A video of a Sikh activist speaking about America and the current situation of immigrants in the country has gone viral on the internet. Civil rights lawyer and Sikh activist Valarie Kaur’s speech has been shared by prominent celebrities; AR Rahman being one of them.

The speech was apparently made on December 31 last year, a day before Donald Trump’s inauguration. It slowly gained traction in January and has collected over 1.4 million views and has been shared more than 20,000 times on Facebook.

In the speech, Ms Kaur talks about her grandfather who had moved to America for better prospects. She shares the ordeal he went through under authorities in the United States a century ago. “When he landed on American shores, the immigration officials saw his dark skin, his tall turban worn as a part of his Sikh faith and saw him not a brother but as foreign, as suspect, and threw him behind bars where he languished for months,” Kaur says in her speech.

“He stayed until a lawyer, ‘a white man’, helped him.”

Kaur goes on to talk about how this particular time in his grandfather’s life shaped her outlook on life and why she became a lawyer. She also says that America is far worse than how she inherited it from her grandfather.

However, perhaps it was Kaur’s optimistic outlook on the appalling turn of events in the United States which made for the viral quality of her speech: “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead? But a country that is waiting to be born. What if the story of America is one long labour?”

Watch the speech here:

First Published | 7 February 2017 8:37 AM
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