Shared from the 12/11/2017 San Antonio Express eEdition

Texas still home for visiting prof at NYU

For once, internet trolls might have mom’s blessing.

Simran Jeet Singh, a Sikh assistant religion professor at Trinity University, penned a viral tweet Tuesday describing his mom’s reaction to the racism he receives online.

“My mom just joined Twitter and saw all the racist messages where people tell me to ‘go home’ and ‘go back to where I came from,’ ” he tweeted. “She wanted me to thank you all. She really wants me to move back to Texas.”

Singh, who has amassed a following of more than 40,000, received more than 25,000 retweets, 145,000 favorites and more than 1,000 responses — including one from San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

“I’m with your mom, Sim-ran. We need you home here in San Antonio,” he responded. “If it takes a resolution, I can get to work on that!”

Singh is in New York City, where he is the Henry R. Luce Post-doctoral Fellow of Religion and International Affairs at the NYU Center for Religion and Media, according to his Trinity University profile, which also notes his degrees from Harvard and Columbia universities.

The attention led a story by Buzzfeed, which Singh tweeted and said, “Mama we made it.”

Singh mentioned his upbringing in San Antonio and how his parents, G.P. Singh and Parvinder Kaur, taught his family how to react to racism.

“My three brothers and I were some of the only kids with turbans when we grew up in South Texas,” he told Buzz-feed. “Our parents always taught us that negative incidents always provided opportunities for positive outcomes.”

The tweet was not the first time Singh’s family made headlines.

Exactly two years ago, his younger brother, Darsh Singh, became the subject of a racist meme. Darsh Singh was the NCAA’s first turbaned Sikh-American basketball player during his time at Trinity University.

“Nobody at school wants to guard Muhammad he’s too explosive,” read a Facebook post including a photo of the athlete wearing a turban on the court.

Greg Worthington, a family friend, penned a viral Facebook post in response to the meme.

“Things like this (picture) teach people to be afraid of those who are different than you. What you might not know is that Sikhs have a history in the US and abroad of being mistaken for being Muslim and thus being accused of terrorism,” Worthington said.

“This usually leads to them being attacked and even killed because someone stupid thought they deserved to be beaten, injured, or killed because of their religion. But even if he was a Muslim or if he was Arab, this still doesn’t make the joke OK and it still doesn’t give you reason to believe that person is inherently evil or that they deserve harm.”

Simran Singh was not immediately available to return requests for comment, but thanked Nirenberg for making San Antonio “an even more compelling place for people of all backgrounds.” mmendoza@mysa.com | Twitter: @MaddySkye

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