Oak Creek Shooting: Sikh Motorcyclist To Ride Against Hate
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – An Indian American Sikh is undertaking a 2,700-mile motorcycle ride to mark the 11th anniversary of a 2012 attack on a Gurdwara in Wisconsin that left seven people from his community dead.
Gurdeep Singh Saggu, 37, along with Motorcycle Club USA, has planned the week-long ride to Oak Creek Gurdwara to raise awareness about their culture and faith.
The ride that would end on August 5 in Oak Creek, will pass through states like Arizona, where a Sikh man, mistaken for a Muslim, was killed in a hate crime four days after 9/11.
Earlier, Saggu, who is a supervisor at a shipping company, hesitated to leave his family for fear that they could be attacked for their religion.
He had dealt with a co-worker in the past who accused him of belonging to a terrorist group due to his beard and turban, The Los Angeles Times reported.
His ten-year-old son Akaaldeep, who was bullied at school because of his turban and came home crying every day, begged him to stay home.
But after Akaaldeep heard an FBI agent at Stockton Sikh Temple prayer hall recount how a white man strode into a Sikh temple shooting innocent people, he hugged his father, saying, “Daddy, now I want you to go.”
Hugging his son in the prayer hall, Saggu then told himself: “I have to do this,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
On August 5, 2012, the Sikh community of Oak Creek came under attack when white supremacist Wade Page stormed a Gurdwara in Wisconsin and gunned down six worshippers, before shooting himself dead. A seventh person who was severely paralyzed died from his injuries in 2020.