Inspired by Akal Committee Thirteen

The true man of God sees no man as good or evil,
no man as friend or enemy. Siri Guru Granth Sahib

The Remedy is Community...
Communication and Cooperation Works.

A robust transparency is necessary at this time in our history.
We pledge to advocate and participate in thoughtful disagreement.
Therefore our intention is to actively promote diversity and cultural
competency, explore issues of color and gender, and inspire people
who have a history of being marginalized, using social media and other
means as platforms to inform various communities of the life experiences
and concerns of marginalized people with regard to the necessity for social
action, dialogue, inclusion, compassion, tolerance, and cultural literacy to
expand and improve human relations going forward, in order to better facilitate
the current worldwide shift in global consciousness from tribalism, instability,
and extremism, to harmony, cooperation and enduring peace. In addition, we
welcome and support other organizations that promote the transformation of
as taught by spiritual teachers like Guru Nanak Dev and others.

Our ultimate goal is to afford every person in the community
the opportunities to explore the sensitivities of the human spirit to
wit each person is inspired to (a) teach and interact with people while
maintaining a keen appreciation for their longing for inclusion, the innate longing
to belong within our human nature; (b) respond with compassionate consideration
and sensitivity to those racial, cultural, religious, ethnic, economic, political, social,
psychological, and philosophical differences that exist within every community.

Read me now!

Diversity Dialogues

Sardar Tarlochan Singh

Yogi Bhajan's mission is on the march.

May 26, 2016 -- It has been almost 12 years since Harbhajan Singh Yogiji left his physical body (see announcement). From 1969 when he came to the West until 2004 Yogiji served humanity and the Sikh community with every breath he had.

Harbhajan Singh Yogiji

I had the privilege to come close to Yogi Bhajan in 1952 when we both were in the All India Sikh Student Federation. I have observed his work in India as a government of India official and later on when he went to America and established the first yoga centre in L.A. in 1969. I have been attending many International Confrences he organised in the U.S., Africa and Europe where he preached the message of Guru Nanak. Large numbers of foreigners accepted Sikh Dharma through these camps and he has been organising Yatras to Amritsar for these Sikhs annually. ( Also see Super Health Project.)

Left to right are Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice Chancellor of Patialla University, Rajbir Singh,
former Jathedar of Akal Takhat, Bhai Ranjit Singh, Tarlochan Singh,
Satpal Singh, and Siri Singh Sahib Ji, November, 1996, India.

Along with Mother Teresa, Reverand Martin Luther King and Pope John II, Yogi Bhajan is only the 4th person to be recognized in the U.S. Congress for his service to humanity. This is a great honour for an Indian-born person. Even a highway has been named after him in the State of New Mexico. (Note: This roadway is off U.S. Highway 84/285. It was N.M. 106, and was renamed the “Yogi Bhajan Memorial Highway”. (See Former NM Governor Gary Johnson.)

Yogi Bhajan Memorial Highway

Since his passing away, there has been a tremendous expansion of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan both in the realm of Sikh Dharma and Kundalini Yoga throughout the world. In most situations when a strong central figure is no longer there it becomes very natural for everything that person built to diminish over time. But In the case of Yogi Bhajan, and all that he created, it is just the opposite.

There are more than 8000 lectures on Sikh Dharma, Kundalini Yoga and Humanology by Yogi Bhajan. Many have been available free through Yogi Bhajan Library of Teachings on the Internet. (See 3HO Foundation.)

Today, there are several hundred centers of Kundalini Yoga and the teachings of Shabad Guru. The outreach of these have gone far beyond North America, Southeast Asia and Europe – it has reached China, South America, Russia, Africa, and the Middle East.

For the past 9 years, China has created several hundred teachers of Kundalini Yoga where thousands now practice the ancient science of breath and meditation, including chanting Japji, and Sat Nam Wahe Guru.

Moreover, hundreds of these students come to Amritsar every year to visit Golden Temple and pay their respects to Guru Ram Das. Dozens completed the 84 steps of Gowindwal and have made yatras to Anandpur Sahib. Anandpur Sahib where Yogi ji built a large complex near the Takht. Currently there are 8 outstanding Chinese students who study at Miri Piri Academy, a boarding school founded by Yogi Bhajan 24 years ago at Amritsar.

Recently, in China thousands participated in BREATHE, 3rd Great Asian Tour on Kundalini Yoga for Health, Happiness, and Harmony. They are following the teachings of Yogi Bhajan.

Once Yogi Bhajan was asked about the prophecy of Guru Gobind Singh of having 960 million Khalsa. He said that will come from China. Europe and Russia. Russia has seen tremendous growth in the technology of Kundalini yoga and the expansion of Sikh Dharma over the past decade. Even though Russia began its journey with Yogi Bhajan in 1985, thousands now participate in their Kundalini Yoga Festivals, Yatras to India, hold Langars, and build Gurdwaras.

The Middle East and Africa is continuing to grow also at a very steady rate. Ghana, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, South Africa and many others have all expanded in the teaching offered by Yogi Bhajan.

Perhaps one of the larger areas of expansion in the Western hemisphere is Central and South America. Chile has now legalized Sikh Dharma as a recognized religion. Amrit Prachar, Gurbani Kirtan, KundaliniYoga Festivals, Gurdwaras, Langar programs and many other forms of seva is well placed in their society.

'Langar Chile' has just celebrated 10 years of National Service. Chile and 7 other South American countries have requested the Women of Light Foundation to become part of the governmental programs offered to their citizens. Founded by Nam Nidhan Kaur Khalsa, Women of Light is a program developed to serve all women with the technology of Sikh Dharma and Kundalini Yoga.

Moreover, Crecer Consciente Foundation, which is based on Yogi Bhajans teachings for children and developed by Prabhu Nam Kaur Khalsa, is widely accepted on a governmental level by many South American countries.

For the past two years, Gurubachan Singh Khalsa has been invited to teach in the National Congress of Chile. He has been the first person in Chile who has had this privilege that is otherwise reserved for the President of the country. In 2016 he was invited to the National Congress of Argentina. Gurubachan Singh received the Baston of Honor from the National Police of Bolivia, the highest honor given to a civilian.

In Paraguay, plans are now being developed to build the first Sikh Gurdwara not only in that country but also as major center of spiritualty for the continent .The 'Langar Paraguay' program, now in its 6th year, feeds more than 200 indiginous street children everyday. The teachings of Shabad Guru and Kundalini Yoga are an everyday reality for many of the countries 5 million Catholic population. (See Lord of Miracles Tour.)

In Argentina there is a growing population of Sikhs both Western and Indian. Now there is Guru Granth Sahib installed in a Gurdwara in Buenos Aires.

Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, El Salvador, Argentina and Colombia have accepted Kundalini Yoga and the teachings on stress reduction to thousands in their National Police force. Sometimes as many as 1200 policemen meditate while listenting to Gurbani Kirtan.

Througout of South America many banks, corporations, hospitals, universities and military forces are practicing the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. The relevancy in these times of stress, chaos, confusion and extreme social problems has brought thousands to the feet of Guru in one way or another.

Brazil, through the tremendous efforts of a Brazilian woman, Guru Sangat Kaur Khalsa, and the Sangat have created the Miri Piri School of Brazil. It is the first school in the Americas that is patterned after the Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar – all based on the teachings of Yogi Bhajan and Shabd Guru. Even the successful Catholic School systems in Brazil wants to emulate and incorporate into their educational systems many of the programs that Miri Piri School is offering.

If you review the hundreds of seva programs that are being offered world wide through the followers of Yogi Bhajan and his teachings your eyes cannot remain dry. The compassion and kindness in our seva to humanity emulates the great work Yogi Bhajan has inspired. One man as a humble Sikh leaving a government job in India in 1970 came to the U.S., and started the Sikh Dharma in Western hemisphere and thousands of Americans joined as Sikhs wearing turbans.

By grace of Guru Ram Das, Yogi Bhajan’s legacy is guiding the American Sikhs to spread the message of Sikhism all over the world and hundred and thousands are attending yoga classes chanting Sat Nam. Satpal Singh Kohli, his son-In-law, has been named as Ambassador of Sikhism in the U.S. by Jathedar Takht Patna Sahib, and he has been participating in many International Inter-Faith conclaves to speak on Sikhism.

Tarlochan Singh
Former Chairman National Commission For Minorities. --
See My Original Letter of March 15, 2011.

See Definitions.

See Glossary of Sikh Terms.

See Tribalism From The Top.

See A Comprehensive Sikh History Quiz.

See Sikhs Need To Remain Focussed On Mission.

Diversity Dialogues

Hari Singh Bird

Monochromatic Optics

Sat Nam. What's wrong with these pictures? Think about the optics of these photos from the perspective of people of color. What message do they send? Read on.

Christian Americans

Indian-American Sikhs

3HO Summer Solstice Sadhana staff

Sikh Dharma International staff


Where is the diversity of color?
Do the optics match Nanak's message?
How do people of color relate to these optics?

Points To Ponder

"Looking at the one and only Black Family native to SDI/3HO/KRI
after 50 years
from my perspective as a person of color I have to
ask, why are there so few Black Families? How many White Families
vs. Black Families are there after 50 years? Oh sure, there are a few
, but they are disproportionately represented.
Think about the optics from the perspective of most people of color.
Do people of color see this disparity as a positive or as a negative?
And how many Black Kundalini Yoga teachers-trainers are there?
Isn't it time for there to be some serious mixed-race adult dialogue?

Detractors: Answer the questions before vilifying the messenger.

The key indicator that organizations have come of age is when steps
are taken to permit open dialogue on the issue with people of color.
BTW: When asked if one Black Family after 50 years is an issue
of concern, some Sikh Dharma ministers agreed. But when asked
why the issue is never discussed, they were unable to answer.
Discourse is not meant to stir up feelings of guilt. Discourse is
meant to drive people to action against injustice. Question is
are we mature enough to sit down and discuss issues of
diversity, including race, religion, and gender?"
Note: Nobody has yet responded to questions.

Organizations tend to be tribalistic,* even incestuous, i.e., when the 'gene pool'
of its members is of just one race. The organization is at risk of being perverted
in its policies and procedures. The obvious remedy is outreach to 'outsiders'.

Diversity is the quality or state of having people who are of different races or
who have different cultures within a group or organization.
Question is are we
mature enough to sit down and discuss issues of diversity, including religion,
gender and race? Without dialogue only one side of any issue is resolved.

The human mind was created to make choices, e.g., to discriminate between
up and down, in and out, black and white, etc. We must remain aware of our
tendency to use our discretionary abilities in order to marginalize and repress
people with whom we differ. Sikhs need to constantly see to it that we advocate
for pluralism and against tribalism in the interest of truth, justice and fairness.

Question: How does one know when tribalism is a likely issue?
Answer: When dialogue between opposing parties is non-existent.

Issues to do with diversity are not going away just because we
deny their existence, or because they cause us discomfort.

*Tribalism is the social tendency to live in loyalty to a tribe, social group or gang (tribe within a tribe) especially when combined with a strong negative attitude toward marginalized people outside the group.

NOTES: There's an important distinction between a tribe, i.e., faimily, community, nation, which is the norm, and tribalism,* the perverse.

Guru Nanak, in his teachings, instructs humanity to avoid tribalism and embrace pluralism. Tribalism eventually produces a siege mentality whereby groups (especially religious organizations) believe themselves to be constantly attacked, oppressed, or isolated in the face of the negative intentions of the rest of the world. Although a group phenomenon, the term describes both the emotions and thoughts of the group as a whole, and as individuals.

The typical result is an isolated, even insolated existence, overly fearful of surrounding people whereby feedback from the outside is blocked or rejected, and an intractably defensive attitude rules. This state of mind is a dominant factor within tribalistic groups.

The remedy to this state of mind can be something akin to a sensitivity summit in which people of color, women, and other marginalized groups are sought out for their views, and open dialogue is maintained.

See related post.

Post your thoughts here.

Chardi kalaa! --

Diversity Dialogues

Hari Jiwan Singh

How Yogi Bhajan related to Sikh Rogues and Banishment

Sat Nam! There is a division of Sikhism called Namdhari. All major religions have divisions, Sikhism is no different. The Namdharis practice Sikhism differently than convention would dictate. This is a great disadvantage in that almost all other divisions of Sikhism have shunned them, specifically, for having a living Guru. They consider themselves a sect of Sikhism but insist that the line of Sikh Gurus did not end with Guru Gobind Singh – it was continued through the Namdhari leaders.

If you’ve been shunned by conventional Sikhism, it takes great true security [sense] to not be in any way affected through this isolation. Enter the Siri Singh Sahib, aka Yogi Bhajan. Just because you’ve become a rogue Sikh division shouldn’t be grounds for banishment. Yes, he understood the sin (yes, Sikhs have created sin) of anyone claiming the crown of another living Sikh Guru. He knew of the conventional condemnation. He also knew the Guru’s truth of wishing well to all. And, in wishing well to someone worthy, he wouldn’t just wish well, he would interact. He didn't judge; he didn’t shun; he didn’t join in the condemnation. He didn’t compromise his virtues either in the process. He gave; he served; he loved. He was doing Guru’s work.

The Siri Singh Sahib had the courage to do his Guru’s job. He didn’t listen to conventionality. He suffered an unbelievable amount of discomfort for his actions. That comes with the turf of being real and a spiritual leader. He was attacked from all sides for many of his actions. The Namdhari experience was just one grand example. -- Source. (See Tribalism.)

Diversity Dialogues

SatHanuman Singh 

In support of the proposed Motion

Sat Nam! I strongly support passage of the Sensitivity Summit Motion at the Khalsa Council meetings and its implementation going forward.

I've lived this sacred path since 1972, and I have raised children and grandchildren with the sacred teachings of our beloved Spiritual Teacher, Siri Singh Sahib ji, and the Dharma of Guru Nanak Dev.

It's of utmost importance to reconcile our commitment to our Dharmic Path with our sensitivity to all Creation, all human beings, all faiths, all genders, all races and we need to remain inclusive and therefore in alignment with our Guru's Hukam - to see God in All!

Hukamai andar sabhu ko baahar hukam na koi.
Nanak hukamai je bujhai ta houmai kehai na koi.

Everybody is subject to Hukam; nobody is beyond Hukam.
O Nanak, those who understand Hukam, do not speak in their ego.

As we, the first generation of adopted Sikhs, not born in Punjab or Indian sub-continent, we need to realize there is much Seva we can do to reach those who are marginalized and less fortunate.

I have used the technology of Kundalini Yoga in the mid-70s to teach in County and Federal prisons. I saw first hand how it supported positive growth for incarcerated populations, most of whom are people of color. I became one of the fist to teach in the prison system as a volunteer, years before M.S.S. Krishna Kaur pursued her outreach in the LA prison system.

We need to come together as proposed in the Motion to listen to those among our siblings who have a need to be heard and understood, so it's my hope more people will keep support this Motion or something akin to it on the Khalsa Council agenda.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka KhalsaWahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh! --

Pages And Points To Ponder

Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.

See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?
See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.
See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.

See What White People Need To Know.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See The Butterfly Effect.
See Ubuntu Philosophy.
See ACT For Diversity.
See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Turbanators.
See Sikhs Shine.
See Sikh Tribes.
See Definitions.
See Questions.

Diversity Dialogues

Ghazala Khan and Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan trumps Trump at Democratic National Convention

Sat Nam. Mr. Khizr Khan, with wife Ghazala Khan at his side, gave a stirring and memorable speech, Thursday, July 28, 2016, at the Democratic National Convention in honor of their son, Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq when a suicide bomber attacked his unit. See Humayun Khan Video.

Khan said that under a Trump government, Humayun would not have even been allowed in the country. ‘Have you even read the United States Constitution?’ he asked Trump, before offering up his own copy. See Complete Speech.

Enough said. Please watch this video.

NOTE: The elder Khan is a Harvard-educated lawyer who now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and works as a legal consultant. Also see Satyendra Huja of Charlottesville, Virginia. --

Trump's Response
By Jose A. DelReal and Anne Gearan

July 30, 2016 -- Republican Donald Trump lashed out Saturday at two Muslim American parents who lost their son while he served in the U.S. military in Iraq and who appeared at the Democratic National Convention last week, stirring outrage among critics who said the episode proves that Trump lacks the compassion and temperament to be president. See Above.

Asked to comment on the convention speech of Khizr Khan, a Pakistani immigrant whose son, Army Captain Humayun Khan, died in Iraq in 2004, Trump described Khan as “very emotional” and said he “probably looked like a nice guy to me” -- then accused him of being controlled by the Clinton campaign.

“Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s scriptwriters write it?” he asked in an interview with ABC.

Trump also questioned why Khan’s wife, Ghazala, did not speak on stage, despite the fact that she sat for an interview with MSNBC the following day.

“His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say,” he said. “You tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and it looked like she had nothing to say.” --

Ghazala Khan responds to Trump's criticism

Gold Star mother Ghazala Khan and husband Khizr

July 31, 2016 -- Donald Trump has asked why I did not speak at the Democratic convention. He said he would like to hear from me. Here is my answer to Donald Trump: Because without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.

Donald Trump said I had nothing to say. I do. My son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died 12 years ago in Iraq. He loved America, where we moved when he was 2 years old. He had volunteered to help his country, signing up for the ROTC at the University of Virginia. This was before the attack of Sept. 11, 2001. He didn’t have to do this, but he wanted to.

When Humayun was sent to Iraq, my husband and I worried about his safety. I had already been through one war, in Pakistan in 1965, when I was just a high school student. So I was very scared. You can sacrifice yourself, but you cannot take it that your kids will do this.

We asked if there was some way he could not go, because he had already done his service. He said it was his duty. I cannot forget when he was going to the plane, and he looked back at me. He was happy, and giving me strength: “Don’t worry, Mom. Everything will be all right.”

The last time I spoke to my son was on Mother’s Day 2004. We had asked him to call us collect whenever he could. I begged him to be safe. I asked him to stay back, and not to go running around trying to become a hero, because I knew he would do something like that.

He said, “Mom, these are my soldiers, these are my people. I have to take care of them.” He was killed by a car bomber outside the gates of his base. He died trying to save his soldiers and innocent civilians.

That is my son. Humayun was always dependable. If I was vacuuming the house and he was home, he would take the vacuum from my hand and clean the house. He volunteered to teach disabled children in the hospital how to swim. He said, “I love when they have a little bit of progress and their faces, they light up. At least they are that much happy.” He wanted to be a lawyer, like his father, to help people.

Humayun is my middle son, and the others are doing so well, but every day I feel the pain of his loss. It has been 12 years, but you know hearts of pain can never heal as long as we live. Just talking about it is hard for me all the time. Every day, whenever I pray, I have to pray for him, and I cry. The place that emptied will always be empty.

I cannot walk into a room with pictures of Humayun. For all these years, I haven’t been able to clean the closet where his things are — I had to ask my daughter-in-law to do it. Walking onto the convention stage, with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?

Donald Trump said that maybe I wasn’t allowed to say anything. That is not true. My husband asked me if I wanted to speak, but I told him I could not. My religion teaches me that all human beings are equal in God’s eyes. Husband and wife are part of each other; you should love and respect each other so you can take care of the family.

When Donald Trump is talking about Islam, he is ignorant. If he studied the real Islam and Koran, all the ideas he gets from terrorists would change, because terrorism is a different religion.

Donald Trump said he has made a lot of sacrifices. He doesn’t know what the word sacrifice means. --

Pages And Points To Ponder

Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.

See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?
See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.
See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.

See What White People Need To Know.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See The Butterfly Effect.
See Ubuntu Philosophy.
See ACT For Diversity.
See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Turbanators.
See Sikhs Shine.
See Sikh Tribes.
See Definitions.
See Questions.

Diversity Dialogues

Henry and Jeanette Ebers

White Twilight
Circa 1950

For thousands of years, the White man has dominated the world. He has been living under the illusion that God created the world for him.

He seems to think that he should have all the “cake and goodies” and any crumbs that are left over are good enough for all the other races.

Now, his conscience is beginning to bother him and he is afraid. He can see that the world has “shrunk” and he can no longer hide his treatment of people whose skin is not white.

He has counted the people in the world and can easily figure that the White race is greatly outnumbered.

He is worrying about what is going to happen to him, when he can no longer tell the other races where they can live and what jobs they can have. Here in the U.S. he doesn’t want to get rid of the Negro because he needs him.

There are a lot of menial jobs he doesn’t want to do. Also there might be another war, and he would need the Negro to help fight for him.

If we review our history, we find the Negro didn’t just come to the U.S. and take over. In the beginning, he was brought here in chains and sold into slavery.

It was quite a long time before the Negro was given his “freedom”.

We also find that the Pilgrim Fathers came here without being asked by the “Indians”.

The White man kept taking over land from the Red man and finally after killing most of them, put the remainder on reservations.

Most native people have led a miserable existence ever since.

We can see how the White man has lost some of his dominance by the decline of the British Empire. It hasn’t been too long ago that the British Empire could make the proud boast that, "the sun never sets on the British Empire."

The sun has set and is not likely to arise in the foreseeable future.

In 1931, when the Japanese overran Manchuria, we continued to sell the Japanese scrap iron. This was very profitable and besides, the ones who were being killed did not have white skin.

So what if a few hundred thousand were killed -- who would miss them out of some 400-500 million Chinese and Japanese?

Now, we move up to 1941, when the Japanese threw some of that scrap iron back in our faces at Pearl Harbor. Now, boys with white skin were bring killed and maimed.

The anguish and shouting was something to hear. But is the anguish of a father and mother whose son is killed in war any less because their skin is yellow or black or red? No matter how many of them there are, each is still an individual to his parents.

It was less than 10 years later when the White man was fighting for his life in Korea and the Chinese were coming across from Manchuria, where it began.

The White man used to be able to go to any port of the world he wished and “bask in the sun”. He can no longer do this as he is not welcome, and he is afraid.

I believe that by the time the sun sets on the 20th century, the gathering shadows of “White twilight“ will have lengthened into darkness. The domination of the world by the White race will have come to an end. --

Diversity Dialogues

Hari Kaur Ebers Bird

My father, Henry Joseph Ebers was born June 4, 1905, just 40 years earlier on the same day I was born. He was a kind, gentle man, and much admired by his associates and neighbors. He had a giving heart and would help anyone in need. His mother and father were farmers in Virden, Illinois. Both died at an early age, probably from hard work.

He used to say the farmyard cats would line up at milking time, with their mouths wide open, hoping to get some of that fresh milk. He would brag that when he milked the cows, he could “hit them at 50 paces!” I can well imagine those cats licking their faces and enjoying every single minute of fresh milk!

My father went to a one-room schoolhouse because the town was so small. He said he skipped a grade because he could listen to all of the other classes and learn their lessons along with his own. He said they had “colored folks” helping with the farm chores (and living with them), and that “Mammy” was a cook. She was like a second mother to him, and helped raise him. He contracted TB in 1950 and was in a local hospital until 1952, which is where he wrote the above missive. He was a quite a man. My one regret is that I did not ask him more about his ancestry and his family. --

Post your thoughts or questions here.

"As humanity enters the Age of Space, how will Whites, who can't relate to
Blacks and Browns, relate to Grays and Greens." ACTForDiversity.com

White America                   Colored America
  Exclusive                              Inclusive    

Pages And Points To Ponder

Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.

See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?
See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.
See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.

See What White People Need To Know.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See The Butterfly Effect.
See Ubuntu Philosophy.
See ACT For Diversity.
See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Turbanators.
See Sikhs Shine.
See Sikh Tribes.
See Definitions.
See Questions.

Diversity Dialogues

Brittney Cooper

Why was Mo’ne Davis called a 'slut'?

SALON, MARCH 25, 2015 -- Mo’ne Davis is a Black girl wunderkind. At age 13, she has pitched a shutout at the Little League World Series, becoming the first girl ever to do so, and she has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Disney is now planning to do a movie about her called, “Throw Like Mo.”

Mo’ne Davis

I’m not ashamed to admit that I still watch the Disney Channel, and I will certainly be tuning in.

But everyone isn’t as excited as I am to see a Black girl on the come up. Last week, Joey Casselberry, a sophomore baseball player from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, called Mo’ne a “slut” in response to the news about the movie. He was subsequently expelled from the team.

In response, Davis has forgiven him and she and her coach have asked that he be reinstated. About Casselberry, Davis released a statement, which said:

"Everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves a second chance. I know he didn’t mean it in that type of way, and I know a lot of people get tired of like seeing me on TV but just think about what you’re doing before you actually do it. I know right now he’s really hurt and I know how hard he worked just to get where he is right now."

Her level of empathy is remarkable but not particularly surprising. Black girls learn almost from the womb to empathize with others, even when those others have committed deep injustices toward us.

Perhaps it is the unparalleled level of our suffering that makes us always look with empathy upon others.

But I am troubled. It is absolutely wonderful that Davis has this kind of care and concern and a heart so huge that she can forgive a nearly adult person for insulting her. It goes without saying that she’s a better person than Casselberry.

But she should not have to be. For starters, he meant what he said. One doesn’t slip up and mistakenly call a young teen girl a slut. Second, it bothers me that she sounds almost apologetic about how much others have to see her on television. Girls in our culture are taught that they should never take up too much space, that they should be seen (and look real pretty), but not heard. And Black girls in our culture are damn near invisible, whether in regards to their triumphs or their struggles.

Lest we think this inappropriate sexual shaming of Black girls is an isolated incident, let us not forget that in 2013, The Onion “jokingly” referred to then 9-year old actress Quvenzhane Wallis, as a “c*nt” in reference to her Oscar nomination that year for Beasts of the Southern Wild. --

Post your thoughts or questions here.

"As humanity enters the Age of Space, how will Whites, who can't relate to
Blacks and Browns, relate to Grays and Greens." ACTForDiversity.com

White America                   Colored America
  Exclusive                              Inclusive    

Pages And Points To Ponder

Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.

See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?
See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.
See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.

See What White People Need To Know.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See The Butterfly Effect.
See Ubuntu Philosophy.
See ACT For Diversity.
See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Turbanators.
See Sikhs Shine.
See Sikh Tribes.
See Definitions.
See Questions.

Diversity Dialogues

Fareed Zakaria

If you have a problem with Pope Francis,
you have a problem with Jesus Christ.

"Catholic issues dealing with sex have nothing to do with the Gospel."

9/24/2015 - I am not a Christian. But growing up in India, I was immersed in Christianity. I attended Catholic and Anglican schools from ages 5 to 18, where we would sing hymns, recite prayers and study the Scriptures. The words and actions of Pope Francis have reminded me what I, as an outsider, have always admired deeply about Christianity, that its central message is simple and powerful: Be nice to the poor.

Pope Francis in prison September, 2015 (3HO/KRI needs to go to jail.)

When I came to the United States in the 1980s, I remember being surprised to see what “Christian values” had come to mean in American culture and politics — heated debates over abortion, abstinence, contraception and gays. In 13 years of reading, reciting and studying the Bible, I didn’t recall seeing much about these topics.

That’s because there is very little in there about them. As Garry Wills points out in his perceptive new book, “The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis,” “Many of the most prominent and contested stands taken by Catholic authorities (most of them dealing with sex) have nothing to do with the Gospel.”

The church’s positions on these matters were arrived at through interpretations of “natural law,” which is not based on anything in the Bible. But because those grounds looked weak, conservative clergy sought to bolster their views with biblical sanction. So contraception was condemned by Pope Pius XI, Wills notes, through a pretty tortuous interpretation of a couple of lines in Genesis that say Onan “spilled his seed on the ground” — since it involves ejaculation without the intent of conception.

The ban of women in the Catholic clergy is a similar stretch. When the Anglicans decided to ordain female priests in 1976, Pope Paul VI presented a theological reason not to follow that path. Women could not be priests, he decreed, because Jesus never ordained a female priest. “True enough,” Wills writes. “But neither did he ordain any men. There are no priests (other than the Jewish ones) in the four Gospels. Peter and Paul and their fellows neither call themselves priests nor are called priests by others.”

Wills even takes on abortion, opposition to which some Catholics have taken as fundamental to their faith. “This is odd,” Wills writes, “since the matter is nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament or New Testament, or in the early creeds. But some people are convinced that God must hate such an immense evil and must have expressed that hatred somewhere in his Bible.” In fact, Wills points out, the ban is based on a complex extrapolation from vague language in one verse, Psalm 139:13.

If you want to understand the main message of Jesus Christ, you don’t have to search the Scriptures. He says it again and again. “Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Jesus has specific advice on how to handle the poor. Treat them as you would Christ himself, sell your possessions and give to the poor. When you hold a banquet, Jesus says, do not invite the wealthy and powerful, because you do so in the hope that they will return the favor and reward you. Instead, invite the dispossessed — and you will be rewarded by God. It is because he expects so much from the rich that he said that it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven.

We live in a meritocratic age and believe that people who are successful are more admirable in some way than the rest of us. But the Bible notes that “the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise . . . but time and chance happeneth to them all.” In the Kingdom of Heaven, it warns, “the last shall be first, and the first last.” In other words, be thankful for your success, but don’t think it makes you superior in any deep sense.

Commentators have taken Francis’s speeches and sayings and attacked him or claimed him as a Marxist, a unionist and a radical environmentalist. I don’t think the pope is proposing an alternative system of politics or economics. He is simply reminding each of us that we have a moral obligation to be kind and generous to the poor and disadvantaged — especially if we have been fortunate. If you have a problem with this message, you have a problem not with Pope Francis, but with Jesus Christ. -- Source.

What do you think? Post your thoughts or questions here.


The above author, Fareed Zakaria, has pointed out in detail everything wrong with Christianity and which can be applied to every kind of fundamentalism. Faiths of all kinds are now going through their fundamentalism. All three religions of Abraham; Christianity, Judaism, Islam. Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and others all have serious elements of fundamentalism. Even the New Agers have that element in another form. These are the Piscean elements that simply cannot let go and are fighting so hard to keep the inevitable from happening, the Aquarian Age.

Take the rise of the feminine, the women honored and made equal that so many faiths DO SAY should be. And the many paths to God recognized as equal. Guru Nanak is the final word on this. Said it very simply... All are equal. Equa! Pluralism! This old Piscean Age has been working against women and against equality. Time's up!

What do you think? Post your thoughts or questions here.

I agree, and though I am not Catholic, I love this Pope. I also like Zakaria. This makes a great deal of sense to me.

What do you think? Post your thoughts or questions here.

Great post...watched his show this morning. Only take exception to one thing...to those who believe in life and a soul at conception, thou shalt not kill pretty well covers the abortion issue. Namaste, and thanks for the interesting posts.

What do you think? Post your thoughts or questions here.

Diversity Dialogues

Satpal Singh Khalsa

Walking the Walk

“Truth is the highest virtue, higher still is truthful living.” Guru Nanak Dev

“If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God all.” Siri Singh Sahib

See Rare Historical Photos.

Contact Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Khalsa here.

Diversity Dialogues

Emily E. Smith

A student told me I ‘couldn’t understand because I am a White lady.'

I’m White. My classroom is not. Sure, it’s been my dream to work at an “urban” school. To work with kids whose challenges I could never even fathom at such a young age. And changing at-risk lives through literature is almost a media cliché by now. These were, however, how I identified myself at the beginning of my teaching career. I was a great teacher. I taught children how to truly write for the first time and share meaningful connections on a cozy carpet. We made podcasts about music lyrics and filled our favorite books so full with annotated sticky notes that they would barely close. We even tiptoed into the alien world of free verse poetry.

But something was missing. If you’ve already forgotten, I’m White. “White” is kind of an uncomfortable word to announce, and right now people may already be unnerved about where this is going. Roughly 80 percent of teachers in the United States today are White. Yet the population of our students is a palette. That means America’s children of color will, for the majority of their school years, not have a teacher who is a reflection of their own image. Most of their school life they will be told what to do and how to do it by someone who is White, and most likely female. Except for a few themed weeks, America’s children of color will read books, watch videos, analyze documents and study historical figures who are also not in their image.

I’ve been guilty of that charge. But things changed for me the day when, during a classroom discussion, one of my kids bluntly told me I “couldn’t understand because I was a White lady.” I had to agree with him. I sat there and tried to speak openly about how I could never fully understand and went home and cried, because my children knew about White privilege before I did. The closest I could ever come was empathy.

My curriculum from then on shifted. We still did all of the wonderful things that I had already implemented in the classroom, except now the literature, the documents, the videos, the discussions, the images embodied the issues that my children wanted to explore. We studied the works of Sandra Cisneros, Pam Munoz Ryan and Gary Soto, with the intertwined Spanish language and Latino culture — so fluent and deep in the memories of my kids that I saw light in their eyes I had never seen before.

We analyzed Langston Hughes’s “Let America be America Again” from the lens of both historical and current events and realized that the United States is still the land that has never been. The land that my kids, after reading an excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates’s letter to his son that connected so deeply to their personal experiences, decided they still wanted to believe in. The land they decided to still hope for. The land that one of my kids quietly said would be changed by her generation. A generation of empathy.

We read about the Syrian crisis, analyzing photographs of war-torn faces at the border and then wrote poetry of hope, despair and compassion from the perspectives of the migrants. Many of my kids asked to write about their own journeys across the border and their [dreams] for a better future. One child cried and told me he never had a teacher who honored the journey his family took to the United States. He told me he was not ashamed anymore, but instead proud of the sacrifice his parents made for him.

We listened to StoryCorps podcasts by people from different walks of life, and children shared their own stories of losing pets, saying goodbye to a mother or father in jail, the fear of wearing a hoodie while walking to a 7-Eleven, and thriving under the wing of a single parent who works two jobs.

So as I stand here today I can declare that I am no longer a language arts and social studies teacher, but a self-proclaimed teacher of social justice and the art of communication with words.

Looking back, I think that my prior hesitation to talk about race stemmed from a lack of social education in the classroom. A lack of diversity in my own life that is, by no means, the fault of my progressive parents, but rather a broken and still segregated school system. Now that I’m an educator in that system, I’ve decided to stand unflinching when it comes to the real issues facing our children today, I’ve decided to be unafraid to question injustice, unafraid to take risks in the classroom — I am changed. And so has my role as a teacher.

I can’t change the color of my skin or where I come from or what the teacher workforce looks like at this moment, but I can change the way I teach. So I am going to soapbox about something after all. Be the teacher your children of color deserve. In fact, even if you don’t teach children of color, be the teacher America’s children of color deserve, because we, the teachers, are responsible for instilling empathy and understanding in the hearts of all kids. We are responsible for the future of this country.

So teach the texts that paint all the beautiful faces of our children and tell the stories of struggle and victory our nation has faced. Speak openly and freely about the challenges that are taking place in our country at this very moment. Talk about the racial and class stereotypes plaguing our streets, our states, our society. You may agree that Black and Brown lives matter, but how often do you explore what matters to those lives in your classroom?

Put aside your anxieties and accept your natural biases. Donald Graves once said, “Children need to hang around a teacher who is asking bigger questions of herself than she is asking of them.” I know I’m going to continue to ask the bigger questions of myself and seek the answers that sometimes feel impossible, because my kids deserve it … you’re welcome to join me. Thank you. -- Source.

Diversity Dialogues

Fareed Zakaria

Anti-Muslim rhetoric isn't brave.

12/6/2015 -- The most recent act of horrific violence in the United States — in San Bernardino, Calif. — was reportedly perpetrated by a Muslim man and woman. There are about 3 million Muslims in the United States, almost all of whom are law-abiding citizens. How should they react to the actions of the couple who killed 14 people on Wednesday?

The most commonly heard response is that Muslims must immediately and loudly condemn these acts of barbarity. But Dalia Mogahed (recommended viewing), a Muslim American leader, argues eloquently that this is unfair. She made her case to NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Dalia Mogahed

"... When you look at the majority of terrorist attacks in the United States,
according to the FBI, the majority of domestic terror attacks are actually
committed by White, male Christians. Now that's just the facts. When those
things occur, we don't suspect other people who share their faith and ethnicity
of condoning them. We assume that these things outrage them just as much as they
do anyone else. And we have to afford this same assumption of innocence to Muslims."

Muslims face a double standard, but I understand why. Muslim terrorists don’t just happen to be Muslim. They claim to be motivated by religion, cite religious justifications for their actions and tell their fellow Muslims to follow in their bloody path. There are groups around the world spreading this religiously infused ideology and trying to seduce Muslims to become terrorists. In these circumstances, it is important for the majority of Muslims who profoundly disagree with jihad to speak up.

But it is also important to remember that there are 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet. If you took the total number of deaths from terrorism last year — about 30,000 — and assumed that 50 people were involved in planning each one (a vastly exaggerated estimate), it would still add up to less than 0.1 percent of the world’s Muslims.

The writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a tough critic of Islam. She divides the Muslim world into two groups: Mecca Muslims and Medina Muslims. (The Koranic revelations to Muhammad made in Mecca are mostly about brotherhood and love; the ones in Medina have the fire and brimstone.) She estimates that 3 percent of the worldwide community are radical Medina Muslims, the other 97 percent being mainstream Mecca Muslims. Now, 3 percent works out to a large number, 48 million, and that’s why we spend lots of time, money and effort dealing with the threats that might emanate from them. But that still leaves the other 97 percent — the more than 1.55 billion — who are not jihadists. They may be reactionary and backward in many ways. But that is not the same as being terrorists.

While I believe that Muslims do bear a responsibility to speak up, non-Muslims also have a responsibility not to make assumptions about them based on such a small minority. Individuals should be judged as individuals and not placed under suspicion for some “group characteristic.” It is dehumanizing and un-American to do otherwise.

It also misunderstands how religion works in people’s lives. Imagine a Bangladeshi taxi driver in New York. He has not, in any meaningful sense, chosen to be Muslim. He was born into a religion, grew up with it, and like hundreds of millions of people around the world in every religion, follows it out of a mixture of faith, respect for his parents and family, camaraderie with his community and inertia. His knowledge of the sacred texts is limited. He is trying to make a living and provide for his family. For him, Islam provides identity and psychological support in a hard life. This is what religion looks like for the vast majority of Muslims.

But increasingly, Americans seem to view Muslims as actively propagating a dangerous ideology, like communist activists. It’s not just Donald Trump. Republican candidates are vying with each other to make insinuations and declarations about Islam and all Muslims. And it’s not just on the right. The television personality and outspoken liberal Bill Maher made the expansive generalization recently that “If you are in this religion, you probably do have values that are at odds [with American values].”

What is most bizarre is to hear this anti-Muslim rhetoric described as brave truth-telling. Trump insists that he will not be silenced on this issue. Chris Christie says that he will not follow a “politically correct” national security policy. They are simply feeding a prejudice. The reality is that Muslims are today the most despised minority in America. Their faith is constantly criticized, and they face insults, discrimination and a dramatic rise in acts of violence against them, as Max Fisher of Vox has detailed superbly. And the leading Republican candidate has flirted with the idea of registering Muslims, a form of collective punishment that has not been seen since the internment of Japanese Americans in the 1940s.

This is the first time that I can recall watching politicians pander to mobs — and then congratulate themselves for their political courage. -- Source.

See More Fareed Zakaria.

Diversity Dialogues

Christian Soldier, DS (4th from left) with Kurdish Soldiers in Iraq in 2009

The Case For Diversity Dialogue

Dear Muslims,

I am an American, a Christian, and a U.S. Army Soldier. I’m White, I grew up in the South, and I love Jesus, as well as the life of freedom and prosperity that my country has enabled me to have. I have fought in Iraq and lost several really good friends there.

I don’t hate you. I don’t fear you. I don’t want you to leave this country. I want to know you, your heart, your struggles, and your joys. I want to have you over to my house for barbecues. I want our children to be friends and play in the back yard together. I want you to join my fantasy football league. I want to give you crap and make fun of you for not picking Marshawn Lynch in the first round of the draft when you had the opportunity. I want you to give me crap when it turns out that you were right, because Marshawn Lynch kind of sucks this year. I want share mutual respect with you.

We share a common enemy in the radical Islamist. They want to drive us apart and to fear each other. They want your children to grow up hating my children. They want you to believe our way of life is evil and that we must be punished for it. They produce a barrage of internet propaganda aimed at isolating your children from those not like them in an attempt to recruit them to do evil on their behalf. Every terrorist attack against innocent people in this world is an attack against peace and normalcy. It’s designed to stir a violent response from those attacked and create more hatred between “us and them.”

Sadly, it’s working. It is producing the full range of human fear responses toward Arab-looking people -- from a subtle sense of suspicion and unease communicated with sideways glances at each other on the street, to full-scale Islamophobia and racism. I want to believe that we, as Christians, could follow the example of Christ and show love to you as well as your people suffering through this refugee crisis in Syria by opening our homes and communities to you.

We are failing at this because of the fear and distrust our enemies are willfully creating. This growing divide between our cultures makes recruiting more disaffected Muslim youth even easier for them.

To anyone reading this letter... Christians, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, or whatever. We simply cannot let them win. We can’t allow them to make us hate each other. Fear and hate are their most effective weapons and we must neutralize them in order to break the cycle. If you truly want peace, I challenge you to befriend someone “on the other side.”

Let’s have a joint Church/Mosque cookout in a park where our kids can chase each other around and argue over who gets to be Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Prince Hans. We need to learn about each other’s lives and differences. I believe we will find that there aren’t as many differences as one might think. We all want to make a living, raise our families in a safe place, and live in peace. (See Sensitivity Summit.)

Unfortunately, there are some wolves out there that will not stop killing sheep until they are put down. Please do not blame us for using our staff to protect the flock. Please know that when it comes to terrorism, I consider all peace loving people part of the flock, regardless of race, religion, or nationality. That includes you, of course. War is hell but as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

If there happen to be any Muslims reading this that have already been radicalized, I feel sorry for you. You have bought into a lie. You have been promised a glory for your actions that does not exist. We take no joy in killing you, but we will do it because you have forced our hand. We will reduce the Islamic State to an impotent and ineffective shell of what it once was just as we have with Al Qaeda. The world will not know your names, but your families will undoubtedly mourn your loss. May God have mercy on your souls.


DS --


Diversity Dialogues

Justin Parker

Darsh Singh - Always a Winner

Always a winner – that’s Darsh Singh. Anyone who has been to Trinity’s men’s basketball games during the past four years has probably heard fans chanting for Coach Pat Cunningham to put fan favorite Darsh Singh in the game. This season, fans haven’t had to chant for Darsh Singh – the team co-captain has appeared in every game, and every time he plays, he makes a statement.

Darsh Singh

As a follower of the Sikh religion, Darsh Singh speaks volumes by wearing a turban and allowing his beard to grow. In fact, it’s believed that he is the only turbaned Sikh to play in an NCAA basketball game. The Sikh faith, which is around 500 years old, has more than 23 million followers, but it remains a mystery to some Westerners.

Darsh Singh’s appearance can sometimes bring out the worst in people. At a young age, he was forced to come to terms with the fact that his appearance made some people suspect him of being involved in terrorism. But Darsh Singh doesn’t let it get to him. He says those very prejudices helped to solidify his faith and make him the person he is today. His statement involves one of his firmest beliefs: “If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, don’t do it.”

Darsh Singh also involves himself in numerous groups and organizations. He is not only a basketball player for the Tigers, but he is also a resident mentor and an active member of TUVAC. He serves on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, is a part of Students Taking Action Now: and he is president of the Students Creating Awareness of the Sikh Faith. He has volunteered in various Sikh organizations in Chicago, Maryland, and Washington D.C., and is a repeat guest lecturer at a leadership development program. Darsh Singh also was recently selected as a Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges recipient.

He is an engineering science major who is affiliated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and who has been on the SCAC Honor Roll (minimum qualification of 3.20 GPA) for three of his four years at Trinity. Following graduation, he plans to work while he pursues his professional engineering license and then go on to get his MBA. Darsh Singh is minoring in mathematics to prepare him for a position involving investing and budget planning, among other things.

For now, he is enjoying his time as a Trinity student. Darsh Singh is always eager to share his beliefs with those willing to listen, and he credits the Trinity community’s support and encouragement for enhancing his college experience. He no longer notices when fans of other teams point to his “different” look. He’s too busy trying to help his team win basketball games. -- See Darsh Singh Speaks Out. See Why It's So Difficult For Sikhs To Serve.


Diversity Dialogues

Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall's message to Monsanto

Diversity Dialogues

Hari Singh Bird

"If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see
God at all." Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji

Sat Nam. It is both interesting and pathetic that the three Abrahamic religious tribes of our world, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, fight with each other in wars over the same God. Today's headlines and mankind's history over hundreds of years leave a legacy of deja vu all over again... redundancy double-over, and over, and over again. (See The Seige Mentality.)

What follows is an interesting narrative from a latter-day school girl who opines over what it's like to be Brown at a mostly White school? Read on.

"Tribal radar pulses through every higher institution in America."

There were five of us at my Catholic high school, of different ages. We called ourselves the “Brown Girls Club,” (BGC) and held “meetings,” where we’d really just hang out.

One night we went to a party thrown by an Indian-American student society at the local university. The ivy-choked campus was historically a kind of holding zone for the dimmer sons and daughters of the city’s rich white set. Because of this, a radical tinge ran through the proceedings, as if we were stealing the mating rituals of a warring tribe: awkward dance circle, cheap rum sloshing in plastic cups—held, though, by brown hands.

For BGC members, the novelty of moving through instead of around a party thrilled. Afterwards, we huddled in the parking lot to trade stories of the boys we’d spoken with. A photograph exists somewhere of this moment, our faces captured with a disposable held at arm’s length by the eldest girl in the club.

Our ages decreed separation during school hours. Into the herd we slipped, running for elections, playing sports, making our schoolmates laugh. A chance meeting at the cafeteria could feel like a union of countrywomen in a faraway land, bonded over the task of fitting in.

Tribal radar pulses through every higher institution in America. I have felt its pull in colleges and newsrooms throughout the country, but the BGC felt particularly revolutionary by context. We lived in Texas. For decades our private high school reared women with long roots and not far to go. A graduate might marry a boy from that local university, buy a two-story nearby and a plaid skirt for her daughter when the time came. We signified disruption. People left a country to bring us here, and we might leave again, too.

I’d come explicitly for lack of a better option. My public junior high school had a bad reputation. A network of gangs ran through it, bearing childish names based on Disney movies. Some months before I left, a Lion King boy wearing metal cleats kicked the forehead of an Aladdin kid. One night I dreamed of the injury, holes pocking a young stretch of skin like hoofmarks in the snow. I awoke in acceptance of my parents’ decree: it was time to leave.

My new world held narrow religious principles and sophisticated educational ones. In theology class, the teacher, a Jew for Jesus, who’d converted into intense Catholicism, told us the ones unbaptized would go to hell. She sported long dresses that covered her neck and arms, and a head of what one girl called “fundamentalist hair,” tapering nearly to her knees.

'Fundamentalist hair' according to Google.

I was the only Hindu in the class. There was also a Muslim girl, parents from Iran. Occasionally she joined BGC meetings as what we called an honorary member. We made friends with compliments predicated on what set us apart from our schoolmates. She liked my black hair; I, her green eyes.

Privately we mocked our teacher, who was too shy for eye contact. We felt superior to her. I think we sensed that she was actually more of an outsider than we were. The world belonged to people like us, people whose secret societies expect members to feign normalcy during working hours.

My Iranian friend shot her hand in the air. She quizzed our teacher on the dimensions of heaven. Was it finite? Able to hold only a certain number of bodies, then? We led the conversation into talk of animals. We coaxed her to admit the end didn’t look good for dogs and cats, unbaptized as they were.

Finally we struck resistance. A buxom brunette known for a cruel sense of humor and an orange tan piped up that her dog was going to heaven right along with her no matter what the Bible said. Others called out variations of the same. In later tellings we remained proud of this rare daytime rebellion, though it was the souls of everyone’s sweet dogs and cats and not Hindus or Muslims that carried the conversation until the bell rang, our teacher standing helplessly in silence at the front of the room. -- Mallika Rao

Related links.

See American schools are still segregated. These parents are making it worse.

See Virginia schools closed over frightening reaction to Islam homework.

See A New Jersey school teacher says she was fired for being Muslim.

See Undocumented immigrants in Flint say they've been denied free water and are scared to get help.

See World Synchronized Meditation for Syria.

More Points To Ponder

"When left unchecked, most organizations tend to become
opaque, exclusive, monochromatic, and eventually tribal-like."

"Question is, are we mature enough to sit down and discuss
issues of diversity, including religion, gender and race?"

"As humanity moves into the Age of Space, how will we resonate with
Grays and Greens when we can't relate to Blacks, Browns and Whites?"

"Exclusion breeds intolerance. Intolerance breeds tribalism. Tribalism breeds racism."

"In the first 24 hours following the attacks on Paris, there were hundreds of thousands of celebratory tweets from supporters of ISIS… the West had no organized response."

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory
gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor
yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu - The Art of War


Pages And Points To Ponder

Why Don't Sikh Women Tie Turban? Desmond Tutu's Plea To Israel.
See The Homeless Banned And Jailed In 'Christian' America.

See Let's Have 'The Race Conversation' For Real, This Time.

See Required Reading. See Recommended Reading.
See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'?
See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism.
See A Native American's Thanksgiving Rebuke.

See What White People Need To Know.
See For The People Of Color.
See What Is White Privilege?
See The Butterfly Effect.
See Ubuntu Philosophy.
See ACT For Diversity.
See Obama 43 To 1.
See My Main Point.
See Turbanators.
See Sikhs Shine.
See Sikh Tribes.
See Definitions.
See Questions.

Pages And Points To Ponder

See 8 Things People Need To Understand About Race. See What Happens When We Fight Over Race? See Islamic Extremism vs Christian Extremism. See Why Are White Tantra Yoga Classes So 'White'? See Why Do Millennials Not Understand Racism? See Sensitivity Summit. See Recommended Reading. See Required Reading. See The Butterfly Effect. See ForThePeopleOfColor.com. See Women Are Much More Than This. See Definitions. See Disclaimer.

Post your thoughts or questions here.

Muhammed Ali on Race and Religion

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