February 8, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
A poignant and thought-provoking speech by civil rights lawyer and Sikh activist Valarie Kaur is making waves online. At a time when many are protesting US President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, this speech will give people some hope. Originally from an event held on December 31, days before Trump’s inauguration, the speech has gone viral. Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman is among those who have recently shared it on Facebook. Since January 5, the speech has collected over 1.4 million views and more than 21,000 shares on Facebook.
Valarie Kaur begins the speech by talking about her grandfather who moved to America. “On Christmas eve 103 years ago my grandfather waited in the dark, dank cell,” she says. He sailed by steamship across the Pacific Ocean from India to America. “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. He stayed in jail until a lawyer, ‘a white man,’ helped him.
She shares how in the aftermath of 9/11, she decided to became a lawyer like the man who helped her grandfather. She hoped that she could help make the world a better place. But the world she is leaving for her son, she says, is far worse than the one she inherited, because of hate crimes.
Despite that, she believes there is still a chance to make the country better. “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 labor?” she says to loud applause.
Note 1: Above write-up is adapted version of a post on NDTV’s website – Why A R Rahman And Several Others Are Sharing This Viral Video by Amrita Kohli at source url: http://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/why-a-r-rahman-and-several-others-are-sharing-this-viral-video-1656586.
Note 2: The Video is embedded from Court Wheeler‘s Facebook wall.