisor for the campaign, said Biden was committed to a number of initiatives that are heavily supported by the Sikh American community .
“For example, a Biden administration would allocate additional funding to the Justice Department and the Department of Education for anti-bullying initiatives. Biden also has specific plans to restore the White House AAPI Bullying Prevention Task Force in Obama-Biden would spearheaded with community organizations , including Sikh nonprofits, are working together, “they said