Monday, April 7, 2008

"A Dream in Doubt"

Yesterday, on a rainy afternoon, I went to the Busboys and Poets in Shirlington to screen the documentary, "A Dream in Doubt," directed and co-produced by Tami Yeager and co-produced by Preetmohan Singh. The film chronicles the murder of an Indian Sikh, Balbir Sodhi, after the tragic events of 9/11. Mr. Sodhi's death is recorded as the first hate-crime in direct connection to 9/11 since the convicted-murder, Frank Roque, was overheard by co-workers and friends stating that he wanted to shoot some "towel heads," that is, kill people who wore turbans. In addition to murdering Mr. Sodhi, Roque also shot up the homes of Lebanese American and Afghani American families. Although Mr. Roque was sentenced to death for his murder of Mr. Sodhi, the state of Arizona rescinded the death sentence citing Mr. Roque's mental illness as a mitigating circumstance. Mr. Roque was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In addition to the death of Mr. Sodhi, the family suffered another tragic loss when another brother was killed in San Francisco, a few months later, while driving his taxi. The San Francisco police department and district attorney did not rule this crime as a hate crime, rather they concluded that the other brother, Sukhpal, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is a powerful documentary that chronicles only one family's tragedy with post 9/11 hate crimes. The post-film conversation revealed that many Muslims, in particular, are afraid to bring attention to their victimization, report hate crimes, or even galvanize forces to address hate crimes because they feel that they and their mosques are being watched by the federal government. They prefer to remain as far below the "raider" as possible.

The film will broadcast on local PBS stations on May 20, 2008. Please check your local listings for the times in your areas. Peace.

3 comments:

MichonITVS said...

Thanks for mentioning this on your blog. I found it through Ethelbert Miller's blog. My sister enjoyed sharing the table with you at Busboys. People can catch another screening and discussion pf A Dream In Doubt Sunday, April 13 @ 4 PM at Busboys in DC. ITVS Community Cinema-DC is always free!

M. L. Simms said...

You are welcome. I enjoyed meeting your sister. Thanks for reading the blog. Take care.

E. said...

They prefer to remain as far below the "raider" as possible.

Radar or Raider....that sentence alone says an awful lot.