Joint Statement by HHS Secretary Becerra and Ambassador Tai on the Tenth Anniversary of the Oak Creek Shooting
The 2012 shooting was the deadliest attack on Sikh Americans in U.S. history.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai – Co-Chairs of both the White House Initiative and the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders – issued a joint statement on the tenth anniversary of the mass shooting at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The shooting occurred on August 5, 2012, when a white supremacist gunman stormed the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, murdering worshippers and beloved community members in the deadliest act of anti-Sikh hate in U.S. history.
“Our hearts are heavy as we remember Suveg Singh Khattra, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Ranjit Singh, Sita Singh, Paramjit Kaur Saini, Prakash Singh, Baba Punjab Singh, and all those impacted by the tragedy. The attack in Oak Creek was not just an assault on the Sikh community, but America itself — and we join with millions of people who have been touched by the unwavering Sikh tenet of Charhdi Kala, or eternal optimism.
“While a decade has passed, Sikh Americans continue to face unconscionable harassment and violence, including in the houses of worship where so many seek peace and solace. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to protect our communities, and the Biden-Harris Administration continues to work closely with faith leaders across the country to combat bigotry and intolerance in all their forms.”
The Biden-Harris Administration has tirelessly advanced policies protecting the fundamental right to practice faith without fear, including through:
- Executive actions to protect houses of worship, including increased funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program;
- The implementation of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act to strengthen federal, state, and local efforts to counter unlawful acts of hate;
- The reestablishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships;
- Technical assistance to more than 7,000 faith-based and community leaders;
- The release of the nation’s first-ever comprehensive strategy to address domestic terrorism; and
- Executive and legislative actions to reduce gun violence, including the signing of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the most significant gun violence legislation to be enacted in 30 years.