This month, the National Sikh Campaign, an advocacy group led by former political strategists, launched a $1.3 million awareness campaign, “We are Sikhs.” Funded entirely by grass-roots donations, the campaign’s ads will air nationally on CNN and Fox News as well as on TV channels in central California — home to nearly 50 percent of the Sikh American population — and online.
The ad, which aims to tackle misperceptions of Sikhism, shows Sikh men and women speaking about how values of their faith — tolerance, religious freedom and gender equality — align with American values. According to Gurwin Singh Ahuja, the executive director of the National Sikh Campaign, “These are core values of the United States, yet we’re often perceived as anti-American or as religious extremists. Our community is hurt by bigotry and ignorance, which is, in many ways, compounded by our own silence. To change these perceptions, I felt we had an obligation to share our stories with our neighbors.”
Kyle: Hey Keith, it’s me. The spirit. You’ve always been my favourite, you see. We’re both genetically engineered kids, we have the same hair colour and dark blue eyes, our names start with K, our parents’ names start with L and C, we both met our future spouses as teens, should I go on? Anyways, I just wanted to express my condolences. Unfortunately, I don’t know how it feels, because I passed away before Lyra, but still.
Keith: It’s fine. You’re my great-great-grandpa, right? Let me show you our family tree.
Kyle: Whoa! I can’t believe all of these are my descendants! I created a small Fletcher universe with my own… um, hands! By the way, who’s this girl over here?
Keith: My granddaughter Irene.
Kyle: Tell her that she’s special. And might become the last hope.