In a letter addressed to the Biden administration, the Sikh Coalition, a national Sikh American advocacy group, called for action to address “longstanding challenges that impact the Sikh American and other vulnerable communities.” This letter comes in the wake of the FedEx shooting in Indianapolis, Ind., where four of eight victims were of the Sikh faith.
Requests in the letter include the appointment of a Sikh American Liaison in the White House Office of Public Engagement “to ensure a wide range of the community’s voices are heard and acted upon” and the promotion of public awareness and knowledge of the Sikh American community and its history.
The coalition asked that Biden also publicly meet with the families of victims of the FedEx shooting and with the Sikh American community on Aug. 5, the upcoming anniversary of the Oak Creek shooting in 2012, where a White man opened fire on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., killing six people.
While acknowledging that the FedEx shooter’s motive has not been established as of yet, the coalition noted: “that the attacker’s knowledge of this workplace and who he was targeting must be taken into account when the Administration acknowledges the impact of hate, bias and white supremacist activity affecting our communities.”
In accordance with this need, the coalition asked for the reinitiation and establishment of interagency hate crime meetings and a federal task force and the improvement of hate crime reporting through the passing of the reintroduced Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act which would authorize federal grants for bettering data collection.
The coalition also called for the reintroduction and passage of the Justice for Victims of Hate Crime Act which would allow federal prosecutors to prove that racial bias was a substantial rather than the sole motivating factor in a hate crime, the reintroduction and passage of the Disarm Hate Act to increase regulation of gun ownership and the improvement of support for “vulnerable houses of worship” when applying for federal funding.
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