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Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Sikhs aim to show American spirit in Bedford Fourth of July parade

*A note : The most interesting part is to read the comments which I have included at the end. Doing Seva is part of Sikhi but some reactions show the ignorance and how people refuse to educate themselves.

By Harlan Spector, The Plain Dealer
on July 03, 2013 at 9:00 PM, updated July 04, 2013 at 8:43 AM

For Sikhs who belong to a temple just off the historic Bedford downtown, participating in the city's Fourth of July parade is a chance to show people that beneath their turbans and head scarves beat the hearts of Americans.

The Sikhs of the gurudwara, or temple, located in a former Masonic temple, have been part of the holiday parade since 2007. Dozens of participants pass out cold water, toss candies and blare Punjabi music along the parade route.

The parade is a chance for the Sikh community to connect with the larger community as the parade winds from suburban Bedford to Bedford Heights.

"It's very important" said Jasveen Kaur, who was in the basement of the temple, Guru Gobind Singh Gurudwara, on a recent afternoon, dipping vegetable fritters in hot oil in preparation for a nightly feast, which is open to anyone. "We are citizens of this country and we need to show our support."

She said after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, some people looked at Sikhs with suspicion. Some extended prejudices against Muslims to Sikhs.

The distinctly different Sikh religion originated in India's Punjab region some 500 years ago. There are an estimated 25 million Sikhs worldwide, and about a half million in the United States, according to the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group.

"People don't know who Sikhs are," Kaur said. "Our religion taught us love everybody."

Members of the temple, the largest Sikh temple in Ohio, say they enjoy good relations with the city and its residents. Recently, the temple invited the mayor and city manager to Sunday services, which draws more than 500 Sikhs from the region.

The temple is also helping to raise money for a bronze statue of baseball Hall of Famer Elmer Flick, a lifelong Bedford resident.

"As far as their commitment to the community, it's excellent," said City Manager Henry Angelo.

After the parade, the temple will put on a traditional vegetarian feast, which is open to the public.

Amarjit Singh Kang, the temple secretary and past president, said members are proud to be part of the American tradition.

"Even though we might look different than other people, we are Americans first, and we wanted to show that," he said.
*Add Your Comment[

Let's Stop Putting Down The White Race
“America is not just for WASP’s any more”

I am not a WASP but I am White. As a White person I see that it is not wise to have non-Whites in power in America

We feel that non-Whites do not love us. In fact we get the definite impression that non-Whites hate us and want to harm us.

This is a truly astounding situation. All the good and great things that have happened to non-Whites are benefits bestowed on them by us. Yet they still hate us and want to harm us.

You never heard Martin Luther King Jr., Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or any Black leader say, “Thank you White people for all the great and good things that you have given us. Wondrous things that we would not have had were we not brought to America. Yes we were captured by Blacks, sold to you by Blacks, and within a few short generations you gave us equality. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

You gave us backward people the gifts of civilization: law and order society, schooling, medicine, food, housing. Incredibly you allowed us to participate in your government and partake of your inventions. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you.”

You forgot the religion, always best imparted by force.

Crikey, there's just so much wrong with every paragraph of that. Each sentiment could be turned on its head so easily. Please advise whether you were writing sarcastically. And, if not, let's have a debate

Populations Are NOT Fungible
This story highlights the importance of the immigration debate. Take a look at the people that are taking the jobs away from the traditional Americas.

Immigrants—both legal and illegal—have accounted for all of the job gains in the U.S. labor market since 2000, according to a report that highlights the stiff competition for jobs in a tight economy as Congress debates adding more workers to the mix.

The Center for Immigration Studies report, which is being released Wednesday, says 22.4 million immigrants of working age held jobs at the beginning of this year, up 5.3 million over the total in 2000. But native-born workers with jobs dropped 1.3 million over that same period, from 114.8 million to 113.5 million.

Saying be like us or leave is the ultimate of bigotry. We are a diverse culture and white bread America is gone for good. Learn to embrace other cultures and see how relations improve.
zakany likes this.

The Glorious 1950s
beneath their turbans and head scarves beat the hearts of Americans

That is the point. Beneath their turbans and head scarves beat the hearts of pure Sikhs. If they were Americans they would have gotten rid of their turbans and head scarves long ago.

The Sikhs with their turbans and head scarves are not Americans. They are un-American and that un-Americanism is what their turbans and head scarves advertise.

Getting rid of their turbans and scarves is the very least that they must do. After getting rid of their turbans and head scarves they must learn and adopt American culture. That is what all immigrants did until this new crop of multicultural / diversity anti-American immigrants invaded.

The Sikhs is a distinct group that favors its own members over us. No nation can survive with competing groups continuously battling one another.

Is writer Harlan Spector any relation to the two-timing double-crossing U S Senator Arlen Spector?

The Sikhs in my neighborhood are as American as you or I. They are our neighbors, our friends, and our countrymen.

Only in Cuyahoga
Then go break bread with them.. you obvious need these people in your inner circle.

OIC, you go break bread with them. You'll probably find it tasty and be surprised to learn that it's not poisoned. Expand your circle, it's quite the American way.

And don't forget to make them sons-of-Abraham burn their yarmulkes.


One of America's greatest strengths, and a principle on which our country was founded, is tolerance, inclusiveness, and appreciation for diversity. Being able to experience Punjabi music, or Irish, German, Puerto Rican, or Chinese music for that matter, at an Independence Day parade is profoundly and intrinsically AMERICAN!!! I'm not sure what values you thought you were protecting during your service, but due to the nature of your comments, I suspect they were misguided.

Happy birthday, America.
zakany likes this.

The Glorious 1950s
Perhaps the saddest aspect of our current America is the gross ignorance that our young put on display.

These childish minds harbor the absolutely idiotic idea that the Founding Fathers of America wanted, believed in, or even considered the least bit valuable the qualities of tolerance, inclusiveness, and appreciation for diversity.

America was founded and built on the rock solid principles of intolerance, exclusiveness, and appreciation for the uniqueness of the European peoples.

It is depressing to see kids spouting the fairy tale of tolerance, inclusiveness, and appreciation for diversity. Belief in Santa Clause has more justification than the belief in the magical powers of tolerance, inclusiveness, and appreciation for diversity.

Sorry kids but your teachers are lying to you and you better wake up.

Read the Federalist Papers. Read the Constitution. Read the Bill of Rights. Read the Gettysburg Address. Read Brown v. Board of Education. Yes, we have had ugly, xenophobic moments to our countries history, but the great trend has been towards inclusion, and that has its roots in the vision and values of this countries founders. If it weren't, we wouldn't have the great American nation and citizenry that exists today.

Once again we have a story trying to help bridge the gap between cultures and people have a problem with it. We are a melting pot folks get used to it. America is not just for WASP’s any more.
zakany likes this.


Thanks for telling us something we don't have a problem with, the America you speak of left in the 70's with Archie Bunker.

OK, so anyone that ever confused and a Muslim and a Sikh is prejudice against both. Must be so if the article says so.

Bedford used to a nice place to raise a family. Now they all have their pants on the ground....

This *is* a nice gesture... not sure what the commenter is referring to with the 'sword' reference, but I know a lot of multi-gen Americans who have done stupid things on Independence Day.

One thought: don't "blare Punjabi music along the parade route." Today is not a multi-cultural day. Today is the day we celebrate the founding of this nation that you now call home.

Only in Cuyahoga
Oh, so I would say it's safe to assume Mr. Harlem didn't appreciate my comment, as it seems to be missing. Well let's see if I can clean it up for the fragile reader, such as him.

Back in 1776 when this country fought for it's Independence, where were the Sikh Coalition. Right, they wasn't here, but now all of a sudden because they exist in our society, they took it upon themselves to show us what and how we should celebrate our national holiday of Independence.
Well I find it a little less patriotic to allow any foreign companion to enter into our country and attempt to take control of something this country fought for 200 and some odd years ago. Also, if you people can't handle the fact that an American Veteran finds this story and reporter appalling, due to his constant foreign reporting of descendants of other nationalities into the country for which I served, than maybe this reporter and it's editors should find new employment, preferably with the Sikh's.

OK, we should unquestionably respect and defer to any and all veterans' views. Just because. They're not telling anyone how to celebrate, they, just want to be in the parade, as citizens who love this country.

Ouch, let me add that veterans' views should also not be dismissed, just because.

Bedford can use every infusion of new blood and ideas it can get. God knows keeping it the same isn't going to work.

For one with a longer memory than a gnat, rare these days, but to wit: You Sikhs, keep your problems to yourself, not need a repeat of a few years ago of you drawing swords, over nothing. Khan from Star Trek would not be amused.

Khan, You Bloodsucker SCENE - Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan MOVIE (1982) - HD - YouTube

frank drebin
Very nice gesture.
mustang2011 and Hello Cleveland like this.


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
It is the commentary below the article that is the real story. Sikh make an attempt to inform, educate, be a constructive voice in closing the gap between ignorance and knowledge, between hysteria and level-headedness, between bigotry and the ability to tolerate diversity, and between division and a sense of common ground. What more can the average Singh or Kaur do who is not part of the advocacy enterprise. Being a participant is a lot.

Then you have people who simply do not want to achieve goals of knowledge, level-headedness, tolerance of diversity and a sense of common ground. They want all the ground to themselves even if it never belonged to them in the first place. And even if government is not about me versus you, but me and you. The word politics comes from the Greek word "polis" the citizenry of a city state who gathered together to find common goals and unite behind them to move forward. The conduct of state depends on civic engagement which is related to the word "civil" or of the "citizens" and the lawful relations they have as members of a community, and from there, being able to interact with others in a civil way. A courteous way.

Unfortunately some are proud of being impolite - unable to be of the polis. And some are proud of lacking a civil tongue - unable to be in a conversation about community. By their words and deeds, they abandon the polis and forsake civic engagement. What a tragedy for them! They will reap what they sow, if they have not already done.

Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Spnadmin ji,

Guru Fateh.

This is the sad reality of our US of A. Many people do not want to educate themselves and it is a "Christian nation" where tolerance is preached which in my opinion is the most abhorring word of division rather than coming together. It has the disdain after taste to it.

That is why our Gurus preached acceptance in Sikhi. This is the reason Sikhi thrived while treading on sharred glass laid down by the Mughal Emperors and many Hindu Rajas because it was all about conversation. But in order to have that the two have to sit on the same table in order to set the table with their differences.

This is why I posted the responses, most of them of which were negative.

Having said that, I agree with them on one thing. There is no room for loud Punjabi music on the 4th of July parade. They should have chosen some American Music relating to the occasion. Every parade is not a Vaisakhi Mela.

This is the reason that we, as the part of the Americana patch quilt have the duty to show are Sikhi deeds through actions which are inclusive to all because the differences are visibly shone in our bana.

Every Sikh serving should have worn Red,White and Blue suits/chunnis/bandanas/pugs. The effect of that would have mingled with the intentions demonstrated by them and then the reaction may have been less negative but this is a long process of which we should all be aware of.


Tejwant Singh
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