Recently, in Yuba City, California, the vehicle of Suk Dulai, a Sikh man and coach of a youth baseball team in the Sutter Buttes Little League, was vandalized with a racist message carved into the paint stating “We want no Hindus at SBLL.”
“If this continues, what’s going to be the next step?” said Dulai. “That’s the most scary part of it.”
The Yuba City police department is reportedly treating this incident as a hate crime.
This crime is not the only of its kind affecting Sikh Americans. It was only this summer that a Sikh house of worship in Riverside, California, was vandalized with “terrorist” graffiti, and such events are not a new phenomenon. In 2012, another Gurdwara in Michigan was also defaced with bigoted graffiti, and a Sikh family in Virginia was harassed, threatened and had their home defaced similarly as well. Over nine years ago, a Gurdwara in Fresno, California was vandalized with xenophobic graffiti as well, just a few hours south of Yuba City. Other South Asian and Middle Eastern communities can certainly relate to this history of unabated constant harassment.
Another interesting aspect is that the vandals referred to the Sikh gentleman as a Hindu, and this speaks to the popular theory that Sikhs are targeted for hate crimes because they are mistaken for Muslims. While that may be in some cases, it has also been historically the case that Sikhs are labeled as Hindus from their earliest days of setting foot on these shores. Often, these categorization was situated in derogatory terms.
However, regardless of the specific nature of the mistaken identity, it is obvious that the targeting of the victim is deliberate and intentional.
Read more about this most recent incident at CBS Sacramento.