This series of snaps should give you a sense of what it's like for anyone who appears to be Muslim to travel by plane. *Thread* pic.twitter.com/9uHoVH4f6E— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) June 22, 2017
You know the fight against racism and xenophobia has a long, long way to go when even a sleeping Sikh man seems threatening to a white person.
Simran Jeet Singh, an Indian-born Sikh, tweeted a series of photos by a white man, presumably taken from his Snapchat. The images feature an elderly Sikh man, wearing a customary turban, who appears to be sleeping directly behind a white man.
Despite the Sikh’s peaceful countenance, the xenophobic white man obviously thought he was a danger to the passengers on the plane. So in classic racist style, the man started taking his fellow passengers photos and then Snapchatting them, all accompanied by highly discriminatory captions.
From his sarcastic remarks and the occasional emoji, it seemed the white passenger actually found it amusing to cast suspicions of the most bigoted type on the elderly man.
“Never mind I might not make it to Indy,” wrote the white man after he saw a “Muslim” was on the plane with him.
Through the accompanying captions, the man thanked his lucky stars that the Sikh man continue to sleep. He was especially concerned when the Sikh man woke up and then walked the length of the plane. He later seemed amazed at his luck that he made it through alive with what appeared to be a potential terrorist sitting with him.
Singh, who is an activist and a professor at Trinity University, shared the incriminating images to give people a “sense of what it's like for anyone who appears to be Muslim to travel by plane.”
He then described his own brush with racism.
(THREAD) I had a unique encounter with racism today. It started with a guy shouting "Fucking Osama!" It ended with an apology and handshake.— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) June 9, 2017
The incident occurred while Singh was making his way home to Upper East Side of Manhattan. He later got an apology from the black teenager who had hurled the epithet at him.
Singh had this to say about his experiences.
I’m writing this for a few reasons. First, because we all need some wins against bigotry, especially in this political climate.— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) June 9, 2017
It means a lot to walk away with a sense of solidarity, especially knowing how deep anti-black racism is among Asian American communities.— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) June 9, 2017
It also gives me heart to realize that we can make positive change if we’re willing to engage with one another on a human level.— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) June 9, 2017
It is extremely gracious of Singh to forgive the person who insulted him and made a friend out of him; however, both these racist incidents point out how much ignorance still exists, even in the most developed nation of the world.