by We Are Sikhs — July 19, 2017
We are Americans. We Are Sikhs. We are Human.
Sikhs are just like all Americans – we believe in religious freedom, we fight for equality, we love our families, and sometimes we even watch reality TV.
This week, “The Bachelorette” featured a Sikh man and his relationship with his son, Dean. They haven’t spoken to each other in years and the reunion does not go very well. Coming to Dean’s defense, Twitter exploded with criticisms – some even referring to Dean’s father as “a genie.”
This is exactly why We Are Sikhs is so important – and why we are working every day to educate others that underneath superficial differences, we have much in common.
We are more than the stereotypes you see on TV. Sikhs are a diverse mix of Americans united by our common values and beliefs. We are business leaders, farmers, veterans, and PTA moms who strive to serve our neighbors and improve our local communities. This is why Dean’s dad and all Sikhs wear the turban – to represent our Sikh values of tolerance, love, and equality for all.
While we are disappointed with the portrayal of Sikhs on “The Bachelorette” we’re happy to see a national conversation around Sikhism. Our message is resonating and people are beginning to realize Sikhs are often portrayed poorly on their favorite shows.
In the midst of it all, Dean shared a heartfelt Instagram post clarifying his statements and urging his followers to respect his father’s religion:
It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect – including us. Dean’s dad and his son have a complicated relationship and we were only able to see the surface. This is the human element to Sikhism and every religion – people are imperfect.
So the next time you’re watching your favorite show, forget the stereotypes and focus on the people – and if you ever want to learn more about who Sikhs are or what we believe, just ask!