RACE IN AMERICA: Sikh truck driver Jagjeet Singh wasn’t allowed into a Mississippi courtroom after a judge ordered him to remove “that rag” from his head, according to a complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Singh was arrested after he was harassed by traffic cops. He refused to comply with the judge’s wishes and was forced to wait hours until the judge was good and ready to allow him in.
Jagjeet Singh alleges the traffic cops called him a “terrorist” because of his turban. The ACLU complaint states Singh was driving through Mississippi when he was pulled over for driving with a flat tire in Pike County in January 16. He was taken to a weigh station, where he said cops ordered him to turn over his “kirpan,” with is a three-inch ceremonial blade all Sikh men traditionally carry in their waistbands, the ACLU’s complaint alleges.
Jagjeet Singh said officers laughed at him over the talisman and mocked his religious beliefs, with “one officer declaring that all Sikhs are depraved and terrorists,” the letter alleges. He was arrested for refusing to obey a command, because he would not turn over the kirpan, the ACLU said.
Jagjeet Singh should have complied and turned over the kirpan but his treatment by the judge was just despicable. The Deep South still can’t loose its label of being backwards.