by We Are Sikhs — June 11, 2020
“There is one God and one human race.” - Guru Nanak
As our community comes together to emphasize #blacklivesmatter, we keep finding ourselves repeating this line and remembering the life and legacy of our founder, Guru Nanak.
Guru Nanak was born into a family of high esteem in the village of Talwandi, in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. It was the time when only a few classes or castes lived a privileged life and others with lesser means, and those who were born into low castes, lived a disenfranchised life.
One day, Guru Nanak went into a river, disappeared for 3 days, and returned with the revelation that “There is only one God and one human race.”
He spent the rest of his life proclaiming equality. He encouraged every race, religion, and gender to see each other as one.
His opinions were not popular in his day. He faced rejection and persecution for the radical belief that everyone deserved the same rights.
Today, his belief still comes in conflict with the systemic racism that has gone unchecked and has infiltrated every community.
But there is hope.
Across America people are speaking out, standing up, and marching for the rights of all to be respected; starting with the black community.
Sikhs have been joining in this effort. We have stood alongside protesters, often serving food and water to all gathered. We have used our voices, signatures, and money to bring about real change. We have encouraged our community and all Americans to:
- Educate ourselves.
- Learn the statistics of police brutality against our black brothers and sisters.
- Speak out for those who were treated unfairly.
- Root out the misconceptions that subconsciously have divided us, and seek justice for the racism that is more blatant.
- And find the humanity, the commonality, and the goodness of God in each person.
America is learning today, the lesson Guru Nanak taught 550 years ago. We pray that his words rest in the hearts of every person and bring about the justice, peace, and love our world needs.