Cenk Uygur is co-host of an online news talk show called “The Young Turks” (which also enjoyed a limited television run). A left-leaning political show, Uygur presents opinions and analyses on various issues of the day. He is also running for US Congress in California’s 25th Congressional District, located in north Los Angeles County.
On an episode of The Young Turks that aired September 27, 2012, Cenk Uygur referred to Sikh religious practices as “ridiculous”, only a few weeks after the mass shooting of Sikhs in Wisconsin at the hands of a white supremacist that left the community reeling. His comment was part of the show’s coverage of a photo of a Sikh woman named Balpreet Kaur that was posted on the website Reddit and mocked. While Balpreet Kaur responded with grace and kindness, some were not so gracious, including Uygur on his show, in which he makes the “ridiculous” comment:
As Uygur’s comment around Sikh religious practices had not been addressed since he aired them in 2012, and as he was a candidate for public office, I co-signed a letter with Rajdeep Singh Jolly addressed to the Uygur campaign (and published here) regarding his comment, requesting that he pledge to defend the religious rights of Sikhs and other minorities.
Yesterday, Uygur’s campaign manager sent to us Uygur’s response, which is reproduced below. While he did not address the comment specifically, we thank the campaign for their response to this question and expect that Uygur will honor this pledge should he be elected to this seat or serve in any public seat in the future.