Watch: Sikh Woman’s Take on Trump’s America Hits The Right Notes

“What if the story of America is one long labour?”

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2 min read
Valarie Kaur at Watch Night Service on New Year’s Eve. (Photo: Facebook screenshot)

US-based civil rights lawyer Valarie Kaur made waves when she made a powerful speech, denouncing divisive forces, on New Year’s Eve.

Kaur made the speech on New Year’s Eve, ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. A video of her address has garnered over 1.6 million views and over 18,000 shares on Facebook since 5 January. And composer and singer AR Rahman was amongst many who recently shared this video on Facebook.

The Sikh activist kicked off her speech – at an event organised by the National Moral Revival Poor People’s Campaign – by reminiscing about her grandfather, who left India for America, around 103 years ago.

“When he landed on American shores, the immigration officials saw his dark skin, his tall turban worn as a part of his Sikh faith and saw him not a brother but as foreign, as suspect, and threw him behind bars where he languished for months,” she says.

Paying tribute to the “a single man, a white man, a lawyer” who helped her grandfather, Kaur says that the aftermath of 9/11 inspired her to become a lawyer to stand up against hate-crime.

“When we see these bodies (of Indians, Africans, Trans people), not as brothers and sister, then it becomes easier to bully them, to rape them, to allow policies that neglect them, that incarcerate them, that kill them”

“I’m leaving my son a more dangerous world than the one I was given,” she says.

“What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead? But a country that is waiting to be born. What if the story of America is one long labour?”

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