U.S. Kids Need To Be Taught About India

Beating someone up is bad enough. Beating someone up while hurling bigoted abuse at them is even uglier socially. Beating someone up for bigoted reasons and sounding like an absolute moron while doing so is simply peak stupid.

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

His assailant is hardly the only dimwit. Days after September 11, 2001, a Sikh was murdered in Arizona in “reaction” to the attacks. In 2012, in Wisconsin, another idiot shot up a Sikh temple, killing six, after having reportedly mistaken it for a Muslim mosque. Sikhs in the U.S. have caught all sorts of other stupid nonsense, and likely most of it never gets reported.

One of the best woman friends I have ever had (and whom I will sorely miss until the day I die) was Sikh (and British). I also know that, as Americans, the Indian subcontinent is an “unfamiliar” place for most of us. Nor has it been a source of large numbers of immigrants until pretty recently.

But that is no excuse for being ignorant – particularly in the internet age. My fellow Americans, please, educate your friends, family, and colleagues if they spout idiocy about them in your presence. Be firm and clear.

Sikhism is a religion emanating from the Indian subcontinent. It is a “DISTINCTIVE” faith just like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. Sikhs have NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda or ISIS. Indeed Sikhs too hate both terror groups and would be slaughtered by both as assuredly as a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim who didn’t tow either terror group’s line. A Sikh is no more a “bin Laden” than is, say, a Southern Baptist.

With so many newly immigrant Indians in the U.S., some of them Sikh (although most Indians in India are not Sikh), we are going to have to start learning more about the Indian subcontinent. For starters, English is a language most Indians are comfortable speaking. (And many speak it a helluva lot better than we do.) The massive billion person country of India – the world’s “largest democracy” – is a friend of our U.S.

Our American schools naturally teach about Europe, and central and South America, and Africa, and east Asia. Well, schools also appear to need badly to step up and begin to fit in at least a few lessons about India in order to better educate our next generation of Americans. For that now very important country on the world stage will become even more important to us as Americans as this 21st century goes on.

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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.