In August 2005, a question was posed by a group of Sikhs: After all the outreach and education done in the post 9/11 world, do fellow Americans know who the Sikhs are now?
The only way they felt to find the answers was to actually go out into the streets and see what people thought.
How do we improve things? Every time someone gets confused about your dastaar or kirpaan, don’t get mad at them - take a deep breath and take 5 mins to explain your reasons for doing what you do.
Explain what Kirpan means (Kirpa - aan , to do kirpa, to bless) and that your only going to use it to defend people at a last resort, tell people the turban is crown which promotes equality for both men and women.
Make every encounter with someone an opportunity to preach Sikhi, the real Sikhi. Not the bollywood/gangsta thug clan version that they see spray painted on hoodies at Vaisakhi or on sign posts around run down areas.
If every Sikh told 1 person about the Sikh religion, we wouldn’t have had any racist attacks.
Word spreads quickly, you tell one person - they're almost definitely going to tell someone else or at least cause uproar when a Gurudwara gets burnt down.
The reason we get attacked is because we (as a community) are ashamed of our religion.
It's an easier answer when asked "Why do you keep your hair?" to say "My parents force me to" than to explain that its gift from God right?
It's our fault we're surrounded by "ignorant people" because we don’t teach about our own religion.
However, to be able to teach others - we need to know it (live it) ourselves....