In Donald Trump’s America, some minority groups are afraid to even approach their neighbors.
Jo Kaur, a Sikh lawyer and civil rights activist, gave the latest example of this kind of fear, sharing on Twitter the story of her own family’s struggles to merely deliver a package to a neighbor:
Today, in Florida, my Sikh parents accidentally received a package from UPS intended for the neighbors across the street, Trump supporters.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
They didn't know what to do. The neighbors have never said hello, despite my parents' attempts to connect.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
They were afraid to put the package in front of the neighbor's gate. Bc what if the neighbor saw these brown ppl as intruders and hurt them.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
So they call me. We legit brainstormed solutions. I call/text neighbor "bc my English is good" to let him know my parents will be coming.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
My mother decides to go and makes my dad stay inside. It's dark, she doesn't wear a turban. He does. She doesn't want him to go.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
Even tho he knows they're coming. Package delivered, no incident. Neighbor says thank you. But none of this would've happened before Trump.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
Why so rattled, mom? The shootings she says. Also a WM told a Latina employee at CVS today to get out of the country. Have to be careful.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
This is how hate/fear trickles down and impacts every day Americans, even in our ordinary lives. Even doing the most mundane acts.— Jo Kaur (@SikhFeminist) March 7, 2017
Kaur’s family was so terrified about how a group of brown people, particularly when one is wearing a turban, would look delivering a package to a neighbor’s house that they felt the need to strategize and coach their approach.
Sikh Americans are not Muslim, and they are in fact part of a wholly different religious group. But because they frequently have darker skin and perhaps a beard and turban, they are often the targets of Islamophobia from people who don’t know the difference between Sikh and Muslim Americans.
The result is stories like Kaur’s, in which people are afraid to go out into their own neighborhoods or even do something courteous for their neighbors. And they blame politicians like Trump, who have maligned Muslims as terrorists and proposed to ban all Muslims from entering the US, for that fear.