New Jersey’s attorney general Gurbir Grewal still regularly faces racism.
“Several weeks ago, two radio hosts were talking about me and the work of my office and claimed that they couldn’t remember my name and said that they were going to give me a new name. That they were going to call me turban man,” he said. “In that one moment, that radio host took the most visible article of faith for a Sikh and just reduced it to nothing.”
Grewal is the first Sikh American to be an attorney general in U.S. history. He was born and raised in New Jersey and started off his career as a prosecutor.
“This is the state I grew up in. This is a state that has afforded me and my family and other immigrant families like mine so many opportunities,” he explained. “And then I was working in D.C. one day, during 9/11, and a horrible, horrible tragedy hit the United States. But I didn’t have time to grieve with my neighbors and my friends. We had this enormous backlash against Muslim Americans, against really anyone who didn’t look American enough. Or at least against anyone who looked like those images on TV that we associated with the people who are responsible for that attack.”
The two conservative radio hosts that made the insensitive comments are currently suspended.