food drive charity tells sikh american donor to leave

Some ugly news about a Sikh American couple who came to a food drive with the best intentions... and were greeted in intolerance and prejudice. In North Carolina, Gurnam Singh Khera and his wife were expelled from a community center because he wore a turban in accordance with his Sikh faith: Roanoke Rapids charity rebuffs turban-wearing donor.

According to SALDEF, Khera and his wife went to the Union Mission facility in Roanoke Rapids to make a donation for a Thanksgiving Food Drive and expressed interest in sending their children to the facility during the Thanksgiving holidays to serve food to the needy.

Upon entering the facility, Mr. Khera was told by a receptionist that "this is the United States" and that he needed to remove his turban. When Mr. Khera attempted to explain the religious significance of the turban, the receptionist refused to speak with him.

When the Reverend in charge of the facility was summoned, Mr. Khera offered a handshake, but the Reverend reportedly refused to reciprocate and asked Mr. Khera and his wife to leave the facility, saying: "Go donate to some other place; we do not need your donations unless you remove your turban."

You've got to be kidding me. The irony is stupendous. The people at this place of worship, who are allegedly dedicated to helping the less fortunate, see a guy wearing a Dastaar enter the facility and promptly tell him to get the hell out, like a second-class citizen. Never mind that he too was trying offer his time and resources to help.

Read the press release from the Sikh Legal Defense and Education Fund: No Turbans Allowed. They sent a letter to Union Mission, who responded with a letter of their own. SALDEF urges you to contact the Union Mission of Roanoke Rapids to express your own disappointment at edirector@umrr.org.

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