"Sunshine is the best remedy for dirty laundry." I.J. Singh
"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
African-Americans, 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: Kindly answer 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 tribalism, including race, religion, and gender?"
"Are there even occasional conversations between White eyes and Colored eyes regarding the issues of diversity and racism and
their impact and complexities within the American community today?
Issues to do with diversity are not going away just because we deny
their existence, or because they cause us discomfort to discuss. We
must promote pluralism as did Guru Nanak throughout his ministry."
"The human mind was created to discriminate, e.g., make choices 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. We need to constantly see to it that we advocate for pluralism, against tribalism, in the interest of justice as taught by Guru Nanak Dev.
Our choices are to live for each other, or to live at each other." Hari Singh Bird Khalsa
Sat Nam. As follow up to the previous announcement and in the interest of clarity, two invitations for an early March 2016 expense paid trip to India from Akal Committee 13 (ACT) were recently sent to 3HO Kundalini Yoga Teachers, Students, KRI Teacher Trainers, Sikh Dharma Ministers and others. The invitations, for reasons of content, referred recipients to SikhDharma13.com or EkOngKar13.com for specific details.
ACT is especially seeking the support of Teachers who are interested in supporting Yogi Bhajan's mission of sharing the Healthy, Happy, Holy technology with the people of the world, in particular India, which he stressed as a top priority.
Due to the fact that community representatives in India have requested the assistance of ACT members in moving forward with Yogi Bhajan's directive, ACT intends to execute this Seva by Guru's grace with the blessings and assistance of those who share Yogi Bhajan's vision.
In the states in the 90's and oughts, Dr. Joyce Landrum-Brown wrote a piece on colorism, using the example of African-American's Blurple, to Redbone, to Hi-Yellow color scheme (i.e. The Yellow Rose of Texas), several old sayings like "If you're White, you're alright, if you're Yellow, you're mellow, if you're Brown, stick around, if you're Black, get on back", similar color schemes in Spanish, "Zambo, mulata/mulato, morena/moreno, blanquita/blanco.
Further work has identified correlates with income, the lighter your skin, as a person of color, the higher your pay/salary, at least at the management level. Obama is Black but not too Black, or he's Half-White. (Except in Russia where someone created a neon sign simulation of Obama eating a Banana, i.e., Monkey).
Or the trope expressed among White apartheid era Africans (South Africa, Rhodesia) that African-Americans are more intelligent than Africans, because they have been mixed with White blood because of slavery.
Certainly Asia and Africa, have become markets for skin lightening cremes, and procedures.
Don't even get me started on the hair thing... --
My Sikh Sense
Ravitej Singh Khalsa
Hands up! Don't shoot! How do we step back from the brink?
Sat Nam. Interesting article on the Washington Post website today. I found the psychological profile of creating an “enemy” to be of particular concern. Working battlefields instead of neighborhoods. And needing military gear to fight those battles.
Is this something that may be irreversible? How can the authorities go back to being nice again. The police back to “serve and protect?” It’s gotten so – them and us.
Yogi Bhajan said three ways to live. At, with or for each other. This article talks of at – the lowest form of living together. Not with. And certainly not for. How do we step back from the brink? More.
My Sikh Sense
Aftab Singh Khalsa
Sat Nam. The standard for becoming a police officer is very low. Any White bloke with a GED who wants to be a legal criminal could get in. I think that we would have a better police force if they were at least educated a tiny bit more - like having an AA degree in Criminal Justice, for example. The effort to attain some mental or academic achievement would condition the mind to produce some reasoning or logical abilities, instead of focusing on mostly physical ones.
Perhaps we could inspire some political group in our state or city to set it as an election ballot proposition. "Proposition E - for the hiring of only educated new police recruits, will cost the city nothing to implement. It would be a boon to all those colleges and better for the individual. We don't need dumb cops in our city!"
Militarization of police is not going to stop any time soon.
Diversity is also very badly needed. If White cops patrolled White areas and Black cops patrolled Black areas there would be less of what we are seeing in the news today. We have our work cut out for us. ACT can contribute to this change, in time.
The militarization of the police is not going to stop any time soon. We associate arms with strength and the populace is controlled by fear too much. More.
My Sikh Sense
Sat Nam. I feel a far better tactic is community education about how to survive stops by police. Including participating in their Citizen's Police Academy. I was the first African-American in Eugene to go through Eugene's CPA. I've also had decent relationships with all chiefs over the last 30 years, as well as lots of command staff. Not an open critic of them, don't feel the need, to point out their screw ups, they will admit them to me, even though I'm the press. My solution: Teach people how to go through typical stops and other situations, like call the cops first in any situation, and clearly identify yourself to them when they arrive, because they respond to whoever makes the call first, and its definitely better to be on the trigger side, with these people. You make more headway, than putting the police through diversity training, (though its not a bad idea, but it has its limits, because their military style training, and Threat Assessment / Threat Neutralization, continuum of force orientation, and focus on officer safety, kind of trumps anything they might be exposed to in a diversity training.
Case in point was when we had a diversity training, and a young Black man, a city employee, the nephew of the city's diversity manager, stood up in the training and talked about growing up in Eugene as a young Black man with a 4.0 GPA in high school and getting hassled by the cops who assumed he was a thug, and a gang member, when the police gang officer said the majority of gang members were White, and are still White to this day (I'm co-chair of the county gang task force).
The result of this Diversity Training, was that a year later, this young man, clean and sober, was doing a designated driver pickup for his drunken White friends at a bar. Wearing his City of Eugene I.D. and sweats, on a Friday night, he walked across a parking lot... a sheriff riding along with a Eugene cop, thought he was walking like he had a gun under his sweatpants... as he walked back to his car, with his drunk White friends. The cop recognized him, as "speaking critically of the police, at the training", and initiated a search of him, but not his companions. KNOWING, that his aunt was the Diversity Manager for the city. Guess what... no gun, not drunk, no nothing. The cop has probable cause to search the White boys (Gang enforcement intel, showed the mostly White Eugene gang members would keep the gun on themselves, knowing and counting on the fact that the cops, would only search the Black guy, and not the White guys). Remember, this was AFTER, the Diversity Training, where the cops were rolling their eyes.
The police already consider themselves a military organization whose mission is crime prevention. As NPR pointed out this evening, this diversion of military surplus gear, started when Reagan was president, and it was Reagan as Governor, who supported the creation of SWAT teams. which were organized out of LAPD to deal with destroying the Black Power Movements, Anti-War movements etc. Their principle interest in diversity, was using officers of color as AP's, (Agent Provocateurs) as well as narcotics enforcement / entrapment.
The police force here in Eugene, has never shot an innocent Black person to death, in the 30 years I've been here, but in early years, maybe. However, they certainly never really protected us from citizen based White supremacist activity. Eugene PD often uses its military gear on meth labs, pot grows, etc. generally without fatalities but not without property damage. We've had, and I've participated in diversity training with the PD here. Basically, being products of their training, and bringing their personal prejudice to their jobs, they are suspicious, when law abiding People of Color complain about their behavior, particularly when its egregious.
When I was stopped in a DWB stop, the White lesbian cop later apologized (years later) and said it was her training, right out of the academy, which was by the book: Black man, beater car, Whittaker Neighborhood, concentration of recently released parolee's... justification for the stop, "Your tailight was blinking intermittently". (LAPD reason #357 for stopping a Black man while driving DWB. It was functioning perfectly, she had followed me for 15 blocks.) "Can I see your license, and registration"... I produce them.
"Have you ever been arrested?"
"Yes once, when I was 17 (I was 35.)
"No officer, I was arrested once when I was 17." (Didn't have to mention that because it was a sealed juvenile record.)
"What was that for... theft?"
Wow, we've now strayed into harassment territory, time to get a badge number... I look at her badge... she jumps back... like I'm staring at her breasts... sure a woman in uniform with a pistol marksmanship badge, packing a Sig P226 always turns me on, how 'bout you...
"What are you staring at?"
"You're pistol marksmanship badge, officer. As you can see I'm wearing a Whitebird Clinic T-shirt, having just returned from the clinic's Sunday softball game. I'm a drug counselor with a Masters degree. I have to have experience with, drugs and counseling. I was arrested in a car full of kids, whom LAPD thought we were smoking weed." (We were, but there was nothing left but the smell, all evidence was consumed, duh... this is LAPD we're talking about and we were radical stoners, with FBI files, in the very rightwing racist San Fernando Valley in 1971.) "Two strip searches later, they let us go, our records were expunged. And I didn't have to tell you that, just being a cooperative citizen. Do you have any other questions for me?"
"Do you have any tickets, wants, or warrants"?
"Not in this state"
I have speeding tickets for the road between LA and San Francisco, and San Francisco to Oregon... Do you know anyone who does the speed limit between LA and Frisco? All tickets were paid, no warrants... but feel free to check... its Sunday, sunny, and we're around the corner from my house as you can see... I'll wait, this is entertaining. (There was a crowd of my neighbors, co-workers, and friends. They said: What was up with the, what was that for theft comment? I know, right?)
Anyway, a White lesbian, in a homophobic, sexist, quasi-military organization, can't be seen as soft, or too compassionate, especially with a potential felon... Once I started driving a Volvo Wagon, and a Mazda, the stops, (Ahem, except for speeding) stopped.
So, I think there is better mileage to be gained by training the community. Just like I think there is better mileage in starting our own training program, because I'm not trusting the organization to move fast enough.
To quote the Delaney Sisters: "I love my country, but my country doesn't always love me back." I teach the historical fact in my classes, that African-Americans have fought in every war that America has fought, even before there was an America. So our patriotism, in the face of continued discrimination, shouldn't be in question. Nonetheless, when NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, did a study: they found over a ten year period, 100 instances where Black police officers had been killed, by white police officers, often from the same precinct, i.e. many of them were known to their killers. Of course, few if any of the shooters were prosecuted, any more than Officer Wilson, will be prosecuted for shooting Mr. Bradley.
I grew up with LAPD, at a time when if you were Black you stood a 50/50 chance of surviving an encounter even in a "routine traffic stop". LAPD actively recruited Klansmen, not so ex-Klansmen, Southern Military men, to its ranks, starting in the 40's, and collaborated with white supremacist gangs like the Spookhunters (Logo with a lynched black man on their jackets), to control the growing Black population in LA.
There has been evidence of White Supremacist gangs within the LA County Sheriffs (The Vikings). One point in all this, is while I would agree that Law Enforcement Officers are not Dumb, there has never been a concerted effort, to eliminate racism within the ranks of law enforcement. Only extreme overt racist views get screened out, and the one's who are smart enough to answer questions neutrally, get passed through.
Compared to the actual body counts of the KKK, Aryan Nations, U.S. Cavalry, COINTELPRO, I'd say that Bin Laden, and now ISIS, Muslim terrorists are amateurs, and domestic white supremacist terrorists, some operating under the color of a badge, are the professionals.
As I said before, I'm a past Citizens Academy graduate for my local PD. I am not one of their more vocal critics. I do advise them to keep good data, but just because I can have coffee with the chief, and various captains and command staff, and haven't had negative experiences myself for over 20 years (I'll cop to the speeding tickets, I'm from LA, we don't think of it as speeding, its proceeding efficiently ;-), does not mean they don't act in an institutionally racist way with others.
The question of who is being protected, and who is being served is always a salient one.
I don't see anywhere near the Law Enforcement targeting of Civil Rights era folks, aimed at disrupting White Supremacists, and its not like they're hard to identify, while planning their Racial Holy War RAHOWA. Hmmm Martin Luther King is more of a danger than Tim McVeigh, Richard Butler, William Pierce...
They're not dumb, neither are they protecting us from racists either. I can still strive to see God in them even as they are seeing the Devil in me. --
Sat Nam. There is pent up racism and fear of a Black man in power. It's a psychosis which has existed in this isolated country for 100s of years.
As of January 20th 2009, any and all White insecure males have realized their worst nightmare: a person of color (an African American) with a higher IQ, and a better education than most holds the highest political position, normally held by White southern men. Within a few months of his taking the "Oath of Office" of POTUS, President Barack Hussein Obama appointed another African American to be the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the land (Attorney General - Eric Holder*). South Carolina, US SENATOR Jim Dement (though in the minority) successfully blocked the Police Chief of the largest airport in the US (LAX) from being appointed the head of Transportation Security Administration, TSA! Why? He is Black.
President Obama nominated a two star General, and 'Dement-ed' did it again.
Another African American in leadership position. No way!
I will tell you when I was in DC, February 2009, I was informed by a Uniformed Federal Officer, who said publicly in the Portland International Airport in front of other White officers, "That fool should be shot."
I immediately contacted the FSD (Federal Security Director) of Oregon. I was reprimanded for not using the "Chain of Command". This time the bigot was a White woman. She was transferred to Spokane, WA.
These law enforcement officers in Florida, in NYC, in LA, in Ferguson, MO are symptoms of our White culture. These are sick people and they need healing. The POTUS can't do it alone. --
*NOTE: "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we -- I believe continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards." Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States
He went on to say that Americans are afraid to talk about race, adding that "certain subjects are off-limits and that to explore them risks at best embarrassment and at worst the questioning of one's character."
Sat Nam. If anyone in this group is NOT following the Fergurson, MO story I would be shocked.
Missouri is the flash point. It appears when a negative story develops in this land, a positive outcome may evolve from it. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is giving grants to small towns and cities so they can get armored vehicles and military style gear to fight 'terrorism', if needed. Now, maybe the Defense Department and DHS will reconsider their policy? Hope so!
If local cops in a Southern Mid-western state can act the way these fools did, then other places we've never heard of are licensing racist, untrained cops to exhibit this behavior. Last time I checked, our law enforcement officers are supposed to "Protect and Serve" ALL citizens, not intimidate and shock the nation and the world!
Law Enforcement Officers formerly known as Peace Officers
What is happening to young African-American male youths is unconscionable. Murdering young unarmed Black boys by White cops. It was a nightmare of 100 years, even 50 years ago, in the deep South. Now its happening in Los Angeles, St. Louis, etc. Its not going to stop until the Nation is willing to discuss its racial issues. See Sensitivity Summit.
Macrocosm -- Is U.S. confronting its racial past and how to heal it? Microcosm -- Are 3HO/Sikh Dharma confronting their understanding of race and prejudice in an organization and spiritual path which teaches equality, kindness to all... no caste, no class...?
My Sikh Sense
Hari Singh Bird Khalsa
Sat Nam. Here's a recent article, which uses a rarely expressed term by the Sikh community, "tribal instinct", which goes to the heart of Guru Nanak's message.
THE SIKHS HAVE ARRIVED By Tarek Fatah
November 10, 2015 - Toronto Sun --This is a confession. Despite my every effort to rise above ethnic identity, there is still a bit of a tribal instinct residing deep inside my soul. (See Tribal vs. Tribalism.)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Ottawa Gurdwara
Notwithstanding my concerns about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who I indeed felt was “just not ready” to lead Canada emerging from last month’s election, I was overjoyed seeing a fellow Punjabi, Lt. Col (Retd.) Harjit Singh Sajjan, become Canada’s Minister of National Defence.
(L) National Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan greets supporters.
(R) Harjit Singh Sajjan inspecting the troops. Watch Video.
I have never met the man, described by CBC News as Canada’s new “badass” defence minister.
But a fellow Punjabi being responsible for the management and direction of all matters relating to the national defence of Canada did fill me with a sense of pride that surprised me.
One cannot help but recognize the immense accomplishments of Canada’s Sikhs as evidenced by Trudeau’s decision to elevate four of them to cabinet.
The first time Punjabis made a mark on Canada was in April, 1914 when the SS Komagata Maru arrived in Vancouver from Hong Kong.
Sikh passengers aboard the Komagata Maru, 1914
On board were 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus, but all were collectively referred to as “Hindus” by Canadians of the time.
British Columbia wasn’t hospitable to these “Hindus”, they were forced back to India and the tragic story of the Komagata Maru is a part of our history no one is proud of today. More history.
But we have changed.
Ujjal Dosanjh, a Sikh immigrant, rose to become the premier of British Columbia.
The sight of red-turbaned Navdeep Bains as Canada’s new Minister of Science reminded me of an earlier era where turbans were banned in the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and in some Royal Canadian Legion halls in the 1990s.
Who could’ve imagined that two decades later, Canadian cabinet ministers would be wearing turbans?
Precedent setting Canadian cabinet
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau named 15 men
15 women as his ministerial cabinet "because it's 2015."
What is it about the Sikhs that has made them such a driving force in Canada’s multitude of communities?
It’s certainly not vote bank politics, since almost every Sikh elected to parliament was battling a fellow Sikh from a different party.
Perhaps it is their strong work ethic and a refusal to play the victim card that is part of their success story in Canada, one that all other racial minority communities should embrace.
My father suggested the Sikhs had embraced the “Protestant work ethic” of serving “King and Country”, never asking others for handouts. He was right.
Even in the face of discrimination, the Sikh answer is to excel, not whine.
Their Punjabi sense of humour gets them over their worst tribulations, their houses of worship are open to all and no one is left behind.
Sat Nam. There's an important distinction between living as a Tribe (faimily, community, nation), the norm, and adopting Tribalism, the perverse. All mankind is Tribal to some extent. However, Guru Nanak, in his teachings, instructs humanity to avoid Tribalism. Humanity must be vigilant of our inherent tendency to drift into Tribalism. Sikhs especially must avoid the hypocrisy of Tribalism by practicing and teaching Pluralism. Read on.
TRIBALISM: The social tendency to live in loyalty to a tribe, social group, or gang especially when combined with a strong negative attitude toward marginalized people outside the group; the opposite of pluralism, the "no class, no caste" one Creator of Creation principle taught and championed by Guru Nanak. Tribalism breeds racism. The antidote to tribalism is something akin to a Sensitivity Summit in which people of color, women, and other marginalized groups are routinely heard from.
Extreme examples of Tribalism are evident in today's Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria (Punjab, India?). In spite of this turmoil, mankind is moving toward pluralism albeit with much kicking and screaming.
*INCESTUOUS is defined herein as excessively close human relations that are resistant to outside influence. NOTE: This condition leads to a siege mentality, whereby systemic barriers are put in place, which in turn puts the organization at risk of becoming perverted in its policies and procedures. The organization becomes intractably resistant to change, feedback from the outside is blocked or rejected, and elitism and nepotism reign supreme. Sound familiar?
After officiating at the wedding of the daughter of two ministers of Sikh Dharma, the Siri Singh Sahib joined the Jewish family members at their reception table. Whereupon the mother (a Sikh minister) of the bride advised him that their table was reserved for family members only. The Siri Singh Sahib then asked, 'Who am I?', and politely left the table.
A Classic Case of Tribalism - International
Even when we disagree, we can remain inclusive, but not here.
More of what looks and feels like classic tribalism... example 1, example 2.
Sat Nam. I have known Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Satpal Singh Khalsa Ji since 1978. He was born and raised in India; speaks Punjabi and English. He acted as a senior 'aide de camp' to Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogi Ji. He arranged and accompanied Siri Singh Sahib Ji on his travels to and from India, and elsewhere for twenty-six years. Singh Sahib Ji is a KRI certified Kundalini Yoga teacher and a minister of Sikh Dharma. He has maintained a presence at major religious gatherings and conferences of World spiritual leaders, before and after Siri Singh Sahib Ji's passing in 2004. Satpal Singh Ji knows well the Punjabi and Western cultures and has financially supported many Sikh Dharma missionary programs for over 38 years.
"Khalsa does not apply exclusively to Sikhs. Sikhs must
ever be mindful of the human tendency to tribalism. Khalsa
includes ALL those who
contemplate the Lord; ALL those who live by their inner purity and light; ALL
those who are pure of heart."
Left: Photo of Anne Frank in 1941. Right: Photo of a 4-year-old Syrian girl so
terrified that she "surrendered" to a photographer. Anne Frank tried to escape
Nazi territory but was denied refugee status. In November, 2015 the U.S. House
of Representatives passed a bill making it virtually impossible for Syrian refugees to get asylum in the United States in order to escape slaughter at the hands of ISIS.
"99% of the issues facing humanity today can be resolved with dialogue.
If we fail to maintain open communication and dialogue we are at risk of
increased dysfunction, increased conflicts, and inevitable irrelevance."
My Sikh Sense
SatHanuman Singh Khalsa
Sat Nam. When I saw the above posting I could see how it attracts the most uninformed and violent types in the U.S. and Europe who will lash out at any male Sikh they see.
On the one hand, it is curious that it took this long for someone to photoshop a male Sikh and post it viral on the Internet (FB, Twitter). But on the other hand, it draws attention and support for Sikhs, as by now, many more have become aware of Sikhs world-wide. This posting doesn't cause me as much concern as it would have 14 years ago or even after the Oakcreek Gurdwara was attacked.
It just goes to show you no one can be trusted with reposts, images, or quotes unless you verify. With all data, comes the manipulation of information, deceit, lies and propaganda, promoting violence against perceived individuals, hate, insecurity and perpetual fear of the other.
The more Truth gets out there, the more balanced the world on Internet will become. --
Sat Nam Ji. As Master said (paraphrased), "Spiritual fanatics are the worst fanatics."
We must take care that we do not drift into the same fanaticism. It's a human tendency seen throughout history. It starts with tribalism. This is why Guru Nanak's message is so important today, and why Sikhs must practice what we teach.
I see shades of tribalism in the Dharma, e.g., the way Sikhs (Indian Sikhs especially) relate to women; the inability of the Khalsa Council to discuss the Sensitivity Summit motion; and the lack of support for this petition. Every Sikh minister at the very least should have there name on this petition. I posted it to many ministers. These are signs within Sikh Dharma International of a tribalistic attitude, which is where religious fanaticism begins.
We must accept each other as a child of the Creator. It does not mean we must always agree with anyone. We must avoid marginalizing anybody. The longing to belong is innate. Failure to respect this fact is the source of all the turmoil today. We must not otherize anybody, no matter who or what they are perceived to be. Otherwise we are a bunch of hypocrites.
The Sikh Coalition continues to fight for reforms that
end the presumptive ban on Sikhs serving in the military.
Sat Nam. This video portrays the effort American Sikhs of today have made to overcome prejudice and bigotry, see video below, to serve the citizens of the United States in the Armed Forces. I urge the Sikh community to view this video and encourage members of the non-Sikh community to view it as well. -- Source.
A big reason for the Sikh struggle to serve in the U.S. military.
Sat Nam. The following video portrays the efforts of American military officers who are sworn to uphold the United States Constitution, including military chaplains who should know better, proselytizing and indoctrinating American members of the Armed Forces to become Christians in a country that supports freedom of religion and disavows the mixing of Church and State. This flagrant and unethical violation is a big source of the long-term resistance to members of other religions such Sikhs serving in the military. See Preceding Video.
"My Sikh faith and military service are two core parts of who I am," Capt. Simratpal Singh said.
"I am proud to serve my country as an Officer and I look forward to being able to continue serving without having to give up my religious beliefs."
Singh released his statement through The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a nonprofit, public interest law firm in Washington, D.C., which takes cases in defense of free expression of religious traditions.
The group said the Army exemption came just in time, since Singh is to report for duty at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on Monday.
Singh is now only the fourth Sikh serving on active duty with a waiver allowing him to maintain his beard, long hair and turban. Some lawmakers and, more recently, 27 retired Air Force and Army generals, have pressed the Pentagon to lift the ban on Sikhs serving while maintaining these articles of their faith.
Sikhs were able to serve in the U.S. military with beards, long hair and turbans from World War I until 1981, when it was changed in the first year of the Reagan administration by then Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. That was reversed -- but in a very limited way -- in 2009, when the Army began granting some exemptions.
Eric Baxter, senior counsel at The Becket Fund, said the Army has granted nearly 50,000 permanent exemptions to its?beard ban?for medical reasons. But only in a handful of cases has it admitted soldiers who wear beards for religious reasons, he said.
Considering the conspicuous beards worn by Special Forces troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, it makes no sense, according to Baxter.
"Anyone who observed our unshaven Special Forces in Afghanistan knows a beard won’t stop an American soldier," he said. "Now the Pentagon just needs to make Captain Singh’s exemption permanent. In fact, it should explain why it is using the beard ban to discriminate against any Sikh American."
Singh graduated from West Point, where he was required to cut his hair and shave. Those requirements continued as he remained on active duty without a waiver. He served in Afghanistan, where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his work clearing improvised explosive devices, Baster said.
He also completed Ranger School and Special Forces training. Baxter said.
Baxter said it is still unclear whether the Army will make the just-won waiver permanent.
Harsimran Kaur, legal director for the Sikh Coalition, which served as co-counsel for Singh in his bid for the waiver, said Singh is proof that religious discrimination bans on Sikhs are unnecessary.
"It is once again clear to military leadership that nothing about the Sikh articles of faith actually prevents excellence in military service," Kaur said. -- Source.
Sat Nam. This is one of the ways the mechanisms of Sociostructural Violence Type 6 ISM works. You sense there is some pain, or injustice, in your everyday experience, but you don't seek it out, because we avoid pain, rather than seek it out. This helped create several different Holocausts in order of appearance Native American genocide, European and African Slavery, Black Germans and Jews being put in the death camps. Most Germans could turn a blind eye. So could most Americans, particularly when major banks (Chase, Union), political families (Bush, Walker, Rockefeller), corporations (Ford, GM, IBM, ITT, Standard Oil) were openly doing business with Nazi Germany, with the full knowledge of the US government i.e. the President. How many Americans were aware of that, or able to read between the lines of Executive Order 9095...You actually have to train yourself to disobey this instinct, and look, and keep looking, and find a way to describe what you see accurately, so that people can act on the information and go through their own painful process. See Americans Still Lie About Slavery.
With food, since most people don't produce their own food, if they choose to grow, butcher "harvest-cull-process" and eat their own meat, fish, poultry, etc. then they don't question, there is no context to question factory farming, because you are consuming a product. So what if a few dolphin's get into your tuna,do you have a DNA test kit to be sure, or do you believe the "Dolphin safe" label? Been to SeaWorld, seen the movie Blackfish?A billion dollar industry that preys on subjugating sentient beings, for the entertainment of other sentient beings.
Even if you're vegan, are you growing your own food, or is it being harvested, processed, by people who don't have the same rights as you, but are human nonetheless. WOP, a term for European Illegal Immigrants, applied specifically to Italians was an acronym that meant Without Official Papers...but "WOP's" were allowed to become citizens, while "Mexican's" any person from "South of the Border", and quite a few people from North of the Border, a Canadian friend told me that immigration said Canadians are just Mexican's with Sweaters...
The pivot to immigration from food, is because immigrants and migrant workers, produce, process, and harvest our food. Our food economy, depends on illegal immigrants. We have 50,000 children on the border, because of policies set in place decades ago that replaced democratically elected governments that pushed for living wages for farmworkers working for US food companies...the so-called Banana Republics. So we can enjoy bananas year round here in Eugene.
Health Care Disparities, Prison Industrial Complex, School to Prison Pipeline, Shielding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Perpetrators...
I can't say the ignorance is always willful, because you are not meant to see it, and the "You" she's talking about in the video as being the secret weapon, puts its trust in authority, to tell us, what we should believe without question. Or even, what questions are allowable, if any questioning.
Certainly we've seen in some of our interactions, that if we question their veracity, they either don't produce evidence, or say the evidence is in this or that place, but not readily accessible. (See Sensitivity Summit.) --