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Another Sikh American targeted for hate in NYC; Punjab premier tweets concerns to Trump, Modi, and Swaraj

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This is the seventh incident against Sikh Americans since January; overall, more than a dozen crimes on Indian Americans have been reported so far.

Simran Jeet Singh

Sikh American Simran Jeet Singh encountered a hate incident along the Hudson River in New York City on Thursday. This was his second brush with a racial slur in one week.

“I had my headphones in my ears, yet I could still hear someone shouting at me: “F**king Osama! F**king Osama!” Singh wrote in an essay to the NBC News, while narrating the incident.

Singh, who is a post-doctoral fellow at NYU’s Center for Religion and Media, and a senior religion fellow for the Sikh Coalition, said that, at first, he decided to ignore the incident and continue his evening run. However, he remembered another incident from the previous week when an elder woman called him by racial names. That time, he did not react, but he could not ensconce in his conscience since then.

“I regretted not confronting her and told myself I would be better prepared next time,” he said. Singh said that he decided to talk to the people who yelled at him – a group of three teenagers. “I surveyed the scene, decided it was relatively safe, and slowly approached the teenager who had shouted at me,” Singh added. “He was a young black man and he avoided eye contact as I walked up to him.”

As he walked toward him, the teenager apologized and casually passed over the incident as a joke. Singh told him that it was inappropriate and serious. “You know, people in this country used to say hateful stuff to your grandparents. . .,” he told the teenager. Singh said that at that point the guy seemed to realize his mistake and apologized more sincerely.

Since January, this is the seventh hate incident against Sikh Americans.

Singh’s encounter with a racist adds to the increasing incidents of hate against the Sikh Americans. Taking note of the incident, the Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh tweeted to Donald Trump, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to ensure safety to Indians and Sikhs abroad.  “Indians, Sikhs in US are not feeling safe, please take up their security with @realDonaldTrump on priority @narendramodi ji @SushmaSwaraj ji,” Amarinder Singh tweeted on Sunday.

It is pertinent to mention that the recent spike in hate crimes and racial slurs is not limited to one ethnicity or nationality.