Expert: Sikhs Have Long Been Targets of Discrimination, Violence

Aug 7, 2012

Dr. Vijay Prashad discusses the discrimination Sikhs have felt acutely since 9/11.
Credit Trinity College

Sikhs have a rich history in and contributed greatly to the Milwaukee area - as they have had around the country.

But several sources have told us over the last couple of days that Sikhs have long been targets of discrimination and even violence, very much like the shootings at the Oak Creek temple. And while police maintain that they do not yet know of a motive behind Sunday's violence, it is hard for many in the community not to feel targeted once again.

Trinity College professor of South Asian History Vijay Prashad says Sikhs have dealt with racism and ignorance about their faith since they came to this country, particularly since 9/11. Prashad is the author of the book Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today and recently wrote an opinion editorial on Sikhs in the United States called "The Sense of White Supremacy" at

He joins Lake Effect's Stephanie Lecci on the phone from Connecticut, and gives us first a brief history of Sikhs in the States.