Friday, January 04, 2008

Great Comic

Another great cartoon by Veer Vishavjit Singh at Check out his site for more great and poignant work discussing issues affecting the Sikh community at large.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Amu is being released on DVD today. You can order your own copy and learn more about the movie by visiting .

The film is a drama about a young girl who was displaced during the 1984 pogroms against the Sikhs in India, and never knew of her birth parents on her Sikh heritage. It is only after a trip back to India that she learns of her birth mother and the atrocities that were committed after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, and the state-sponsored violence that followed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

On Common Ground -- Sikh Cultural Awareness Training Video for Law Enforcement

Sunday, July 01, 2007

25th Anniversary of Vincent Chin's Murder

Last week, (June 27) I was invited to speak on a panel in San Francisco as a part of he National Townhall on Hate Crimes remembering Vincent Chin on the 25th anniversary of his murder in Detroit, Michigan by recently laid off Chrysler plant work Michael Nitz and Chrysler plant superintendent Ronald Ebens -- who was also his step-father.

On the June 19, 1982, Vincent was attending his own bachelor party five days prior to his wedding. Unfortunately Vincent was assaulted and murdered by Ebens and Nitz and after being in come for 4 days died the day before his wedding. In what would have been one of the happiest days of his life, Vincent's 400 invited wedding guests, actually ended up attending his funeral.

Vincent's murder was truly a watershed moment for the Asian American community -- specifically the East Asian American community -- but it served as the first step in building a foundation for a true Pan-Asian activism. The community realized that they no-longer could sit back and be oprressed at the hands of the amjority community and had to ensure that they integrated themselves more fully into the mosaic of American society.

Please click about to read more about Vincent's tragic death and the miscarriage of justice that was carried about by the American judcial system in penalizing his guilty murderers.

ALAS, the event in SF went really well with over 60 people attending. On the panel in addition to myself was activst/author/filmmaker Helen Zia who has dedicated her life to being an advocate for the Asian American community and whose work was featured in the documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin; Yvonne Lee a principal of Lee Asian Community Affairs member of the SF Police Commission and formerly of the US Commission on Civil Rights; and Malcolm Yueng a staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus and homey who I have worked with a lot in the past.

It was a cool opportunity to sit with a number of fellow Asian American activists. It was difficult in some ways to represent the Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Arab American communities, but I think it warrants kudos to the event organizers to involve voices from our communities in the events across the country.

The diversity in the crowd was amazing -- not as many South Asians as I would have liked, but still a great crowd. I got to talk a bit about the fear in the South Asian communities; how we were attacked twice -- on on 9/11 by the terrorists and then after that by our fellow Americans who felt it was patriotic to lash out at us when it was in fact bigoted and ignorant; to the failure of the media to report on the true magnitude of hate crimes and bias related attacks on innocent Americans and show the image of Balbir Singh Sodhi after he was murdered in an effort to educate the populace of what misguided rage can lead to; to finally the disturbing trend of Sikh American men removing their turbans and shaving their beards to "fit-in" better and not look like "those terrorists".

In my closing remarks to the crowd, I closed with a sentiment of hope this event and others like it across the country -- both formal and informal -- would serve as the next step in the path to developing an Pan Asian voice and a Pan Asian movement. As South Asians we are lagging on our responsibilities to the communities we live in. Where are our voices on immigration, health care, the war in Iraq, and other hot-bottom topics that maybe dont effect us but we should be out there in the trenches supporting those that it does.

Also props to my boy Terence who rolled out to support a brotha and have my back incase I said something crazy and incited an East Asian rebellion :-)

All of us on the panel

Attendees listening to Malcolm speak some knowledge

Old mens posing for posterity


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Open Casting Call for NBC Pilot

With a new pilot they are scheduling, NBC is showing interest in diversity and people of color and trying to recruit a diverse set of participants for the show below. From



    WHAT: From the producers of UGLY BETTY, THE OFFICE, AND THE BIGGEST LOSER comes WELCOME TO THE FAMILY, a new real-life romantic comedy. This show will center around couples in love who come from completely different backgrounds and are ready to take their relationships to the next level. But, before they take the plunge, they will introduce their parents to their significant other AND hopefully get their families’ blessings!

    WHO: The casting team is seeking:
    • Couples, 21 and over, who come from completely different backgrounds.
    • Couples in love who are potentially ready to take the next life-changing step together.
    • Couples with dynamic families with colorful personalities and a strong opinion on their family values/traditions.

    WHEN, WHERE: The casting team is scheduling interviews IMMEDIATELY in Southern California, as well as accepting video submissions from candidates nationwide. To be considered, please email your name, occupation, phone number, the city you currently live in, what cities your families live in, a recent photo of you and your significant other, and a brief summary of your story and why you would be good candidates for the show to:

    CASTING CONTACT: For inquiries regarding casting, please contact Katy Wallin at MysticArt
    Pictures, 818-563-4121. For more information, please visit or

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cheney the marksman

Looks the Cheney has better luck hitting prey with his plane then his shotgun. God Bless America!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sikh American Veteran Assaulted by Joliet, IL Police Officer

For full background on this post, click here:

Sikh American Veteran Assaulted by Illinois Police Officer

Two weekends ago, a Sikh American male was assaulted, with both pepper spray and then with a metal baton, for allegedly assaulting a police officer, at his home in Joliet. SALDEF has been working with Mr. Nag to make sure that his rights are protected and that the injustice done to him does not go unheard or unpunished.

This is truly a disheartening event that Mr. Nag was subjected to and if the facts of the case pan out as told, it will potentially send shockwaves and set precedent across the country. Can an officer get away with such bigoted and hate-filled speech against someone he is arresting? It is unthinkable the kid of rage and other potential personality issues that this officer must have and how he harnessed all of that power to victimize an innocent citizen and former service-man.

Also see some solid pieces on this at:


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What the pheezey, its cold as sheezey!

Ok so I awoke this morning to leave for work, only to realize that my damn car windshiled had a layer of ICE on it. Now this is California damnit! While yes some cold frost orsomething that is easily removable is fine, but not ICE! Alas, I have to go back into the garage to get a screwdriver and towel that would then enable me to remove the ice layer so I could see. What is the world coming to? I'm telling you, Global Warming is screwing up everything. We better listen to Al Gore's advice and take care of this while we can.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Jago 2006 -- Post Game Analysis

Albeit a bit belated here is my quick review of Jago 2006. All-in-all I had a fun time at this conference. The local Floridians did a tremendous job of reaching out to all the attendees and making them feel welcome. I rolled out with my boy Satinder Mahli and I think we both felt that from the organizers. I think this stems in-part from the whole due-diligence of of running a successful event, but also largely just the keen excitement they have in bringing in more Sikhs South Florida.

Anyway, so the conference itself was well-planned, the accommodations were solid, food was probably the best of any of the past Sikh conferences I have been too -- sans the old Berkeley ones; what can be better than Fat Slice for lunch -- and the workshops were solid attempts to develop dialogue on topics of relevance to our generations.

Sukha Singh
proved to be a great resource and tremendous personality. His life journey was very inspiring and really gave me a perspective on how to better travel the path of Sikhi. His knowledge of Gurbani, especially for someone so relatively young, was very impressive, and e also was an excellent kirtani. I look forward to the next time I get to be in his sangat and hopefully work together in the future on some Panthic projects.

The other major part of the conference was Miami's first Spinning Wheel Film Festival which was good -- in the sense that we got to see some cool flicks and meet some interesting and dynamic film makers. But, in the grander scale of things, I do feel that part of the conference was marginalized b dedicating such a huge chunk of time to the festival, when we could have had workshops and further discussions about Sikh Identity -- as per the theme of the conference.

While the conference did had slightly lower attendance than expected -- due to shifting of dates at the last minute -- I think the 100 or so individuals that showed up did take something out of it both from a content standpoint and as well as meeting fellow Sikhs. The activities were all organized well, and this was a very strong performance by the organizers, especially considering this was only the second time they were having the conference.

Finally, I think special note should be made to the affection and chardhi-kalaa of the South Florida sangat as a whole. The warmth they displayed during the night all the attendees went to the Gurdwara, was beyond anything I can put into words and left a huge impression on me both about them and of what the true concept of Sangat really is.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Bo Schembechler -- 1929-2006

Rest in Peace Bo and wear that Maize and Blue with Pride wherever you are. Thank you for your integrity and leadership over the past 5 decades. GO BLUE!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

SALDEF and DHS to Unveil Poster about the Kirpan

Check out the link below to see a pretty great collaboration between SALDEF and the Department of Homeland Security on a poster describing what the Kirpan is , its importance to Sikhs, and also ways to interact with Sikhs who carry a Kirpan.

SALDEF and Department of Homeland Security to Unveil Poster About the Sikh Kirpan

Friday, September 08, 2006

What the hell is wrong with my State

For the sake of all that is holy, why the hell do people vote and support the Gropeanator?! While granted he is becoming very "green" as of late, and aiming to appear to be a centrist so he can win re-election, he's ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER FOR GOD'S SAKE!!

In his most recent Governor-like action, Mr. Hunky made a comment about State Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia and speculated about her nationality. Specifically he said,
"I mean Cuban, Puerto-Rican, they are all very hot. They have the, you know, part of the black blood in them and part of the Latino blood in them that together makes it."

Part of the Black Blood and Latino Blood?! While clearly Ms. Garcia is saying she's not offended and that she has called herself a "hot-blooded Latina" is clearly her just taking that party line to protect her Governator.

How can someone get away with such a blatantly racist statement deriding not only the Latino population but also the African-American/Black community? We need to being to hold our leaders accountable for shit that they say, and I hope the NAACP and others are writing letters to the governor and the people of "Kaa-lee-for-neeeaaa" will keep this in their minds when the vote.

For more info on the incident see the following article on CNN.COM

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The God's have looked upon me favorably...

Now, I dont want to oversell this, but I came upon perhaps the GREATEST NEWS EVER recently. ZACHARY'S will be opening a San Ramon branch later this year! Now while it may not matter for most of you, guess who lives 7 minutes from where the new enclave of greatness will be opening.

For those of you that have had Zachary's, or live in Chicago and eat Deep Dish regularly, this is nothing short of a landmark event. Zacharys has stood pat with their two locations in Berkeley and Oakland forever. So for them one to open a new restaurant is just huge. But for the to open it within running distance (well not for me but someone who runs) is something I will be looking forward to until their doors open to provide me with Spinach & Mushroom pizza.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Middle East Tensions and some Singhs hanging out...

Now I have wanted to chime in to the events transpiring in the Middle East for some time and just finally getting some time to do so. I think Kofi Annan said it best. I'm paraphrasing but the gist of his comments were that Israel clearly has the right to protect themselves -- I don’t think a logical person would disagree with this -- but that the wanton destruction and degree of violence that they are perpetrating against Lebanese civilians is abhor able and must stop.

That is my thought process on this as well. To cripple infrastructure is not the greatest attack on Hezbollah. Granted you are weakening them to, but they are also creating greater hatred for Israel but injuring and killing innocent civilians -- A handful of U.N. relief workers were killed today by Israeli attacks. Civilians have been disallowed to get to the relief supplies of food/water, to allow them to get to hospitals to get health care and live more than minute-to-minute without fear of US made weapons being dropped on their heads.

While the entire mid-east conflict can’t be summarized in one post here, I have always found it intriguing that Israel has never addressed the ROOT cause of why suicide bombers exist. It seems the always chalk it up to terrorism and a sheer hatred for Israel, yet, I would question what institutional, political and socio-economic situations are in place that would cause a person to want to lay down their life. Perhaps it is the dire situation that many Palestinians are in that resolves them to thinking that that is the only way that their voice(s) can be heard.

Apparently, this is also taking the attention away from another kidnapped soldier at the hands of Hamas earlier this week. In an effort to "resolve the issue" and show the Palestinians who's boss, over 130 Palenstinian Civilans have been killed this week alone in retributionfor the kidnapped Israeli soldier.

Alas, I digress to the picture below of some Sikhs carrying the body of their colleague after a UN post in al Khiam village near the Lebanese Israeli border was bombed during an Israeli air raid on the villages in south Lebanon yesterday. Amazing to see Sikhs all over -- albeit as part of the Indian Army's contribution to the U.N. force -- with their complete saroop and carrying out this immensely important work.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gotta love the jobs our administration hands out

Here is an amazingly funny and poignant speech thats Rep Emanual delviered on the House floor the other day. Great to see our tax dollars going to something of importanace like a White House Director of Lessons Learned instead of, I dont know, helping the vicitms of Katrina, educating law enforcement and legislators or why racial profiling blows, or making sure minorities in Florida, Ohio and the south get to vote....


White House paying $100,000 salary to "Director of Lessons Learned"

by John in DC - 7/12/2006 11:25:00 AM

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) offers a few more lessons learned:
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the President said we continue to be wise about how we spend the people's money.

"Then why are we paying over $100,000 for a 'White House Director of Lessons Learned'?

"Maybe I can save the taxpayers $100,000 by running through a few of the lessons this White House should have learned by now.

"Lesson 1: When the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of State say you are going to war without enough troops, you're going to war without enough troops.

"Lesson 2: When 8.8 billion dollars of reconstruction funding disappears from Iraq, and 2 billion dollars disappears from Katrina relief, it's time to demand a little accountability.

"Lesson 3: When you've 'turned the corner' in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.

"Lesson 4: When the national weather service tells you a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans, a category 5 hurricane is heading to New Orleans.

"I would also ask the President why we're paying for two 'Ethics Advisors' and a 'Director of Fact Checking.'

"They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President.

"Maybe the White House could consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony."