Sikh Americans Live in the Shadow of September 11

September 16, 2005

Source: East Valley Tribune

On September 16, 2005 the East Valley Tribune reported, "Balbir Singh Sodhi, a turbaned Sikh from India, was gunned down a week earlier while planting flowers outside his Mesa convenience store. He was the first person killed nationwide in a post-Sept. 11 hate crime... Four years later, however, Sikhs as well as Muslim and Arab Americans, still face regular discrimination in the Valley and across the nation.

They are stared at in grocery stores and airports. They are given the finger while driving Valley streets. Sodhi’s brother, Rana Sodhi, even is told to 'go back to Iraq' while working at the same store where his brother was killed.

A feature-length documentary due out early next year examines why some Americans became so violent and aggressive against Sikhs and other groups after Sept. 11. It tells the stories of the people changed forever by that violence, including Balbir Singh Sodhi’s family."